Does Home Insurance Cover My Daughter’ Friends at a Sleepover?
Caeva O'Callaghan | November 2nd, 2021
Accidents happen, even at a fun sleepover – but will your home insurance cover it?
Yes. Your home insurance policy will cover you in the event that somebody takes an action against you for any alleged negligence which leads to an injury.
Whenever you have guests, no matter why they’ve come over or how old they are, they will be covered by your home insurance.
In this article, we’ll cover such questions as:
- If a visitor hurts themselves in my home, am I liable?
- Does my home insurance cover visitors’ belongings?
- What happens if a guest claims for an injury?
One of your home insurance policy’s most important sections is the part that covers other people’s safety. Your home insurance will cover all guests and visitors while they are in your home.
If a visitor hurts themselves in my home, am I liable?
Yes, you would be. The word “liability” means being legally responsible for a matter. When it comes to insurable risks, many claims are won or lost on a basis of personal responsibility – in other words, whose fault it was.
For example, your chimney being damaged by a storm would not be your fault, so you would not be liable. However, if the chimney needed maintenance, which you neglected for years, and a weak breeze sent it falling over, you would indeed be liable. This is because maintaining your property is your responsibility.
Following that logic, you have a duty of care to your visitors and guests. When you invite them into your home, it should be a safe environment for you to do so. Everybody you have over is within their rights to assume they’ll be safe. If it’s not safe, and you intentionally omit or lie about the risks associated with entering your property, or if you make the environment dangerous later on, you will be liable.
Any injuries your visitors sustain on your property are your fault, and if they make a claim it’s likely to be successful.
Does my home insurance cover visitors’ belongings?
Yes. You don’t need to worry about your visitors’ valuables when they come over to stay, as your insurance will cover everything. There’s no need to update your policy.
When they’re in your home, everything that belongs to your guests is subject to the same risks as your own belongings. These risks are usually all covered under your home insurance policy, and include fire, flood, storm and robbery.
However unlikely it might seem, there have been cases where burglars have broken in while visitors are in the house. Having more people in the property reduces the risk of a break-in, but doesn’t eliminate it.
Bear in mind that to claim for visitors’ belongings on your home insurance policy, they do need to count as visitors. Permanent and semi-permanent guests are treated differently. To make sure you’re on the right side of your insurance, you need to clarify to your provider whether your guests are indeed temporary visitors or paying tenants.
What happens if a guest claims for an injury?
When someone visits your property, it’s your responsibility to keep them from harm. Insurance providers understand that accidents are a normal part of everyday life. Therefore, a claimant cannot always hold a property owner responsible. Nor is the owner automatically liable for someone tripping over when any reasonable person would have been able to avoid it. We all have an obligation to not be clumsy – even children at a sleepover.
However, as in most situations involving home insurance, maintenance is key. Property owners are responsible for keeping their property to a safe standard. Insurance claims depend on whether the property owner made an effort to ensure accidents weren’t likely to happen, and whether the claimant was careless.
Most people are reasonably understanding, and live by the saying “accidents happen”. But if a parent of a child visiting your home decides to claim against you, it’s best to phone your insurance provider for guidance. Leave it completely in their hands: after all, that’s what you pay them for.