Rental prices keep on rising, and more and more people are living with friends, colleagues, professionals or strangers to be able to afford the perfect home. Room rentals in house shares around the UK are now, on average, higher than £500 a month, and can be around £1000 a month in some parts of London. Whilst the market may be tough, and the search for the perfect housemate might be relentless, when you find your perfect home and the perfect people to share it with, it can be sweet, sweet rental bliss. You might as well be starring in your own UK version of Friends.

Renting a room is definitely more affordable than renting on your own, and can help lower your monthly outgoings. However, sharing a house can sometimes be frustrating, whether it’s who gets to use the shower, that one roomie who keeps pinching your cereal, and how you can protect your items via an insurance policy.

Contents insurance is typically geared for people who own everything in their flat. So, when you have three flat mates, four phones, four laptops and all manner of other items in your house (all owned by different people) the typical contents covering doesn’t quite cut the mustard. In short, getting a joint policy would mean you were all responsible for everyone else’s things, and if one of your roommates claimed on your policy, everyone’s claim history would be affected.

Wherever you live, you should always insure your high-price or most-loved items, as you never know what might happen. Nevertheless, you should never be stuck with contents cover that doesn’t meet your specific needs. Read on to find out what type of policy should you get, and what cover you should expect, and why Arma Karma might just be the antidote to all your shared house woes.

What cover should I expect from a contents insurance policy?  

When looking for any policy that covers your items inside the home, you should always expect that you should be able to make a claim if your things are affected by any of the following:

  • Water damage from storms and floods
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Malicious damage including theft and vandalism
  • Leaks
  • Accidental damage (some insurers make you pay extra for this)

On most policies, damage that comes from general wear and tear is not included in your cover, and neither would theft be if you do not take proper precautions to secure your home. For instance, if there is no sign of forced entry into your flat or house, you will not be able to claim for theft. As always, you must check each company’s IPID (insurance product information document) to ensure you know what’s covered and what’s not.

Can I just insure my own stuff in a shared house?

You can, but many insurers may give you less cover than you expect (more on this later).

If you’re in student accommodation, your uni may offer some type of policy to you for free, protecting your things in all areas of your halls of residence. On such policies, items like bikes may not be covered automatically, so be sure to double check. Another thing to check is your parents’ home contents policy, which may have extended cover for times when you are away at university. Obviously, if you’re not a university student, these options are unavailable.

Contents insurance for a house you own or rent alone is a very different beast than shared house contents policies, because the insurance industry has an unfavorable view of young people and people who share houses, who they typically see as ‘higher-risk’. Rude!

Whilst you should be covered if any of the above were to happen, the protection given when covering shared accommodation is usually a bit less comprehensive, and only covers your items if this damage occurs in your room.

Unless you are intent on becoming a hermit, doesn’t really sound practical, does it? Under this kind of policy, if you left your laptop in your living room, which was then broken into (with signs of forced entry), you would not be covered, yet if it was in your bedroom, with the door locked, it would be.

Whether it’s using your tablet to read recipes in the kitchen, scrolling through insta on your phone in the bathroom, or playing on your console in the living room, our lives simply aren’t contained to one room, so our insurance packages shouldn’t be either.

Another key issue with this kind of renters insurance is that many shared houses are fully or part-furnished. In which case, taking out a contents insurance policy might seem a bit redundant, as the amount of items you own in your room is so few.

Is there a solution?

Well funny you ask – it’s us!

Insurance should fit your lifestyle, so we’ve designed insurance designed specifically for people like you. Whether you’re inside your bedroom, chilling in your shared rooms, outside your house or even on holiday, your fave items will be protected. Luckily for you, we cover against all the risks mentioned above, and always cover against accidental damage as standard, as well as loss cover.

We do not insure everything you own, but why would we? As we mentioned, most shared houses are at least part-furnished, so having a really high cover limit is unnecessary. Plus, if you do own some furniture- do you really care if your IKEA bookcase breaks? Instead, pick up to five of your most important items, and forget about the rest. Unlike other options, Arma Karma also lets you protect your stuff on a monthly subscription, instead of paying one large amount every year. Our flexibility allows you to cancel whenever you need, instead of being locked into a yearly policy, and lets you update your info easily.

To stave off housemates feuds, everyone in your house share can have their own Arma Karma subscription. That way, if the worst should happen, you are all safe in the knowledge that we’ve got your back, you’re not liable for anyone else’s issues. Rejoice!

Get a quote to see how little you could be protecting your items for.