Great question. Your contents policy can cover losses suffered by everyone living in your home and related to you by marriage, blood, or adoption. That means your children, husband, wife, partner, parents… you get it.
But contents cover isn’t always straightforward, nor are your relations to everyone in your household. So we’re here to dive a little deeper on this one. If you want a deep dive into contents insurance, read our in-depth explainer here.
- If you’re in a legally binding relationship your partner is automatically covered by your policy – if not, you can add them as an “additional insured” for an extra cost (keep in mind that it may be cheaper for each of you to get your own insurance policy)
- Got kids? They’re covered by your policy too — even your kids at uni (as long as they normally live with you).
- Your relatives who live with you can also be covered under your own policy — just make sure you all get enough coverage to cover all your belongings. Same goes for housemates — you can cover up to four household members per household.
Your spouse, ’til death do you part… or not…
As long as you’re in a legally binding relationship with your sig other you should be good to go.
But we’re in the 21st century, people. Partnerships in this day and age don’t come one-size-fits-all anymore.
Engaged but not yet tied the knot? Cohabitating? Consciously uncoupled but still living under the same roof? Marriage just isn’t for you?
If you’re not officially married, or in a legally-recognised civil partnership, your policy will not cover your significant other by default. But no worries—you can add them as an ‘additional insured‘ for an extra cost. If you go down this route, just keep in mind that it may be cheaper (and easier) for each of you to get your own insurance policy.
Kids under your own roof and at uni
As we mentioned before, your policy automatically covers anyone related to you by blood or adoption, and that means kids! Cut and dried, right? Well…
We all know that with kids, it’s never that easy. Even those of us who haven’t yet had children of our own remember all of the damage and destruction we left in our wake during our childhood. Sorry, Mum!
Basically, all you need to know is that your contents insurance will not cover intentional damage your offspring cause to other people’s stuff.
Now, let’s talk about uni. We mentioned before that your policy covers any members of your household who are related to you by blood. So what does that mean for your not-so-young ones who’ve moved out of your place?
Let’s use an example:
You have a 20-year-old in uni and another 25-year-old still in uni doing their masters. As long as they were both living with you before going off to live on campus, their stuff is covered.
In your typical contents policy, you’ll see that ‘Insured’ means you and residents of your household who are:
a. Your relatives; or
b. Other people under the age of 21 in your care, or in the care of a resident of your household who is your relative
What does this mean? Ideally, anyone outside of your immediate family (anyone other than your mum, dad, brother, sister, children, grandparents) should generally seek additional cover. This isn’t because you feel any less close to them—to the contrary! It’s so that you’ll all have enough protection should bad things happen.
So, if you are living with a second cousin or another distant relative, it’s probably better that you each get your own policy. If you’re living with your sister, just make sure you buy enough cover for all of your (and her) stuff! Also, with two policies, you’ll each have your own personal liability cover, which is important when bad stuff happens.
Do housemates count as household members?
They do! Your policy can cover up to four housemates (yourself included).
Just make sure that you’ve properly calculated the worth of all your stuff together. If you have a lot of high-value stuff, better that you each get your own policy to make sure each of you has enough cover.
Dogs and other animal friends
Your furry friends are covered for liability to others at home and while out on walks—but remember, if your dog damages your own stuff, or your flat, that’s on you.
That said, there is one major exception regarding cover when it comes to your pup.
If the dog is categorised as high-risk as described under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 or the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983. Plus, horses, livestock, or wild animals that you own or that are in your care are also not covered.
Who your policy covers isn’t always the most straightforward thing, so we hope this cleared things up a bit!
If you are in the process of shopping around for a contents policy, here are a few other things we can help you with:
- Understanding what is and isn’t covered by contents insurance
- Deciding how to choose an insurance excess