Due to high rents or the desire to live a Friends-style life, more and more people are opting for shared accommodation. A life in community which has its disadvantages as well as its advantages. On the home insurance side, what precautions are necessary to be well compensated in the event of a claim?
You might be tempted to insure only one of the roommates.
But if a disaster occurs, all the joint tenants will be liable for the repair of the damage caused according to their contribution to the rent.
1. Each roommate has their own contract
It is possible to proceed in this way if the accommodation is rented with a lease per roommate. This means that each roommate signs a unique rental agreement on their behalf.
Thus, everyone is free to take out their insurance contract with the company they want, with the guarantees that suit them, and will pay their corresponding share of the contribution.
However, our advice is to take out the contracts with the same company. In the event of a claim, this will avoid disputes between insurers which may delay compensation.
Here, if a tenant leaves the accommodation, he will just have to request the termination of his contract.
On the other hand, if a tenant comes to your accommodation, the latter must take out a home insurance contract in his name, preferably always with the same insurer.
Note that the owner cannot impose a choice of insurance company, but he has the right to advise you.
If it turns out that one of the co-tenants has not taken out an insurance contract, the latter must pay out of pocket for the repairs in the event of a claim.
The insurance of the other co-tenants will not intervene to cover his share.
2. One contract for the entire flatshare
You can opt for a single insurance contract on which the name of each roommate must appear and which protects you with equal guarantee.
If you are a roommate in which there is a lot of movement, be careful not to forget to change your name with your insurer in the event of departure or arrival.
In which case, if you suffer a claim, the roommate who does not appear on the contract would not be compensated.
3. A contract signed by the owner
When signing the lease, the landlord asks you for a certificate of home insurance. If you do not present it to him within a month, 2 solutions present themselves to him.
Either he terminates the rental lease, or he takes out insurance himself on behalf of the roommates.
This insurance is limited to rental risks and the owner adds 1 / 12th of the annual contribution to the amount of the rent, plus possibly an increase of 10% maximum for the procedures.
Who is in charge of subscribing?
If an insurance contract has been taken out for the entire roommate, it is preferable that the name appearing on the contract be that of the roommate likely to stay as long as possible.
He will then have to declare the other joint tenants on the contract so that they are insured in the same way. For the payment of contributions, it is up to you to distribute yourselves equitably according to your share of the rent.
In any case, it is better not to hide from the insurance that it is a joint tenancy, at the risk of seeing the insurer refuse to cover the claim.
In the case of a sublease?
Contrary to popular belief, subletting is in no way illegal and is even more and more common in Europe.
Indeed, it allows additional income or to compensate for the absence of a temporarily absent roommate (internship abroad, going on vacation, etc.).
This implies that in return, the sub-tenant pays the rent to the roommate who makes his room available. If rent is not paid, it is not subletting but free accommodation to a third party.
Certain conditions must be met
- The sub-lessor must obtain the agreement of its owner;
- The sub-lessor must not profit from the sub-letting. In other words, the rent of the sub-tenant must not exceed the rent of the main tenant.
If the sub-lessor refuses to pay the rent to the main tenant, the latter is responsible vis-à-vis his landlord.
It is therefore important to protect yourself legally by formalizing all these elements in your sublease contract.
This must be signed by both parties.
Do not limit yourself to the only compulsory insurance
If the insurance covering rental risks is the only compulsory one, be aware that it is not sufficient. This warranty only covers you for damage to the home resulting from water damage, fire or explosion.
Damage caused to neighbors in your roommate or to each person’s own property will not be covered.
Only a multi-risk home insurance contract, known as MRH, will be protective in this type of situation, by covering the private civil liability of each of the co-tenants as well as their property (furniture, clothing, jewelry, household appliances, etc.) Optional guarantees may also be taken out such as theft, electrical accidents, vandalism etc.
Before subscribing to a roommate contract
There are some things you need to know and do before subscribing to a roommate contract.
In the subheading below, we will sharing more light concerning those areas.
Evaluate the property of each roommate
When subscribing to the contract, each roommate must estimate the value of the property he owns. This makes it possible to set the ceiling for compensation to be paid in the event of a claim.
It is therefore important to make an accurate assessment.
During the life of the contract, one of your roommates buys a good of significant value, such as Hi-Fi equipment. Tell your insurer. He will thus be able to adapt the contract and the guarantees accordingly.
Save the invoices of your goods
In the event of a claim, the joint tenants must send the insurance company the documents proving the value of what they own.
It is therefore important, upstream, to keep proof of purchase, receipts, warranty cards and photos and then save them in a safe place, for example on a Cloud, or send them to each other by e-mail.
What are the steps in the event of a claim?
You must inform the insurers concerned within 2 days if it is a theft and 5 days for other cases. You can notify them by telephone, while making sure to send them a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. Each roommate will then have to:
- Provide an inventory of the common areas as well as an inventory of damaged personal items. While waiting for the insurance’s response, don’t throw anything away, don’t repair anything and take as many photos as possible.
- Provide supporting documents to assess the value of the damaged goods (invoice, photos, evidence).
- Be ready to receive the expert for the visit
- Finally, don’t forget to tell your landlord.