16 April 2018, 12:38

Home insurance warning as Queen marks 25 years of welcoming the public into her home

GoCompare warns that the public may not be covered for throwing open their doors in the same way



  • Millions of people welcome visitors into their homes every year, however their home insurance may not cover loss or damage that occurs as a result;
  • Home contents insurance policies typically exclude cover for paying guests or business visitors;
  • Cover for family’s and friends’ belongings may be restricted, 22% of policies exclude cover altogether.

The 29th April 2018 marks 25 years since the Queen first opened Buckingham Palace to the public, and with many of us hosting visitors in our own homes GoCompare is warning people not to assume that their home insurance will cover guests, in particular paying or business guests.

Whether it’s having family and friends to stay, letting a room, running a home business or holding a charity fundraiser, millions of people welcome visitors into their homes every year.  However, standard home insurance policies typically exclude cover for lodgers, paying guests or business visitors to your home.   Depending on your policy, cover for visiting friends’ and family’s possessions may also be limited or excluded.

GoCompare Home Insurance commissioned research* into the different types of visitors people open their homes to.  The survey found that most (93%) people have family and friends to visit, with 65% welcoming them for an overnight stay.  The survey also found that many people receive paying or business guests into their home:

  • 27% look after other people’s pets while they are on holiday or at work;
  • 14% have visitors to their home in relation to their work;
  • 8% have hosted events such as ‘Open Gardens’ or ‘Open Studios’;
  • 7% have hosted a charity fundraising event;
  • 5% rent their spare room to a lodger;
  • 5% rent out a spare room on a short-term let to paying guests via Airbnb or similar sites;
  • 5% rent out their garage, driveway or allocated parking space;
  • 5% offer beauty treatments (e.g. nails, eyebrows, hairdressing, etc.) from home;
  • 4% host product parties (e.g. Ann Summers, Body Shop, etc.) from home;
  • 4% run a childminding business from their home.

Home insurance policies generally exclude cover for paying guests, business visitors and events held at your home for which visitors are charged.  In addition, most insurers don’t cover pet-related damage, even if the chewing, scratching or fouling was done by a visitor’s pet.  Cover for friends’ and family’s possessions while they are in your home can be limited. 

GoCompare analysed 429 home contents policies** to look at the cover they provided for visitors’ personal belongings. 

  • Over a fifth (22%) of policies exclude cover for visitors’ belongings;
  • 62% provide cover of between £250 and £10,000;
  • Only 15% covered visitors’ belongings up to the policy sum insured.

Georgie Frost, consumer advocate at GoCompare, explained: “Home contents insurance provides financial protection for your belongings so, if they are stolen or destroyed, you aren't left out of pocket.  The cost and cover provided by a policy is therefore partly based on who lives at or frequents a property and how it’s used, for example whether it’s just a family home or whether a business is also operated from the premises.      

“So insurers will want to know if the property is let in part or entirely, even on a short-term basis.  They’ll also want to know if you have business visitors to your home.  This is because you may be welcoming people into your home who are strangers, therefore the chances of items being damaged or going missing increases.      

“Depending on how your home is used, insurers may refuse cover, charge an extra premium or put restrictions on the cover provided.  If you don’t tell your insurer and need to make a claim, then your insurer may refuse to pay out and your insurance could be invalidated.”      

Georgie continued: “So, if you’re planning on inviting people to your home, especially paying or business guests, you should check your insurance situation.”

For more information on home insurance, working from home and cover for short-term lets such as Airbnb, visit: http://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/working-from-home/



For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson, Martyn John or Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725 / 01633 655 132

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

*On the 19 March 2018, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,046 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

**Source: Defaqto Matrix of 429 home contents insurance policies (12 March 2018) – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto.  Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.

About GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocomparegroup.com

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