You and your flatmate are already sharing a space and certain belongings – so why not share insurance as well?

But according to Marius Steyn, personal lines underwriting manager at Santam, if you don’t have a binding relationship with your flatmate, you will have to buy your own insurance.

You and your flatmate can insure your belongings separately through home contents insurance. This is the perfect cover for people who are renting. It covers the cost of replacing or repairing your belongings in case they get stolen, damaged, or destroyed by fire, floods, storms, or explosions.

The insurance covers anything inside your house, such as furniture, appliances, and clothing. However, it doesn’t cover items that you carry with you, like jewellery and laptops, even though you’ll find them in your house. For those items, you can try all-risk insurance, which covers the items you travel with or take out of your home.

According to Wynand van Vuuren, spokesperson for King Price, there’s a comprehensive home contents insurance that lets you cover the belongings of the people you live with.

When you insure these belongings, you must think about how much it would cost to replace them. When you calculate this, you must not just think about the price you bought them for, but what it will cost to have it replaced. Also, take into account factors such as inflation.

Bertus Visser, chief executive of distribution at PSG Insure, says that your insurer may suggest a minimum sum insured based on the details you provide but if this figure is not sufficient, you could ask to have it increased.

Visser suggests that you keep an inventory list of everything that you own. According to him, some insurance brokers allow you to order a survey of all your household contents that can be covered under their home contents insurance policy.

“Having an inventory of your home contents will help you enormously in the event of any claim and can help to prevent you from underinsuring any items,” he says.

Some people would have their possessions insured by different companies to prevent underinsurance, but is that possible?

According to Steyn, you and your flatmate can purchase insurance from different insurers and insure each other’s items, but that would boil down to contribution in the case of damage or loss. Contribution by each insurer, in relation to the risk exposure, will apply.

Steyn suggests that you notify your insurers if you’re going to have more than one cover for your belongings. Failure to do so is considered fraud.

If you are not sure about what items to insure, ask your insurer for guidance. Remember to keep updating your insurance policy.

This article has been prepared for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal, financial, or medical advice. The publication, journalist, and companies or individuals providing commentary cannot be held liable in any way. Readers are advised to seek legal, financial, or medical advice where appropriate.