Urgent help needed please. My home insurance company have told me my insurance will no longer be valid if I have cat sitters living in my home and they want to cancel my policy and charge me admin fees. This will leave me without insurance full stop 1 week before my sit as it sounds like the insurance we get with trusted house sitters isn’t valid either if we don’t have our own home insurance. Has anyone else experienced this and do you have any advice? I’m not getting any reasonable help from the support team at all. And can’t find a number to contact.
Why did you get in touch with your home insurance company? Presumably you told them you had house sitters staying? Did you need to tell them this? Don’t you have friends to stay? I think this is the first time I’ve heard of your question and am afraid you’ve brought the problem on yourself.
I’m well aware that if I hadn’t enquired with my insurance company I wouldn’t be in this predicament. Lesson learnt. However, now I’d just appreciate helpful recommendations on UK insurance companies who do cover house sitters. Thank you
@LynneMarie I did reply to you on the other thread where you posted. I’m just making sure that you saw that, even though it really doesn’t directly answer your question. Perhaps you could at least enquire with your insurance as to whether this is an option.
Thank you so much. Appreciate your response. I will certainly ask the question but I suspect I’ll just need to take out new insurance now. At least I now understand how it all works.
Hi @LynneMarie. Insurance companies, ugh. Sorry I can’t help explicitly there.
As for Membership Services, you can reach them via email ( firstname.lastname@example.org), or the chat on the main website (ask “Frankie” to speak to a human). 24/7 for both. Unfortunately, I was told (in the chat) that there is no phone number to call, except in emergencies (I think that means like something that needs resolving that hour, like a sick pet, flood, etc.).
Thinking to @Smiley’s point, what if you just find another insurance company and go with them? By default, I think most companies will cover this situation as long as you don’t mention it. They may ask you if you’re doing Airbnb (which presumably you’re not), and so you will not be breaking any terms. Just read their T&Cs carefully. Or put another way, just check a couple other insurance companies, read their T&Cs, and see if there’s anything explicitly against unpaid house sitters.
Edit: Once you find a couple companies that seem okay, you can then contact your current company and try to negotiate. Say you’ll go to X/Y competitor unless they’re willing to compromise, like in Snowbird’s example. And maybe there was a misunderstanding, since sitters on TH are unpaid but most people assume money changes hands. It reminds me of the border-crossing topic, where many people say they’re on vacation and/or visiting friends.
Thank you. Appreciate your response. After numerous emails I have managed to get trusted housesitters to call me and I now understand how their insurance cover works. Unfortunately it’s a bit late for my insurance company who have already said they’re cancelling my policy as they don’t cover housesitters. But at least I now know I can go with another insurer and trusted housesitters insurance will cover me if my new insurer refuses any potential claim. Ideally I’d like to find an insurer that does cover housesitters though. After all you would think it’s less of a risk if the house was occupied rather than left empty.
I feel another affiliate marketing idea brewing @Maggie8K
Sitters and owners are always friends visiting each other…ALWAYS FRIENDS!
For all those wondering why I told my insurance company. It was advised in the T&C’s to check with your own insurance company to ensure you’re covered. It clearly states you have to have your own insurance to be covered by trusted house sitters. As a newbie, even after reading their T&C’s it still wasn’t clear how it worked. So I asked my insurance company if I was covered expecting them to say yes. (I mean surely it’s better to have people in the house, rather than be empty!) Apparently not! I wish I hadn’t tried to be honest and just left it and I’d be none the wiser. There’s a lesson eh.
As they say, honesty is the best policy - but maybe not always We never stop learning but usually we only make the same mistake once
@LynneMarie you did the right thing checking before your trip.
It would have been a disaster if you needed to claim and then found out afterwards that you weren’t covered .
Have you tried the AA for house insurance ? It appears that they approve of having house sitters as long as they have public liability insurance (which THS provides with Standard and Premium membership )
Please report back when you find a suitable company as it will help other members.
It probably depends on how you frame the question.
If they interpret your question as that you are paying a house-sitting company to take care of your home for a while, I would definitely not expect them to say yes. They would not like to be liable for damages caused by that company.
So yes, one could ask about friends staying at your place while you are on vacation (it should not sound like AirBnb). Or not ask at all. Just check that you have your own insurance, maybe study the fine print, and hope that nothing will happen. (My present HO asked for proof that I had liability insurance. First time this happened, but I completely understand and I even think it was a good idea.)
Interesting topic as I have never heard of this. Here is an article from Choice regarding house-sitting and home insurance in Australia. Obviously things are different depending on which country you reside and own a home.
I will check them out. A friend told me about the AA too. Thank you
LynneMarie, we’re newbies too with only 1 sitter so far. Prior to us leaving someone in our home, we installed a safe for any valuables/jewellery to ensure we would be covered. But I didn’t check in our ins company. I assumed….
WTH. Combine this with the “letter” claiming that international housesitting is exempt from any work visas in any country, THS is setting up naive HOs and Sitters for disaster. Someone really needs to review and address the advice being given to members.
@LynneMarie did you find an insurance company ?