A host family from Willingdon has warned others who take students to be aware of the home insurance implications.

A couple from Willingdon, who have taken long-term and short-term students for many years, have told the Herald they had ‘major problems’ with their home insurance after declaring they provide a home for foreign students.

The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, explained her husband accidently burnt down the greenhouse and called Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) to make a claim on the home insurance. A form was sent to the couple and it asked, “Do you have anyone living in your home other than your family?”

The woman said, “My husband, as he should do, explained on the form that we take in students – both long-term and short-term.”

RSA became concerned about the students, told the couple their premium would rise, asked for back-payments for the last three years and then said they would not be able to provide insurance in the future. The couple then went from broker to broker - each having little success in securing them an insurance policy.

The couple have now found an insurer at a cost of £650 a year – up from the £360 annual premium they were paying before they declared they have students to stay.

Thousands of teenagers come to study in Eastbourne and all stay with host families around the town. The couple say this could have implications for a lot of unsuspecting families.

The woman said, “It is very messy. You are faced with a decision. Do you lie or do you tell the truth and face being refused insurance and higher premiums.”

A spokesperson from RSA said, “It’s common for insurers to either not provide cover or charge higher premiums if someone other than a family member is living in the home because it’s believed that the homeowner has less control over the home. Policies vary between insurers but anyone who has someone living in their home or is considering doing this should definitely contact their insurer and check that they have the appropriate cover.”