Wednesday 2 November 2016 5:57 am

17m of us are now part of the sharing economy - but could be uninsured for it

Nearly a third of Brits are now part of the so-called sharing economy, renting out their homes, cars, and even their dogs, or using these services themselves. 

Some 17m people across the country participate in the new and growing sector, while one in 10 offer up their services, according to new research by Lloyds Bank Insurance 

Of those offering their services in the sharing economy, nearly a quarter have made changes to their homes to make it more attractive. A similar proportion have also bought items with the specific intention of making them available to rent.

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Holiday lets, car rental, long-term lets and renting out a parking space or driveway were found to be the most popular forms of sharing. However, sharers have been warned they risk losing out on claims for damaged goods if they don't let insurers know.

“The growth in the sharing economy offers homeowners a great opportunity to make extra cash from their homes and possessions, while those renting them can save a few pounds too," said Lloyds' senior claims manager Tim Downes.

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“The flipside to the benefits of a sharing economy is that so many have turned a blind eye to insuring their valuable, ‘money-making’ possessions should they become damaged or stolen. Anyone planning to rent out their homes, valuables, or a spare room should notify their insurer beforehand or they may risk invalidating a future claim."

The warning follows concerns raised by the Council for Mortgage Lenders and the Landlords Association that those who let out their homes could be falling foul of their mortgage agreements.