If reading the terms of your home insurance is further down your list of priorities than rearranging your sock drawer, you’re not alone. Many people buy insurance without taking the time to check the conditions carefully, but this can lead to problems.
Unless you’re clear about what your home insurance covers and what your insurer expects from you, you might end up unprotected and out of pocket. Let’s look at some of the top reasons why insurance cover might be refused.
7 things that may invalidate your insurance
- DIY disasters
It’s all too easy for a simple DIY project to end up with half a wall coming down, pierced water pipes or worse. Whenever you alter the fabric of your property, there is a risk it could go wrong. That’s why it is important that you include accidental damage to cover such eventualities or pay a professional to help. Either make sure you know what you’re doing, or pay a professional to help.
- Electronic property
Many people are freeing up precious shelf space by ditching the CDs and DVDs and opting to store their media digitally instead. Whether its photos, music, films or personal data, it’s convenient to have it on a compact storage device – unless that device is broken or stolen. Some insurers provide cover for loss of digital property, but many limit or exclude cover. Check what your policy covers before opting to go digital.
- Letting your property
If you meet a new partner and move in together, can you let your property out under your current insurance? Almost certainly not. The risk profile of a tenanted property is different from one which is occupied by the owner, so landlords insurance is likely to be required. If you decide to let one or two rooms out in your home, check how this affects your cover. Take a look at our buy-to-let home insurance and our Airbnb host home insurance.
- Leaving your property empty
If you fancy a couple of months somewhere sunny, always make sure your home will be protected while you are away. Homes that are left unoccupied for more than 30 days are at risk from damage due to vandalism, squatters or undetected leaky pipes or fires. You may need to take out additional unoccupied home insurance to protect your property in your absence.
- War and terrorism
Sadly, the threat from terrorism is ongoing. Damage caused by terrorist attacks is not usually covered by insurance policies. Some apartment blocks may have special cover, however.
- Security fittings
Remember those boxes you ticked on your insurance application saying you had particular types of locks on your doors and windows, plus a functioning burglar alarm? If the reality doesn’t match up, you could be refused cover in the event of a break-in.
- Adverse weather damage
Storm damage is usually covered by buildings insurance, but beware: Insurers can be very specific as to what constitutes a storm. High winds are often not enough to trigger a pay out, particularly if the damage can be partly attributed to poor maintenance. For example, if your chimney has been crumbling for years and gets blown down in strong winds, you might not be covered.
Does your home insurance policy provide the protection you need? Why not talk to Computerquote today to make sure?