What is accidental damage home insurance?
Accidental damage is a part of home insurance that covers you for damage that results from an unexpected and unintentional one-off event.
Do I need accidental damage home insurance?
Accidental damage isn’t always included as standard with home insurance, but it can be a useful extra for your policy. Consider whether you want accidental damage as part of your buildings or contents cover, or both, but if you’re renting then your landlord is responsible for the buildings insurance policy.
What does accidental damage home insurance cover?
The cover you get when you add accidental damage to your home insurance policy will depend on the insurer as well as the part of the policy you’ve added it to.
What’s covered by accidental damage cover with buildings insurance?
Adding an accidental damage policy to your buildings insurance will cover the following:
- Broken glass windows and other fixed external glass
- Accidental damage to toilet basins, sinks and other bathroom fittings
- Damaged drains, pipes, cables and tanks connected to your home
- Cracked wall tiles
- Damaged kitchen units, including accidental damage to built-in appliances like ovens
- Any unintentional hole in a wall
- Flood, fire, storm and other water damage
- Collision damage – from a car, a tree or other forces – to the building
What’s covered by accidental damage cover with contents insurance?
Accidental damage as part of a contents insurance policy covers damage to items inside your home, including:
- Accidental damage to your laptop
- A TV that’s been physically broken
- Accidental damage to your mobile phone or smartwatch at home
- Damage to your home furniture, including sofas and mattresses
- Spilling red wine on the carpet
Will I be covered for damage caused by children?
Children can cause mishaps of varying degrees of seriousness around the home, and accidental damage cover is useful for protecting your wallet against repairs and replacements you might have to make.
Most home insurance policies will pay out for damage to home entertainment equipment like televisions or stereos. However other accidents like marker pen masterpieces on the walls or fruit juice spillages might require extended accidental damage cover if you want to claim.
Your insurer’s policy documents will outline exactly what you can and can’t claim for, and if you have any questions you can always call them up to ask.
Will I be covered for damage caused by pets or animals?
Unfortunately many home insurance policies don’t include cover for damage caused by pets or animals, even with accidental damage added. This generally includes things like:
It’s also likely your insurance won’t cover damage resulting from insect or vermin infestation – but it’s always important to read your policy documents to be sure. You might be able to add enhanced cover to protect against pet or animal damage, but it’ll add to your premium costs.
Will I be covered for damage caused by DIY work?
Be sure to read over your policy before conducting any DIY work around your home, as in some cases it’s less risky to hire a professional. This is because insurers won’t usually pay out for certain types of work if it’s done by an amateur, such as electrical, plumbing or boiler repairs.
They are more likely to accept a claim for common accidents, for example if you burst a pipe while hammering a nail into the wall, but again it’s better to be sure first.
Will an accidental damage policy replace my damaged possessions with brand new items?
If you claim for an item destroyed by an insured event or action, a new-for-old contents insurance policy will pay out money, vouchers or a brand new replacement item – though this might be reduced by any excess you have to pay.
Will I be covered for a whole matching set if one item gets damaged?
If one item from a matching set is damaged, such as a sofa or a kitchen cupboard, it’s likely your insurer will pay out only for the damaged item. However with a ‘matching sets’ policy you’ll be able to claim for the entire set to be replaced, even if it’s only one part of the set that was damaged.
What accidental damage cover do I need if I rent?
If you’re renting you’ll only need accidental damage cover as part of your contents insurance policy – the building itself should be insured by your landlord.
What accidental damage cover do I need as a landlord?
As a landlord, ensuring the building is covered is your responsibility – so it’s up to you to add accidental damage to your insurance. You might also want to consider adding accidental damage contents insurance to your policy if you have any of your own things in the property, such as carpets, curtains or furniture.
Are there any exclusions with accidental damage home insurance?
You might not be able to claim on an accidental damage home insurance policy in any of the following situations:
- If the damage was caused deliberately
- If the item is damaged as a result of general wear and tear
- If you claim for something that wasn’t covered by your policy
- If poor or defective workmanship caused the damage
- If the item is above the single item value limit or seen as high-risk by the insurer
How much does accidental damage home insurance cost?
The cost of adding accidental damage to your home insurance policy will depend on how much cover you take out and the value of your building and contents. However insurers will also factor in the following:
- Your claims history: If you’ve made previous claims on a home insurance policy insurers will see you as likely to claim again in the future, so they’ll charge more to compensate for the higher risk to cover you
- How often you pay: Paying monthly for home insurance is a good way to spread the cost of cover into affordable increments, but insurers often charge more in premiums. It works in a similar way to interest payments – you’re essentially taking out cover on credit and paying it off each month
- The excess you pay: Excess is the initial amount you pay towards a claim before your insurer picks up the remainder. Paying more in voluntary excess indicates to insurers that you’ll only claim when it’s worth the higher cost, and in return they’ll offer lower premiums
Is accidental damage cover worth it?
It’s up to you to decide whether an accidental damage policy is worth adding to your home insurance. If you have expensive rugs or furnishings, or you regularly have kids running around, you might find the cost of the policy is worth it.
If you do take out accidental damage cover, consider whether the overall cost of the claim is worth the payout you’ll get. If you can pay for the repairs yourself you’ll be able to preserve your no-claims bonus and hopefully reduce your premiums in the future.
What are the most common previous home insurance claims?
Compare accidental damage home insurance quotes
Comparing home insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket is the quickest and easiest way to find a cheaper deal for cover. Just tell us a little about yourself, your property and everything you want to insure, and we’ll put together a list of quotes tailored for your requirements from providers across the market.
You’ll be able to compare deals by the monthly and annual cost, the level of cover you’ll get for your money, and the excess you’ll need to pay if you claim. Once you’ve found the policy you want, just click through to the provider’s site to finalise your purchase.
As with any kind of insurance, the cheapest available deal isn’t always the best suited to your needs. It’s better to aim for a balance between cost and cover, so you can find the perfect policy without overpaying or underinsuring yourself.