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Find out how to keep burglars at bay during the dark winter months
Did you know you might be unable to make a home insurance claim if you ignore a leaky roof or leave the property empty for more than 30 days? It’s easier than you might think to invalidate your insurance; here’s how to avoid it
There are several reasons your insurer may decide not to pay out when you make a home insurance claim, including leaving your house unoccupied for too long, or not making necessary repairs in time.
Empty houses are more at risk of burglary or damage during bad weather.
Although the period of time you can leave your home unoccupied varies between insurers and policies, as a rule of thumb, if your home is left unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days, claims relating to that period may be refused.
If you’re planning an extended holiday or selling a second home, it’s therefore worth calling your insurer to see if you can buy additional cover and avoid the ‘vacancy’ exclusion clause.
According to MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of June 2019
You may not be covered by your home insurance if your DIY attempts go wrong, and you puncture a pipe or damage the structure of the building.
Very few home insurance policies include cover for such accidental damage as standard.
If you want it, you’ll generally have to pay extra to have it added to your policy.
Yes, it’s important to keep your home in a good state of repair in case you need to make a home insurance claim.
This is particularly true during the colder months, when bad weather is more likely to case problems.
Yes, renovations such as building a roof extension or a conservatory will increase the rebuild cost of your home, and insurers need to be kept informed of how much that is. If you don’t tell them about substantial changes, you will end up underinsured if your home is destroyed.
It’s therefore important to inform your insurer about the improvements ideally before the work starts so that you don’t find yourself underinsured in the event you need to make a claim. And if you employ workmen, ensure they have public liability cover to guard against any damage.
You may have to pay a bit more for your cover, but it will be worth it if you have to make a claim.
You may not be covered if rats or mice cause damage to your home.
So check your policy to see which pests it covers, and act quickly if you become aware of a problem.
Your local council’s pest control department is a good place to start.
Yes, give your insurer a call if you plan to make some extra cash by renting out your home or a room in it.
You may need to pay a bit more for extra cover, but at least you will be covered if your home is damaged during a guest’s stay.
There are plenty of simple steps you can take to help reduce the chances of invalidating your home insurance policy. These include:
In order to help you get the best quote for your home insurance, we need to know something about your property. For example, roughly when it was built, whether you live close to any tall trees or water, and the type of alarm and locks you use. You will also need to give a sum insured for both buildings and contents.
MoneySuperMarket can find competitive quotes for basic cover, and if you want to add accidental damage and insurance for personal possessions, you simply click the relevant boxes.
Price is an important factor when choosing the best policy, but it is not the only consideration. You should also look at the level of cover and the terms and conditions, paying particular attention to the excess.
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