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Home insurance with previous claims

Do previous claims affect home insurance premiums?

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Written by  Sam Meadows
5 min read
Updated: 21 Jun 2023

If you’ve claimed on your home insurance in the past, your new home insurance quote will probably be higher when you come to renew – here’s what you can do about it.

Do previous claims make home insurance more expensive?

Insurers set prices according to risk, so they will charge you more for cover if they think you’re more likely to make a claim and cost them money – and home insurance providers are no different. Even though it can feel frustrating, statistically those who have made a claim in the past are more likely to do so again in the future. So making a claim can therefore increase the cost of your next home insurance policy and may even make it harder to find cover, even if it was not your fault.

Not all types of claims will have the same impact on your future home insurance premiums, however. Very small claims shouldn’t affect your premium too much, while larger ones or multiple claims could have a greater impact.

If you’re struggling to take out home insurance, there are specialist insurers that offer policies to people in “non-standard” situations. This could include owners of homes affected by subsidence or flooding, as well as those keen to take in lodgers.

How much does home insurance go up after a claim?

It all depends on the type of claim you make. Claims related to isolated incidents, such as the breakage of a valuable ornament, may only add a small amount to the cost of your next home or contents insurance policy. But if your home is hit by an ongoing problem, such as flooding, the price hikes can be much bigger. This is because the insurer will price the ongoing risk of a claim into your premium.

Baby playing on tablet with parents

Do I have to tell home insurance companies about previous claims?

Yes, it’s really important to be completely upfront about previous home insurance claims. If you make a claim and the insurer finds out that you weren’t honest about your claims history it will likely invalidate your policy, refuse your claim and leave you without cover.

And it is easy for them to find out. Insurance companies can check for previous claims via the Claims & Underwriting Exchange (CUE). This is a central database of car, home, personal injury, and industrial illness incidents reported to insurance companies – whether or not those incidents lead to claims. So, you are unlikely to get away with lying about any previous claims.

If you want to know what information is held about you, you can find out by completing an online form on the Motor Insurers’ Bureau website. You can also ask your existing insurer for details of your claims history over the last few years (even if you have switched insurance providers during that time).

How long does a home insurance claim stay on my record?

A home insurance incident that is logged on the CUE insurance database stays there for six years after the claim (if there is one) is closed, unless proven incorrect during that time. The same is true of incidents relating to car insurance, while personal injury claims stay on the database for an unlimited time.

Some individual insurers might keep your claim history for slightly longer – five to seven years on average.

So, it’s safe to assume home insurance companies can check your claims history for at least the last six, or sometimes seven, years when you apply for cover.

What about claims that weren’t my fault?

Successful home insurance claims – with the exception of accidental damage claims – are rarely caused by the policyholder’s actions. In fact, if your insurer feels that you were at fault, for example because you failed to secure your home by leaving the back door open for burglars to get in, your claim will often be refused.

However, the bad news is that a claim does not have to be your fault to push up the cost of your next home insurance policy.

How do flood claims affect the cost of home insurance?

Past claims can often have a significant impact on how much you pay for your home insurance.

And unfortunately for the owners of properties in flood risk areas, a flood claim is one of the types of claim most likely to increase the cost of your new home insurance policy. If your property is built on a flood plain, then there is a high likelihood of it flooding again in the future resulting in an insurance claim.

How can I stop my home insurance going up after a flood claim?

If you’ve had to claim for flood damage, you’ll almost certainly be asked to pay more when you renew your policy due to the higher risk profile of your home.

But making a claim does not affect your right to look for better offers elsewhere. You may even find you can pay less for the same level of cover from another insurer.

So, the best way to counteract any increase in the cost of your home insurance is to compare policies and shop around.

You may also be able to lower your premiums by installing flood prevention systems or taking steps to reduce the damage caused by any future floods, such as raising the height of electrical appliances and sockets.

How can I avoid my home insurance going up after a burglary?

As with flood claims, the best way to prevent a burglary claim sending the cost of your home insurance through the roof is to compare policies and shop around.

You may even find you can cut your costs by switching to a new insurer, especially if you have been with the same company for several years.

Other ways to reduce your premiums – and make your home safer – include installing additional security features, such as a visible burglar alarm or better door and window locks. Many insurers will award you discounts of 5% or more if you can prove your home is more secure.

Can I still get a good deal on home insurance with an adverse claims history?

It's possible to still get a good deal on home insurance with a history of claims, although it's not easy.

Shopping around is the first step to getting a good deal. You may find that some standard home insurance providers reject you because of your history but you still shouldn't hide any claims you've made. Doing so puts you at risk of your provider voiding your cover. Instead, you can turn your search to specialist providers that specialise in insuring homeowners with a history of claims.

With our comparison tool we'll help you find home insurance for a good deal, even if you've made claims on your home insurance in the past.

Should I always claim on my home insurance?

Although home insurance is there to help you should something go wrong at your home, it may not always be worth making a claim.

Your policy will have an excess, which is an amount you have to pay towards any claim you make. For very small or minor damage, you might find that the excess makes up a good chunk of the claim, meaning your payout is quite small.

However, as your future premiums could increase if you make a claim, in these circumstances you may find that paying for the repair yourself makes more sense. Making a claim on your insurance could cost you more in the long term.

This article is intended for information purposes only. We are unable to give financial advice or recommendations but hope you find this article useful.

It can be frustrating when you realise that making a claim on your insurance will increase your premiums in the future – even when it wasn’t your fault! Insurers use statistical models and risk profiles to determine the price of your premium, but that doesn’t mean they will all offer you the same price. If your existing insurer is increasing your renewal price, shop around – it’s likely there will be another company willing to offer you a better deal. - Sam Meadows, Journalist

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