When you buy a home, it’s not always easy choosing the right level of cover to protect you if things go wrong. Here we’ve put together a list of the most common home insurance mistakes. By getting things right from the start, you can avoid costly errors further down the line.
Many people pay out of their own pocket to replace or repair things that may be covered by their insurance, such as garden furniture or a broken laptop. Always read your policy documents carefully so you know exactly what you can and can’t claim for.
Got a current account? It might come with Home Emergency Cover. Check if you’re already covered by another financial product before you buy more insurance.
If you accidentally knock a tin of paint over or put your foot through a floorboard while doing some DIY, you might assume you can make a claim on your insurance. But most home insurance policies have Accidental Damage only as an optional extra. It’s important to be clear on exactly what you’re covered for.
In the event of a disaster that requires a full rebuild, your buildings insurance cover might not be enough. The rebuild value is how much it would cost to completely rebuild the property from scratch. If you’ve had a homebuyer’s survey done, you can find the rebuild cost in the report.
If you undervalue how much things cost to replace, you might not be fully covered for them. If you overvalue them, you could be paying too much to insure them. This is particularly important for jewellery or specialist items like musical instruments and works of art, so make sure you get your items valued regularly. Each policy is different so check for limits that may apply.
A home insurance claim may be rejected on the grounds of wear and tear or poor maintenance. Say your roof starts leaking, if you’ve never cleaned the guttering, your insurer may refuse to pay for repairs.
Excess is an amount you agree to put towards an insurance claim. If it’s too low, you could end up with a large premium. Too high and you’ll pay more if something goes wrong and you need to claim – which may not always be cost-effective.
If you need to make a claim, you should always do so as soon as possible. If you wait too long, your claim may become void.
Started a home-based business? Had an extension built or you’ve decided to rent out your spare room? Any change in the property use could mean a change in your premium. If in doubt, check with your insurer.
We hope it never happens, but what if your tree falls on to your neighbour’s fence? Most home insurance policies include liability insurance to cover those named on the policy so check how much your policy covers you for.