How many of us are guilty of not bothering to read our home insurance policies? They’re boring, use loads of unnecessary words – some of them so big we can’t pronounce them let alone understand them – and I’m pretty sure we’d all just rather be watching Netflix.
But what if by failing to read your policy you make a simple mistake that could invalidate your home insurance and leave you with no compensation should the worst happen and you need to make a claim?
The people in the know over at Bollington Insurance have put together some examples of things that could land you in hot water with your insurers. Read on to see what not to do.
This is something that we are all guilty of, announcing to our social media platforms that we are off on our holidays with family and friends. Due to excitement we want everybody to know when and where we are going and also for how long. This is almost inviting burglars into our unoccupied homes which are obviously going to be empty for a period of time. With the announcements being public for many to see, insurers will look towards social media if you decide to make a claim should an unfortunate event happen whilst away. It is better to keep the information away from social media and if you want to share your holiday – make sure your page is private with only trusted family and friends able to see. Or better yet, wait until you get home to tell all. That way you have the awesome pictures to share too!
If you have recently had an extension added to your home or any sort of building work that has altered the shape or size of the property then you must discuss it with your insurer. This change in your property’s footprint could alter the cost of your home insurance and not notifying your insurer could cause big problems. To be on the safe side it’s is better to inform your insurer about the home improvements before the work on your home begins so that;
- You don’t forget after the new build
- You don’t find yourself under-insured should you need to make a claim
As an added extra you may want to consider public liability insurance to cover your workmen (if you choose to employ them) in case they sustain any injuries from the building work.
Do you run a business from your home? More and more people have now decided to run their businesses under their own roof, however many people do not realise that doing so could invalidate their home insurance. Depending on which area of work your business is in, there will be a different type of cover to suit your needs and it’s likely that this would not form part of your current home insurance policy. In some circumstances you would only need to make small adjustments to your home cover such as advising of electrical equipment used solely for business such as computers, laptops and printers and this would not make a huge difference to your policy. However, if for example you were running a food business from your kitchen, you might find that your insurance policy is wholly inadequate and could leave you exposed to uninsured losses.
Lodgers/ Short-term Lets
If you are allowing lodgers to stay in your home by renting out a room and you have not informed your insurer, the chances are that if they damage your home, you won’t be able to make a successful claim. If you are planning on becoming a host you must inform your insurer before allowing somebody to stay, failure to do so is counted as ‘non-disclosure’ and can completely invalidate your policy. Contents Insurance should also be considered if you are allowing lodgers – you cannot be 100% positive that your possessions are safe with a potential stranger having full access to them.
Locking Windows and Doors
Have you left a window open? Do you remember locking the door? Perhaps you’ve even left the key in the lock? These may all seem like foolish mistakes but they are all common as our fast paced lives mean that we’re usually rushing to somewhere or other. But this could lead to a preventable burglary which may not be able to be proven as such without evidence of a forced entry and could lead to a claim being denied.
The above are all mistakes that can be easily made without realising the damaging effect they have in the long run. If you are making these mistakes, now is the time to act and change what you are doing to ensure that your home insurance is valid should an unfortunate event happen.
Bollington Insurance are dedicated to their customers by helping them find the correct insurance policy to suit their individual needs. If you need to speak to an expert then contact them today via their website.
Have you ever been refused a claim payment due to any of the above reasons? Let us know in the comments below!