Our home is one of the most important purchases in a lifetime and protecting that purchase is incredibly important. Home insurance gives us peace of mind that we are financially covered should disaster, such as theft, fire or flood occur.
With a policy in place, many homeowners feel safe knowing they are covered.
However, you could be inadvertently invalidating your property with factors such as having an empty property, even if you have managed to sort out probate, as well as taking holiday selfies while abroad.
This article highlights the key components to be aware of that could be affecting your policy and potentially leading you to lose out on a claim.
Insurers understand that you won’t be in your home all the time and many of us will take a few days or weeks away from home for a much-needed break.
However, if you plan on leaving your property alone for elongated periods, you may be invalidating your insurance.
Check the small print, most policies state you are not covered for 30+ days if the property is vacant, even if you have someone popping in to water the plants and sort the post.
The length can vary depending on your provider but it’s always worth checking.
You may be asked to purchase unoccupied property insurance, while this may seem like an unnecessary cost, it’s better to be safe than sorry should you need to make a claim.
New House Mate
It’s very common for people to rent out a spare room to make some extra cash and it is typical to rent this space out to good friends.
While you probably know and trust this person, your insurance company doesn’t. To them, this new tenant is an unknown adult with keys to your property and access to your possessions and is deemed a risk.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have them move in with you, but you need to notify your insurance provider before they do.
Some will simply alter to policy to include your new tenant, others may require you to take out a new policy.
If something were to happen and you need to make a claim, even if it had nothing to do with your new housemate, if you previously had not notified your provider they were living there, they could refuse your claim.
We all love our pets and want to ensure they have the best life possible. Many homes install dog doors to allow their pooches to enjoy the garden whenever they want.
However, adding these to your home can be deemed as upsetting the integrity of doors and more importantly, the security of your home.
This doesn’t prevent you from adding them, but you should always notify your provider before doing so.
They will be able to advise if they need to make any alterations to your policy to make sure you are fully covered.
It’s unlikely to increase your premium so always tell them so you can have full peace of mind.
Social media has its good sides and bad ones. It’s a great way to share information with the ones with love, but this information can also be seen by others, even if we believe our privacy settings are high enough.
When taking out a home insurance policy, the terms and conditions will state you are responsible for taking ‘due care’ in ensuring the security of your own home.
Sharing holiday photos in real-time can be an open advertisement for burglars that your property is currently empty, giving them the perfect opportunity to break in and steal your possessions.
Many insurance providers will see this as you not taking the proper precautions and may refuse a claim if the worst should happen.
You can still share your memories online, it’s just best to wait until you have arrived home.
New Doors and Windows
When you took out your policy, you were probably asked a myriad of questions regarding your home, including the doors and windows and their locks.
If you decide to update your home with new fittings, you need to let your provider know. Even though these are likely to be increasing your security compared to your old measures, failing to notify them could lead to unpaid claims.
Even if you are not worried about an unpaid claim, it’s still worth doing. Newer windows and doors could decrease the risk of anyone gaining unauthorized access to your home and could even bring your premium down.
Don’t risk losing out on a claim, make sure you take the above into account. If you are unsure if any of these apply to you, give your provider a call, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
All good insurance providers are transparent and will be able to advise you accordingly should you need to make any alterations to your cover.