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Insuring your home against fire damage

Insuring your home against fire damage

By ensuring you have sufficient home insurance in place, you could protect your house and belongings from fire damage. 

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 19 FEBRUARY 2020

Will my home insurance cover fire damage?

If you have buildings and home contents insurance in place, you’re likely to be covered for anything that’s damaged or destroyed in a fire. Both policies usually cover fire damage as standard, so there’s no need to buy additional cover.

Buildings insurance covers your home’s structure – in essence, the ceiling, walls, roof or windows. Your buildings insurance will also cover any permanent fixtures, such as your kitchen or bathroom. You can protect your belongings with contents insurance. This offers cover for damage to furniture, clothes, electrical items and other goods – essentially anything that can be physically moved from and within the house. It usually includes carpets too.

What classifies as a fire?

It may sound weird, but your insurance company may well define exactly what a fire is. Usually for a claim for fire there has to be physical flames present causing the damage. If you left hair straighteners on a carpet and it ended up burnt, this would likely be considered as accidental damage as there were no flames present.

What do I need to watch out for? 

It’s one thing failing to insure your home at all, but nearly seven million UK homes are underinsured. If you don’t accurately value your home contents, you could be left seriously out of pocket in the event of a claim. 

What should I do if there’s been a fire?

Let your insurance provider know as soon as possible, and they can begin the claims process. If the fire was serious, they’re likely to appoint a loss adjuster to your case, who will: 

  • visit your home and assess the damage
  • record details of the loss and take photographs
  • make sure the site is secure by having windows and doors boarded up
  • recommend local repairers
  • advise you and your insurance provider on the most suitable way to carry out repairs
  • issue a full report 

Be mindful that large fire-related claims can take a long time to resolve. Smoke and water damage could mean considerable work is needed and you might have to move out while that takes place. If that’s the case, your home insurance could cover the cost of alternative accommodation.

If I’ve had a fire, should I hire a loss assessor to look at my home insurance?

If it’s a serious fire and your claim is complex or disputed, it may make sense to appoint an expert to work on your behalf. If you choose to appoint a loss assessor, their role would be to: 

  • meet your insurance provider’s representatives or loss adjustors on your behalf
  • help settle your claim
  • negotiate a claim settlement
  • help progress your claim, dealing with delays or potential disputes 

How can I ensure my home is covered? 

Having buildings and contents home insurance in place could give you valuable peace of mind. Compare home insurance quotes to find the right policy for you.

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