A simples guide

Avoiding Home and Building Insurance Invalidation

It’s bad enough suffering a serious incident at your home. Imagine then, that you needed to claim on your insurance policy and found that the insurer refused to pay out.

Below is a list of some of the main reasons why insurers may refuse to pay out on your policy, and what you can do to avoid invalidating your home insurance.

Why would my home insurance be invalidated

  • Be aware that if you leave windows or doors open or unlocked you could invalidate your policy in the event of a burglary.
  • Make sure you’re accurate with your lock descriptions. Insurers will often ask for descriptions of locks on doors and windows. Be honest and accurate when you describe them.
  • If you say you have a burglar alarm, make sure you use it and turn it on whenever you leave the house.
  • Your home is your permanent residence so if you’re away for more than 30 consecutive nights let your insurer know otherwise it could invalidate your claim.
  • Keep your house well maintained. If you’re deemed to have contributed to a loss by poor maintenance, you could invalidate your claim.

Why else would my home insurance be invalidated

  • Unsecured sheds or items stolen from your garden may not be covered.
  • Don’t allow unsecured ladders or tools to be used in a break in of your own house, always ensure they’re kept secure.
  • Make sure you notify the police of any crime inside 24 hours and obtain a crime number. Failing to do so could result in your claim being rejected.
  • If you carry out home improvements that involve builders, ensure that they have the right levels of liability cover in case they damage your or your neighbour’s property and advise your insurer before the work starts. When the work is complete, let them know and update the rebuild cost of the property if necessary to ensure you have adequate cover.

Always read your policy documentation. Not only does it explain the levels of cover, it explains the obligations placed upon you. Ensuring you meet those obligations will help keep you covered in the event that you need to make a claim. 

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