A simples guide

When to make a home insurance claim

Whether you live in a one-bedroom city flat, or a five-bedroom detached house in the country, your home, no doubt, is your castle.

It’s also likely to be the most expensive thing you’ll ever own. So it pays to make sure it’s protected against damage or incidents with the right type of insurance.

It means if anything untoward happens you can make a claim on your home insurance and get matters sorted quickly. 

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So what are the different types of home insurance?

Home insurance policies come in two parts: buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can choose a policy that covers either one, or both, depending on your needs.

Buildings insurance

As the name suggests, building insurance covers the bricks and mortar of your home: the walls, floors and roof. It also covers permanent fixtures and fittings, such as your bath, toilet and fitted kitchen. Some policies also include external features such as patios, garages and garden sheds.

Although building insurance isn’t a legal requirement, most mortgage lenders will insist you have it before letting you take out a mortgage.

Contents insurance

If the contents of your home get damaged or burgled, contents insurance will cover the cost of your belongings. If you stop to think about the amount of ‘stuff’ you own and how much it would cost to replace, you can see why contents insurance is a good idea.

Again, contents insurance is not mandatory, but it will help cover your costs if you have to replace a broken TV, or have a room full of flooded furniture. Just bear in mind that contents insurance doesn’t always cover everything. Some providers insist that more valuable items (typically worth £1,000 or more) must be declared on your policy individually. So, as always, be sure to read the small print.

If your policy also covers accidental damage, you may also be able to claim for more minor incidents, such as a smashed window, or a red wine spill on your new cream sofa.

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When can I claim on home insurance?

You should be able to make a home insurance claim at any time, providing the situation and the item you want to claim against are covered in your policy.

Deciding whether to claim on your home insurance however is a tricky business. On the one hand, this is what you pay your premiums for, and you deserve to get something back for your money. On the other, making a claim may end up costing you more in the long run, as it may lead to a rise in your home insurance premiums. And, of course, there’s your excess to consider. If your excess is more than the value of the damaged item you will just replace it at your own cost. 

How can I prepare for a claim?

If you decide to go ahead, claiming on your home insurance should be a pretty straightforward process. But there are a few things you can do to help matters along.

  1. Keep your policy documents in a safe place so you know where they are if you need to make a claim.
  2. If you’re claiming for something that’s been stolen or vandalised, report it to the police and get a crime reference number straight away.
  3. Keep a record of all the items you’ve insured and their receipts.
  4. Call your insurance company as soon as possible to start your claim.

Why use comparethemarket.com?

Whether you’re looking for separate buildings and contents insurance, or a combined policy to cover everything, we’ve got the tools you need to help find the right policy for you. We’ll explain the key features of each policy including voluntary excess amounts. We’ll also show you prices with optional extras such as accidental damage, home emergency cover, or family legal protection.

Home insurance is a dynamic market, and our providers change their prices daily.

So the faster you act, the more likely you are to secure your quoted price, and have peace of mind that your precious investment is as safe as houses.

Start comparing the market today and you could be saving up to £225.58 within minutes, like 10% of our customers**.

**Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during August 2016. 10% of consumers could achieve this saving on their Buildings and Contents insurance with comparethemarket.com.

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