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Mythbusting: What’s actually covered by your home insurance policy?

Mythbusting: What’s actually covered by your home insurance policy?

There are lots of myths surrounding home insurance. Does it cover your iPhone? What about pet damage? And is it true that you won’t be covered for an ‘act of God’? We take a look at the myths versus reality.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
posted 9 JANUARY 2020

Home insurance myths debunked

When you consider that the contents of an average three-bedroom house are worth £55,000, it’s vital to have the right home contents insurance in place. But do you really know what home insurance covers – and what it doesn’t? Here are some home insurance myths you might have come across.

Myth #1: I won’t be covered if I lose my keys

Replacing a lost or stolen set of keys can be a shockingly expensive business, especially if you have to get an emergency locksmith out at 2am to change all the locks. For this you could be looking at a hefty bill. Thankfully ‘replacement locks & keys’ is usually covered under your home insurance – we’ll show you whether a policy covers this when you view your quotes.

Myth #2: I won’t be covered if someone steals cash from my home

The honest answer for this one is maybe. Some insurance providers will cover money stolen from your home up to a certain limit – but there are often a few conditions that need to be met. Quite often, you’ll find there has to be signs of a break-in for theft to be covered, so if you’ve left your keys in the front door you might not be so lucky.

Myth #3: Insurance providers won’t cover you for an ‘act of God’

Lots of people will tell you that your insurance won’t cover you for an ‘act of God’ – in other words, something that’s outside human control, such as a natural disaster. But the truth is most policies cover this. In reality, the term ‘act of God’ is never used in insurance policies.

Myth #4: I won’t be covered if my freezer defrosts and spoils all the food

Loss of freezer food is quite often covered under home insurance, but there’s usually a limit on the maximum amount you can claim. Be mindful, though, as this cover doesn’t usually extend to cover food in your fridge.

Myth #5: If my kitten destroys my curtains, my home insurance will pick up the tab

If yours is one of the 40% of UK households that owns a pet, you’ll be disappointed to learn that most home contents insurance policies don’t cover pet damage.

Myth #6: My bike is covered when I’m out and about

Unfortunately, your home insurance policy won’t usually cover your bike when it’s outside the home. It’s a good idea to insure your bicycle against theft – over a quarter of a million bikes where stolen in England and Wales in 2016 – but you’ll have to pay extra to cover it, possibly by adding your bike individually to your policy or by adding Personal Possessions cover.

Myth #7: My engagement ring is covered if I lose it at the gym

You’ll need to make sure something valuable like an engagement ring is fully insured when you’re out of the house. That will probably mean paying for extra cover. Note that most policies have a single item limit, which is the most they’ll pay out for one item before it has to be added individually to the policy.

At Compare the Market, we ask you to add any individual high-risk items worth more than £1,500 to your quote. We’ll also ask you to say whether you want to insure that item to be taken outside your home or not.

Myth #8: I can claim the cost of replacing my shabby-looking kitchen units on my insurance

Unfortunately, your home insurance won’t cover you for general wear and tear or maintenance. The same goes for broken mechanical and electrical products, or faulty workmanship.

Myth #9: My mobile phone is covered on my home contents insurance

It’s unlikely to be covered as standard, but you might be able to extend your home insurance policy to cover items you take out of the house, such as phones, laptops and iPads. You can also take out a specific policy to cover just your mobile phone, but typically it’s more economic to add the right cover to your home insurance policy. Consider adding Personal Possessions cover for anything you want to insure outside the home. Find out more about gadget insurance.

Myth #10: I live in a flood risk area so I’m going to struggle to get home insurance

This should no longer be the case, thanks to the government’s Flood Re scheme. It’s aimed at helping people who live in high-risk areas get cover and save money. Find out how Flood Re works.

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