Things home insurance will cover – and things it won’t

Can you claim for storm damage to your roof on your home insurance? What happens to your home insurance if you go away for six months? Find out what buildings and contents insurance does and doesn’t include.

Can you claim for storm damage to your roof on your home insurance? What happens to your home insurance if you go away for six months? Find out what buildings and contents insurance does and doesn’t include.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 11 OCTOBER 2019

Check what your home insurance policy covers

Not all buildings and contents insurance policies are the same, so you always need to check the details to see what yours includes. But here are some things that policies generally will and won’t cover…

The springs on your sofa going

Home insurance doesn’t cover things naturally deteriorating or breaking because you haven’t looked after them. This is known in the insurance world as ‘wear and tear’. You might also find your home insurance cover is invalidated if damage to your home is caused by wear and tear. For example, if there’s a leak because you haven’t replaced broken roof tiles.

Your house catching fire

Cover for fire comes as standard with buildings and contents insurance. So, if you have both you should be covered for damage to the structure of your home and your belongings inside it.

Stolen car keys

Keys are sometimes covered by car insurance, rather than home insurance, even if they’re stolen from your house. Replacing modern computerised keys can be very expensive, so check both your car and home insurance to make sure you’re covered for theft, wherever your keys are taken from.

Stolen smartphone

Cover for theft comes as standard with contents insurance, so you should be covered if your smartphone is stolen from your home. But to protect your phone while you’re out and about, you’ll need cover for personal possessions outside the home, which isn’t always included as standard. Check with your provider – if you’re not covered, you might be able to add this to your policy as an additional extra.

Spilling tea on your laptop at home

Provided you have cover for accidental damage, this type of incident should be included within your home insurance. You need to make sure accidental damage is included in your policy, though, as it doesn’t always come as standard.

Your engagement ring is stolen

Contents insurance covers theft from your home, but if you want cover for your engagement ring while you’re out, you’ll need cover for personal possessions outside the home. If your engagement ring is worth more than the single item limit on your contents insurance (the maximum amount your provider will pay out for a single item), then you’ll need to ask your provider to list it separately on your policy.

Your home if you’re away for six months

Generally, insurance policies will state that you need to tell your provider if you’re going away for more than 30 days. An empty house is considered a higher risk than an occupied one, so your provider may choose to limit the cover they provide while you’re away for a long period, or you may need to take out specialist unoccupied home insurance.

Speak to your insurance provider if you intend to be away for longer than 30 days – they may be able to add endorsements to your policy, to ensure your property is fully covered.

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Storm damage

You’ll almost certainly have cover for storm damage included in your buildings and contents insurance. This can protect you from financial losses caused by a storm, such as tiles being blown from your roof. It’s unlikely to cover damage to fences, hedges and gates.

Pest infestations

Pests, such as rats and mice, can damage your property as well as being a health hazard. Most home insurance policies don’t cover damage by pests, but you may get a pay-out for their removal if you have home emergency cover.

Asbestos removal 

Removal of asbestos is unlikely to be covered by your home insurance. But if asbestos within your home is damaged by something you’re insured for – a storm, for example – you may be covered for its repair or removal.

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