Can you claim for wear and tear on your home insurance?
6th Jan 2017
When you take out home insurance, how do you know what your policy covers? Will the contents of your garden be protected? What about any damage caused to your home by a neighbour? And will you be covered if your property is damaged due to wear and tear? Let’s take a look at whether you could claim for this.
What’s not covered?
Unfortunately, your home insurance policy won’t protect you from general wear and tear. Most policies are for sudden and unexpected incidents. And if you want to, you can usually add accidental damage cover to your policy.
It’s really important to read over the terms and conditions to know what you will and won’t be covered for. As policies are not all the same, it’s good to know what you can’t claim for. Before you decide on a policy, it’s important to find out what’s included.
Most home insurance policies won’t usually cover:
- general wear and tear,
- damage caused by lack of maintenance,
- mechanical or electrical breakdown,
- restricted cover when your home is empty for a long period or is let to tenants, or
- any amount over the limits stated in the policy.
What to consider
You also need to know when standard home insurance policies might not cover your property. For example, your home may have a thatched roof or it could be a listed building. You might need a non-standard home insurance policy for this.
And what about your much loved possessions like jewellery, or an antique handed down from a family member? Just be sure to list these as single items and let the insurer know their value. Any items that you take out of the home – such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops and even games consoles – are likely not to be covered under your standard policy, so be sure to ask about extra cover for these too. This is personal possessions insurance. And it might be cheaper to take out gadget insurance for some or all of your devices.
What is covered?
So that’s what your home insurance won’t cover – what about what it will protect? Well, that depends on whether you have contents or buildings insurance.
Buildings insurance protects the bricks and mortar, roof, structure and fixtures of a property, in case of damage. You’re also likely to get cover for the cost of repairing and rebuilding your home in case it’s destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
Contents insurance protects your belongings – that’s your clothing, jewellery and furniture. Your carpets are also usually covered by your contents policy.
When taking out a mortgage to buy a home, lenders often insist that you take out suitable buildings cover. If you live in rented property, the buildings insurance is the responsibility of the landlord. It’s up to you whether you take out contents insurance, but it’s important to think about whether you could afford to replace everything you own or even some of your expensive items if they were damaged in a leak, fire or were stolen. If you think you’d struggle, it’s worth considering some kind of contents policy.
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