Which Home Insurance Is Better - As the old saying goes: "An Englishman's home is his castle", home insurance can provide real peace of mind. Knowing that you have financial protection should the worst happen is a relief for homeowners.
But have you taken the time to check the fine print? Most people just scan the headlines and don't really know the exclusions hidden in the terms and conditions. If you're really looking to buy a home, there are additional considerations, such as limited liability insurance, which we cover in this infographic.
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To give you a better idea of what to watch out for, here are four things that can void your homeowner's insurance - and that you probably didn't know about.
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Rather than buying a new home when more space is needed, many homeowners are opting to improve their existing property, with two in five Brits opting to build an extension rather than move out. Whether it's a major structural change or just minor work, you'll need to tell your insurer what's going on.
If you just paint some cabinets or put in a new unit, your insurer doesn't need to know. On the other hand, if any work is carried out that introduces new risks or increases the cost of restoration, your insurer may need to change your cover.
You may have to pay a little more to reflect the change in your property, but don't consider not telling your insurer about it, it's not worth the risk. If you work and do not report it, they may refuse to pay in the event of a claim.
When preparing a plan for construction work, it is necessary to check that the completed work will not destroy the light of nearby objects (a professional surveyor can advise in this regard).
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If a neighboring property has allowed some natural light into their property (or a certain room in their property) continuously for 20 years or more, they will have a "right to light" and may be able to claim compensation.
At worst, they can get a court order to prevent your development, remove encroachment or destroy your development if their natural light is adversely affected. The main way to reduce your financial losses is to have the right to light insurance, which will cover you for financial losses that occur in the event of a claim.
Regarding construction and renovation work, your content may also be restricted. With unknown builders coming in and out of your home and less security than usual, unlocked valuables are unlikely to be covered. Many insurers require evidence of forced entry into a drawer or locker to consider a claim for missing valuables. If they are normally exposed, lock them during construction.
Getting out and enjoying a vacation every now and then is a part of life, and insurers understand that. These activities are included in the policy price, so you will not be breaking the rules as long as you go on a regular holiday.
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Longer absences are less common and your insurer will want to know if you plan to leave your property unattended for an extended period of time. The exact length of time depends on the insurer, but a good rule of thumb is that if you expect to be away for 30 days or more, you must notify your insurer. If you don't and you suffer any loss, your home insurance may not be valid, which means you won't be able to make a claim.
Insurers will cover extended absences, but they may require you to take out non-occupation property insurance. A vacation may be one reason, but the death of a landlord may be another. Probate and probate administration can be time-consuming, so if the property will be vacant for more than 30 days, vacant property insurance is essential.
Vacation photos are a great way to create lasting memories, and with the current trend of selfies, posting photos to social media might seem like a good idea. By sharing photos on sites like Instagram and Facebook, your family and friends can enjoy your adventure instead of waiting for you to get home.
But did you know that insurers can take a very dim view of your social media posts and even deny claims as a result?
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That's because statistics show a correlation between social media posts with holiday pictures and an increase in hacking. One study found that one in twelve burglaries occurred after you The owner of the house announced the vacation spot on social media.
Governments, police forces across the country and the Financial Conduct Authority have warned of the dangers of sharing useless holidays on social media.
If you look at the fine print of your policy, you may not find anything specifically stated. What insurers can rely on is "reasonable concern" - they can argue that sharing your location violates your duty.
After home insurance, you will be asked several questions about the structure of the property and the various security measures you have in place. Your insurance premium will be based on the answers you give, so you must notify your insurer of any changes.
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Security changes may not be immediately apparent, so you will have to try to think like an insurer. For example, if you take a dog and install a dog flap, it may not occur to you that it can destroy your safety. Not all insurers will cancel policies based on this change, but it's important to check.
Buying new doors or changing locks is more common, which can mean your home's security is different than when you took out insurance. Hopefully, your safety will increase, not decrease, and this could mean cheaper insurance premiums for you! Make sure you tell your insurer if the elements of your door or window have changed (as FENSA cover may be required) or if you have different locks.
You may think about renting out a room to a tenant because it is a good way to earn extra income. About 3% of households in the UK currently do just that. But before you do, make sure you check the fine print on your insurance policy and call your insurer first. Many companies will not offer policies to those who rent out part of their property.
Some of these will cover the rental property, but you must notify the insurer before letting the apartment. Insurers view rentals as a risk - after all, you're handing over your property and home to someone you don't know completely. Your policy may not be valid if you do not notify your insurer before the landlord moves.
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You don't have to notify your home insurance company every time you get a new pet, but you definitely should if you install a dog flap so your furry friend can get in and out of the house. This is a common variable that many homeowners overlook when thinking about what to exclude from their policy.
Many insurers consider cat flaps a risk because they believe it makes the door less secure. Therefore, they may require you to pay additional premiums after this change.
Most people don't know the exact value of their household goods, so it's no wonder that guesswork is all too common when it comes to submitting a home insurance claim. However, if you accidentally (or even intentionally) increase the value of your property too much, it can cause a lot of problems in the long run.
You should take the time to properly value all your possessions - the average UK household's contents are worth around £35,000. You shouldn't just assume it won't make a difference if you have to claim. . This can cost you a lot if your insurance is incorrect.
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It can be all too easy to get out and forget to make sure the windows are locked, but it's something you should check every time you leave the house. For many insurers, it is not enough to ensure that your doors and windows are closed when you are not in your property, they must also be properly locked and secured.
According to statistics, 15% of burglars enter properties through unlocked windows. If your property has a locking system or alarm system installed, you must ensure that these are working properly and are activated. If the burglar cannot force his way into your property, the policy will usually be void.
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