While it’s particularly important to take out home insurance, it’s just as easy to accidentally invalidate it too. Some actions (or inactions) could either invalidate it completely or just remove coverage for certain particulars. To guide you in preventing this outcome, here are 4 things to avoid, which could invalidate your home insurance cover.
1. Building Works
When undertaking significant building works or a substantial renovation, it affects the building site of the insurance cover. Plaster dust being sprayed around or ceiling tiles falling could pose a risk to the insured contents too – this is relevant as well. Any major planned structural changes to the home should trigger a call to the current insurer to discuss it. Also, bear in mind that new extensions or upgrades can increase the home’s market value, so the amount of insurance cover probably will need to increase too.
2. Leaving the Property Unoccupied for Long Periods
Whether you have cheap home insurance or a more expensive type, the insurance covers the address, but it doesn’t mean that there’s no limit to it. Going away and not returning for over 60 days is a cause for advising the insurer about your plans.
Why is this the case?
Because when there’s no one at home, there’s an increased likelihood of a burglary occurring. It’s also possible that a major water leak or another event could happen in your absence, causing building damage that would have been prevented or minimised if you’d been present. As such, it changes the parameters of the home and the risks too. Hence, the insurer must be told.
To get the best deal for home insurance even when you’re away a lot, you can find over 50 providers on this site. They get insurance quotes from scores of UK insurers to find the right policies for homeowners at the best price possible.
3. Pet Access Flaps
Dog flaps and cat flaps provide a way for a pet to enter and exit more easily. However, depending on the size of the animal, it might also provide a way to access the property to burglarise it too.
There’s also the possibility of internal property damage when it’s a flexible flap that can open from the sheer force of rain, hailstones, and the like. Potentially, this could cause some flooding in the home.
Insurers need to be informed about pre-existing or new flaps for pets to enter/exit at will. This only applies to some insurance policies, but it’s difficult to know which ones. So, check with the insurer either way if this might apply to your home.
4. Getting a Lodger
Taking on a lodger to help cover the mortgage is something that around three percent of UK households do.
It depends on the insurance company and the policy that you have, but having a tenant could breach the policy’s terms and conditions. You’ll need to call and check with them to be sure. It’s not a bad idea to have it noted on the policy in their records just to cover yourself too.
While home insurance is an essential way to protect your property and possessions, paying attention to the small print is also important too. Or, you could discover too late that you weren’t as protected as you thought.