Home insurance policy holders are being warned that the cover might be invalid unless they abide by the rules.
A number of cases have come to light where home insurance policy holders have been caught out and risk having to foot large bills themselves.
One of the main reasons for invalidated home insurance is faulty smoke detectors. It is the home owners’ responsibility to check that the detector is in full working order. If it transpires that it wasn’t working and a fire was not detected, then the claim could be refused. Therefore, home owners are advised to ensure that they test their detector at least once a month.
Another way that home owners fall foul of the rules is by either renting out their whole house, or even renting out just a room. Both actions, if the insurance company is not informed, could invalidate a policy.
Industry experts point out that the majority of insurers will not cover a home, or room being rented to a third party. That in their eyes is a higher form of risk and is not covered within the average policy.
Then there’s the question of security. If you make a claim for items stolen from your home and it turns out that you left a window open, failed to lock a door, or have not reported the break-in within 24 hours, then you could be refused compensation. What’s more, should you have advertised your absence on your social media platforms – insurance companies do occasionally check their client’s online update – then you could be regarded as being negligent and your claim invalid.
It is also very important to get a crime number as most insurance companies require that before they process a claim.
DIY fans should also be aware, because most home insurance policies will not cover accidents to you, or your home, which will be regarded as outside the policy.
Finally, for those travelling for business, or pleasure, many home insurance companies only allow people to be away in a single period for around 30 days; any more than that and they could say that the house is empty and vulnerable to a break-in, or pipe-burst etc.
As always, home insurance users are advised to check carefully the small print.