When can your home insurance be declared null and void?
Home insurance is a necessity, whether you own your home or not. Our possessions and home are usually our largest assets and worth a good deal of money so investing in a comprehensive home insurance policy is well worth it.
We all hope that we’ll never have to make a claim, but accidents do happen and you don’t want to find out that your home insurance isn’t valid when you try to make a claim. It’s always worth reading the small print of any policy you take out to make sure you know when it could be declared void.
There’s no place like home
One of the main conditions in a home insurance policy is that you take reasonable steps to protect your property. This means that when you leave your home, you make sure that all windows and doors are closed and locked. If your home is burgled, an open window could prevent your claim from being accepted as there was no forced entry to your property.
This also applies if you make the burglar’s job easy by leaving keys lying around. If you leave your property, make sure that there is no way that someone could gain access to your home, so don’t hide a spare door key under the vulgar garden gnome as this is the first place a burglar will look.
Also make sure that all garden tools are safely locked in a shed or garage. This is not just because they could be used to break into your home, but also because certain garden items may not be covered on your home insurance policy.
If you have a burglar alarm make sure you use it, as failure to do so could also invalidate your claim. Set your alarm each time you leave the house, even if you’re only popping next door and don’t use a straightforward code that can be easily broken by an intruder.
If your house is empty for a long period of time, any claims made may also be invalid. If you are going away for more than a month, have a friend or relative stay in your house to give it the appearance of being lived in. They can also pick up the mounting piles of post which are a clear sign that your house is empty.
Working from home
If your home is used as a business, you will need to explain this to your insurer. If clients or customers come to your home, this is seen as increasing the chance of theft, due to a high capacity of visitors. Failing to inform your home insurance provider can null your claim.
You also need to tell your insurer if you are having any building work done on your home. This is particularly relevant if you need to claim for Accidental Damage Cover as you may need to pay a slightly higher premium whilst the builders are in your home.
If you are a victim of burglary, you must report the theft to the police and obtain a crime number. If you do not do this then your insurance company may dispute your claim.
Photo credit: Linusb4 at Freeimages
This article was originally published at the Home Interiors Directory