How to NOT Jeopardise Your Home Insurance!

home insurance

Home Insurance

There are all sorts of changes in circumstances which, if not reported to a home insurance company, could render a policy invalid. It’s worth being extra cautious.

Taking out home insurance is just the first step to protecting a property, as insurers expect their customers to adopt a common sense approach to security. Failing to do so could render a policy invalid, so it is worth being extra cautious to ensure a pay-out should the worse ever happen.

It is worth noting that terms and conditions will vary quite considerably between home insurance providers, so it is essential to check out the small print before signing up for a policy.  You can also get a home insurance quote online so you can see and compare the price before purchasing.

Neglecting General Security

Nipping round to a neighbour’s house and leaving the front door unlocked, or having a window open when you’ve gone to the shops are things that will often nullify a home insurance policy. Property owners are required to take the necessary steps to keep their homes secure, and failure to do so could prove costly in more ways than one.

Failing to Set a Burglar Alarm

Some home insurance providers will require their customers to have a burglar alarm fitted, while others will penalise those who fail to use it. If the company knows that a property has an alarm, it will expect the owner to make use of it at every available opportunity. It can be all too easy to slip into the habit of neglecting to set a burglar alarm, especially when the house or flat will only be left unoccupied for a short period of time. The few seconds it takes to set, however, could save a fortune if a claim ever does need to be made.

Advertising Vacant Properties

One of the newest problems for home insurance companies is their customers advertising the fact their properties will be empty on social networking sites. Insurers are becoming more alert to people’s activities on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and may even refuse to pay out if a user lets the whole world know where and when they are going on holiday.

Leaving Gardens Unsecured

It is all too often the case that homeowners neglect to consider the security of their gardens, as they fail to see them as part of their homes. As with the property itself, insurers expect their customers to make every effort to keep thieves out of their gardens, which includes fitting locks and bolts to gates and sheds. Some companies will impose a limit on the value of items stored in outbuildings that they will cover, so high-worth items may need to be placed elsewhere.

Not Informing an Insurer of Changed Circumstances

There are all sorts of changes in circumstances which, if not reported to a home insurance company, could render a policy invalid. For example, if a home-based business is set up, an insurer needs to be made aware in case it affects the level of cover. Even what seem like small-scale changes such as a new occupation or marital status need to be relayed to the insurance firm, otherwise it may be used as a reason not to pay out should a claim ever be submitted.

Photo: Erix