Frequently Asked Questions

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Claims

Q. Why should I consider buying Contents & Buildings Cover together?

A.

Most insurers offer a discount if you purchase Buildings & Contents cover as part of a combined policy, so it’s usually considerably cheaper to buy them together from one provider. This also means you can avoid a claim situation where you potentially have to pay two lots of excess (the ‘excess’ is first part of a claim paid by the insured).

And as well as being cheaper than buying the two types of cover separately, it makes things easier at renewal time as you only have to consider one quote per provider when shopping around and comparing deals, and you’ll only be dealing with one insurer if you do have to make a claim.

 

Q. I use my home for business purposes. Can you cover me?

A.

Possibly. Most of the policies we sell are designed for use by families; however we do have one or two which cover some types of business use, such as lodgers, fostering and smaller values of stock and equipment kept on the premises. Working for your employer from your home is not usually classed as business use, unless you hold meetings there or receive business visitors. Check our Policy Documents for full details or ask one of our Policy Experts on 0330 0600 600.

Q. How do I know if my home is subsiding?

A.

An early sign of subsidence is doors and windows becoming sticky and difficult to open and shut. This combined with new cracks appearing or existing cracks growing in size and depth can be an indication of subsidence.

Sticky doors and windows on their own could be a result of wet weather. If your home is a new build, some cracks may appear as the building settles – this isn’t subsidence, but you should check with the building company. If you’re worried about subsidence, phone your insurer’s claims department as soon as possible.

Q. Is there anything I can do to help reduce the cost?

A.

Improving the security of your home is one of the main things you can do to reduce home cover premiums. Insurers often offer discounts to those homes with higher quality locks and alarm systems, as well as more secure outbuildings and garages.

Likewise if you haven’t made a claim for a number of consecutive years, providers will usually offer you what’s called a ‘no claims’ discount when you take out your cover.

So just make sure you look after your home and possessions and keep everything as secure as you possibly can!

Also, consider paying for your policy up front in one go rather than spreading your payments out over the term of the cover by making monthly payments, as insurers will, again, usually offer a discount if you do.

Q. What am I not covered for?

A.

Whether it’s your possessions or the actually structure of your home, insurers most commonly reject claims due to what’s called “wear and tear”.

With the main building and outbuildings, this is usually due to poor maintenance. Insurers require a good standard of home maintenance. This includes the condition of the exterior such as the roof, brickwork and drains; and the interior including the electrics and bath/shower sealant. It’s important you regularly check your property to ensure it’s in a good state and therefore less vulnerable to damage. Full details of what isn’t covered can be found in the Policy Documents.

For a home’s contents, this means if something simply breaks due to deterioration in its condition over time, such as a sofa or dining chair, or electrical item which ceases to function with no obvious cause, you won’t be able to claim for it.

Q. What’s a valuable or high risk item?

A.

In general, ‘valuable’ can include jewellery, watches, collections of stamps, coins and medals, antiques, all items containing gold and other precious metals, cameras, furs, paintings and other works of art, and musical instruments.

Be aware that valuables can also include electrical items which, depending on the brand and type, can be expensive to buy such as laptops, cameras, computers, tablets, stereo systems and televisions.

Items which are often stolen, and which can also be expensive, such as bicycles and phones, may be classed as high risk, and different claim limits might apply.
What constitutes ‘valuable’ and ‘high risk’ can vary slightly so it’s best to check your Policy Documents.

Q. How much buildings cover do I need?

A.

You need to have enough cover to match the cost of rebuilding your property from scratch. This isn’t the same as the market value of your home, which is the amount someone would pay you for it at any given time, rather than the rebuild cost. We don’t expect you to have expert knowledge of building costs, so we use the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to suggest a rebuild amount for you. You can also, of course, ask local builders and appoint a surveyor to come to your property to carry out an assessment if you wish.

The total sum assured for rebuilding your home is very important, and it’s your responsibility, not an insurer’s, to check that it’s correct. If a policy offers a set amount of maximum buildings cover (£500,000 is a common sum) as standard, you can usually change the figure to more, or possibly less, if you decide you need to. Under-insuring your home and possessions is one of the most common problems when it comes to making a claim. If you have underestimated how much cover you need, you might find yourself in serious financially difficulty if your home and everything in it were destroyed by fire, for example.

Q. How much contents cover do I need?

A.

You need to make sure you have enough cover for all items kept in your main home, outbuildings and garden. We suggest you make a list of all the most expensive things you own and then add on an amount to cover smaller items such as furniture, kitchen contents, linens, clothes, toys, and DVDs etc. Or you can take a room at a time and tot up everything in it. And don’t forget to include more permanent contents, such as carpets and curtain poles, which are often overlooked.

Remember that you should consider how much it would cost to buy the new, equivalent replacements, rather than the second hand value as most policies offer cover on a ‘new for old’ basis.

Under-insuring your home and possessions is one of the most common problems when it comes to making a claim. If you have underestimated how much cover you need, you might find yourself in serious financially difficulty if your home and everything in it were destroyed by fire, for example.

Q. Should I always choose the cheapest deal?

A.

Not necessarily. The cheapest policies may not offer the extent and type of cover that you require. The claim limits might be too low, the list of exclusions might be too great, and you may require ‘add on’ extras that don’t come as standard with many polices, especially the cheaper ones, such as away from home cover and insurance for accidental damage.

Q. Who should I call if I have a claim?

A.

You can call your Insurers claims handling team direct on the number in your Policy Wording or alternatively call Policy Expert and choose the “making a claim” option from the choices given to you.

Home Insurance
Ageas: 0845 122 301
Aviva: 0800 012 345
Axa: 0870 556 1161
Group AMA (Ageas Optima): 0844 748 0127
Midas: 0845 600 9260
Policy Expert: 0330 0600 601
UK General: 01422 327 147

Optional Extras
Keycover: 0330 0600 623
Home Emergency: 01384 884 050
Legal Expenses: 0330 0600 621

Q. Can I appeal if my claim is rejected?

A.

Yes. Your insurer will have a complaints process which is detailed in your Policy Wording. They will review their decision and come back to you with a final response. If you are still unhappy with their decision, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (their details are also in your Policy Wording). If Policy Expert can be of any help, please contact our Customer Services team on 0330 0600 601 – we can’t change your insurer’s decision but can chase updates and help jargon bust.

Q. Do I need proof of ownership on all my belongings?

A.

It is not unusual for an insurer to request to see proof of purchase if you are making a claim on your personal possessions under a Contents insurance policy. For some items like an old piece of jewellery that you may have inherited, proof of purchase may not exist but it is always best to keep photographs as a backup.

Q. Can I claim for storm or flood damage?

A.

Most providers will cover some form of storm or weather damage, however you must always ensure your property is regularly maintained in order to prevent possible damage from bad weather e.g. checking for loose tiles on roofs. It is prudent to check your Policy Wording and Schedule to fully understand your cover and any restrictions that may apply. If you are unsure of anything or have any questions contact one of our customer service experts – contactable on 0330 0600 600 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk. The customer service team are available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm & Sat 10am-1pm.

Q. What do I do if my pipes burst?

A.

Firstly, switch the water off at the source e.g. stopcock or meter. If you suffer an emergency such as a burst pipe then the best thing to do is to check your policy details to see if you have one of our specialist Home Emergency products. If “yes” then call the emergency line and they will work with you to resolve the problem. If “No” then it is still to wise call your Home Insurer who can advise on the best steps to avoid any further damage. 01384 884 050

Q. Who will deal with my claim once it has been reported?

A.

As soon as a claim is reported you will be assigned a claims handler who will personally deal with you claim from start to finish.

Q. Who are the approved suppliers and specialists and what do they do?

A.

Our claims handlers all use a network of approved suppliers and specialists to carry out any surveys or work associated with any claim. They have all been rigorously vetted and we receive regular customer feedback to ensure work is carried out to an excellent standard.

Q. Do I need to keep damaged goods for my claim?

A.

Yes, it is possible that our claims handlers will want to inspect any damaged goods so always keep them until you are told it is not necessary.

Q. What questions will I be asked when I call to register my claim?

A.

Each claim is different and some insurers may require more or less information than others. Typically we will only ask you to confirm relevant information along with double checking the answers to the questions you gave on your Home Insurance application.

Q. Is my policy ‘new for old’?

A.

Yes, all our Home Insurance policies work on a “new for old” basis. This means that all items will be replaced with the new equivalent. For example if you have a 3-year-old laptop we will replace it with a new equivalent model.

Q. Will my insurance premium increase at the next renewal date if I make a claim?

A.

Insurance premiums can increase after a claim has been made, however Policy Expert will always endeavour to offer you the best premium at renewal whilst ensuring you have enough cover to meet your needs. Our specialist Renewal experts will be on hand to discuss your policy and answer any questions when your insurance is due for renewal.

Q. How do I make a claim on my Home Insurance policy?

A.

To log a claim you will need to call and speak with your provider’s claims team. Policy Expert have dedicated claims advisors with each of the insurers we work with, helping you to complete all the necessary paperwork, saving time on your claim by removing the need to send out paperwork and wait for the details to come back.

Q. Does Home Insurance cover me for accidents?

A.

The insurers Policy Expert work with provide a basic level of Accidental Damage. Providing cover for things like windows, glass topped furniture, sanitary fittings etc. Extended Accidental Damage is available to provide more comprehensive protection for items such as spillages on furniture or carpets, damage by children, DIY accidents etc. Please refer to your Policy Wording and Policy Schedule to understand the cover and any restrictions that may apply. If you are unsure of anything or have any questions contact one of our customer service experts – on 0330 0600 601 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk. The customer service team are available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm & Sat 10am-1pm.

Q. How long will it take to sort out my claim?

A.

It is hard to put a timescale on how long a claim will be made, due to the variety of claims possible to make under Home Insurance policy. All our claims handlers are dedicated to complete the claims journey as smoothly as possible and some claims can be resolved on the same day they are registered.

Q. How will I know if my claim is covered by my policy?

A.

Your Policy Wording and Policy Schedule combine to explain all the cover sections along with the cover levels. By reading them both you will be able to find out exactly what you are covered for and any restrictions that may apply. The Policy Expert customer service team are also on hand to answer any questions you may have. They are contactable on 0330 0600 601 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk. The customer service team are available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm & Sat 10am-1pm.

Q. Who should I call if I have a claim?

A.

You can call your Insurers claims handling team direct on the number in your Policy Wording or alternatively call Policy Expert and choose the “making a claim” option from the choices given to you.

Home Insurance

Insurer Claims Tel
Ageas 0845 122 301
Aviva 0800 012 345
Axa 0870 556 1161
Group AMA
(Ageas Optima)
0844 748 0127
Midas 0845 600 9260
Policy Expert 0330 0600 633
UK General 01422 327 147

Optional extras

Insurer Claims Tel
Keycover 0330 0600 623
Home Emergency 01384 884 050
Legal Expenses 0330 0600 621

Q. How do I contact Policy Expert by telephone?

A.

You can contact Policy Expert by telephone on 0330 0600 600, you will have a choice of departments made available to you in order to help you get through to the right person please listen to all options first

Q. How long does it take for vouchers to be delivered?

A.

All vouchers are subject to a 90 day validation period, starting from your policy start date. Vouchers are typically delivered within 21­days of the validation period ending. If your vouchers don’t arrive in these timescales please check your spam folder to make sure they’ve not been incorrectly categorised by your email client. If you’re unable to find them please contact our customer service team who will investigate this for you. The customer service team are contactable on 0330 0600 600 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk. The customer service team are available Mon­ – Fri 9am – ­6pm & Sat 10am – ­1pm.

Q. How can I request my vouchers are sent by post or email?

A.

If you have supplied us with an email then your voucher will be sent to you via your email. You just need to let us know if you would prefer it by post, however due to the nature of some of our voucher providers not being high street retailers some are only available by email.

Q. How will my vouchers be delivered?

A.

Vouchers will be sent via email where we have a registered email address, if we don’t they will be sent via post

Q. Will I get a refund if I cancel my Home Insurance policy?

A.

If you cancel your Home Insurance before the end of the policy term then you may be due a partial refund of the premium. If this cancellation occurs outside of the initial 14 day cooling off period then a cancellation fee may apply.

Q. How can I cancel my policy?

A.

Please contact the Policy Expert Customer Services and one of our dedicated cancellation team will help you complete the process.

Q. How can I make changes to my policy?

A.

You can make changes to your policy by contacting the Policy Experts customer service team, they will help you make the changes and confirm all the important details including any changes to your cover, documents, premium etc. You can contact our service experts on 0330 0600 600 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk . The customer service team are available Mon – ­Fri 9am­ – 6pm & Sat 10am­ – 1pm.

Q. How can I request copies of my documents?

A.

All policy documents are available to download from your online account. If you don’t have an online account or are having trouble logging in please speak with one of our experts who can give you access (provided you have a valid email address). If you require online access or have any questions about documentation please contact our customer service team on 0330 0600 601 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk. The customer service team are available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm & Sat 10am-1pm.

Q. Where can I access my policy documents?

A.

All policy documents are available to download from your online account. If you don’t have an online account or are having trouble logging in please speak with one of our experts who can give you access (provided you have a valid email address). If you require online access or have any questions about documentation please contact our customer service team on 0330 0600 601 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk. The customer service team are available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm & Sat 10am-1pm.

Q. What happens if my policy is set to automatically renew but you’re unable to take payment?

A.

If your policy is set to automatically renew we will take payment 4 days prior to your renewal date. One of our experts will contact you if we have any issues taking payment to ensure there’s a continuation of cover. If we’re unable to contact you by telephone during this time we’ll contact you by post and email (where possible) to advise you that unless we can take payment the policy will lapse

Q. How can I stop my policy automatically renewing?

A.

If you do not want your Home Insurance to automatically renew please contact our Renewals team on 0330 0600 648. They are available Mon­ – Thu 9am – ­8pm, Fri 9am – ­6pm or Sat 10am­ – 2pm.

Q. Is my policy set to automatically renew?

A.

All policies which are set to automatically renew will receive notifications by post and email (if you have an online account) advising you that your policy is set to automatically renew. We will only automatically renew policies where the renewal notifications explicitly say that auto­ renewal is setup on your policy. If your policy is set to auto­renew we will contact you 30 days in advance to confirm the details of your new premium and provide access to your new policy documents. We will take payment 4 days prior to your renewal date unless we hear from you to stop the auto­renewal.

Q. When will I receive my renewal quote?

A.

Your policy becomes available to renew 30 days in advance of your renewal date. We will contact you by letter or email (if you have an online account) when your renewal is available in order to give you plenty of time to understand your cover and premium.

Q. How can I renew my Home Insurance?

A.

There’s three ways you could renew your home insurance policy:

  • You can call and speak with one of our Renewals experts who will talk you through your options and should be able to give you a renewal premium. They’re contactable on 0330 0600 634. They are available Mon-Thu 9am-8pm, Fri 9am-6pm or Sat 10am- 2pm.
  • You could also renew your policy online if you have an account online. If you are unsure whether you have an online account or need help gaining access please contact our customer service team.
  • If your policy is set to auto-renew you don’t need to do anything, your policy should auto-renew provided there is no issues with collecting payment. If you’re unsure whether your policy is set to auto-renew or have any questions please contact our Renewals team, they’re contactable on 0330 0600 648. They are available Mon-Thu 9am-8pm, Fri 9am-6pm or Sat 10am-2pm.

Q. Moving home soon – do I need a new policy or can you change my existing one?

A.

You will need to let us know when you are moving otherwise your new property will not be covered. We will need to confirm the details of the property you are moving to. It is always best to contact us as soon as you have these details so we can provide you with our best quote. Please ensure you advise us of your new property details before you move.

Q. Is bicycle cover included in my policy?

A.

Most of the Home Insurance policies available through Policy Expert include a basic level of cover for bicycles. This could be as low as a few hundred pounds per cycle and there may be limitations on where they are covered, for example basic cover generally provides cover only in the home and may exclude outbuildings. Bikes could be added on to your policy as a specified item covering both in and away from home. If you do not want to specify your pedal cycles then it is best to read through your documents for the information on pedal cycles specifically in your Policy Wording and Policy Schedule to understand fully the cover and any restrictions that may apply.

Q. If I have a mortgage, will you note the lender’s interest on my policy?

A.

Yes, if you would like us to note your mortgage lender on your policy we would be happy to do so. All you need to do is call our Customer Services team and provide us with the name of your lender, the mortgage account/reference number and the lenders email or fax number. The service team are contactable on 0330 0600 601 or by emailing ask@policyexpert.co.uk. The customer service team are available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm & Sat 10am-1pm.

Q. Do you trace the source of water leaks?

A.

All of Policy Experts policies include cover for “Trace and Access”; this means that our dedicated claims specialists will gain access to a leaky pipe by removing furniture, flooring even your bath tub if needed, in order to gain access to fix the pipe. Once it is repaired then they will replace everything that has been removed back to how they found it before, leaving you with your fixed pipe and no mess to clear up.

Q. Are the contents of my garage covered?

A.

Most policies will cover contents kept in garages located within the boundaries of your insured property. However cover may vary depending on factors like whether the garage is attached to the main property, level of security, value of contents etc. It is always best to read through your Policy Wording and Policy Schedule to understand the cover and any restrictions that may apply.

Q. Are belongings covered while I am away from home?

A.

Most personal possessions can be covered away from home, this is an optional extra we can include in your policy and may require an additional premium. Most policies provide the option to include between £1,000 and £10,000, covering your personal possessions outside the boundaries of your property.

Q. What is an excess and does my policy have any?

A.

All Policy Expert policies will give you a choice to set your Standard Compulsory excess between £100 and £500 moving between these limits in £50 increments. There are a few types of claims that would require you to pay a higher excess, they are Subsidence claims and Escape of water or oil claims. These are expensive claims to deal with and so require a higher excess. If you have chosen to include full Accidental Damage cover on the policy then some of our policies include a slightly higher excess for these claims too. To fully understand all the excesses on your policy they can all be found listed in your Policy Schedule.

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