What changes do you need to let your insurer know about?

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Everyone’s circumstances change over time, and with the stress that often comes when key events take place it’s easy to overlook the impact they can have on our everyday finances.amending your home insurance

No contact, no claim

From moving home and having building work carried out, to taking in a lodger and buying expensive new items such as bicycles or antiques, there are many reasons you might need to contact an insurer so that your home insurance policy can be adjusted.

If you don’t, you risk breaching the terms of your policy and invalidating or reducing the value of any future claim you may have to make.

Here are a number of changes which you would need to make your provider aware of:

Expensive items

Expensive and valuable new items such as jewellery, bicycles, hi-tech gadgets and antiques may cost so much that they are in excess of your policy’s single item claim limit (typically £1,500 to £2,000). If you suspect something you’ve been given or bought is over this limit, you need to tell your insurer as they may need to adjust your policy accordingly.

Building work on your home

Building work, especially if it’s major such as adding a rear extension, garage or loft bedroom, can change the ‘risk’ profile your property. The insurer needs to know prior to any work taking place so that they can make sure you’re correctly covered both during the work and after, when your home, if necessary, could cost more to re-build.

Moving home

It seems obvious, but many people fail to tell their insurer that they’re moving. A new house is nearly always going to need re-assessing compared to your old home for a whole host of reasons; it might be larger, smaller, in a different area, on a flood plain, modern, listed, or even have a thatched roof or other unusual features.

Medical matters

Changes to your health can mean you have to take medication or have other needs which increase the risk to your home. You might become dependent on home visits, for example, so someone who isn’t a family member or permanently living in your home will be coming and going, and the insurer needs to know on security grounds.

Changing windows, doors and locks

If you upgrade (or even downgrade!) your locks, or make additions such as patio doors or double glazing, you should tell your insurer. You may even find they see your home as less of a security risk as a result and reduce your premiums.

Total value of your possessions

As people get older, they generally accumulate more possessions. The total value of these may exceed the original total claim limit agreed with your insurer when you first took out your home insurance, so it may need increasing.

Taking in a lodger

If you take in a lodger, you should give the details of the person to your insurer. If the lodger were to cause damage within the home, such as a fire, or even steal something, or have a friend visiting who caused damage, your insurer is unlikely to pay out if they didn’t know that person were living with you in the first place.

Getting married/new partners

If you get married, or a partner moves in with you, that person needs to be named on your insurance policy for the same reasons as with lodgers.

Occupation

Not all occupations are equal to all insurers as they may change your risk profile to the extent that your cover needs changing. If, for example, you become an oil rigger who works away a lot, leaving your home empty, it would have obvious ramifications for security.

Policy Expert

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.