8 Home Insurance Traps To Avoid

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Buying insurance for your property and possessions can be a daunting task, particularly if you’re purchasing somewhere for the first time. But stay calm, there are a number of things that you can do to avoid paying over the odds, or worse, finding yourself under-insured in your time of need.

Excessive Excesses

trap pitfallA home insurance policy might seem as cheap as chips and the low price may convince you to buy it. However, before you purchase, check the excesses involved. An excess is the amount of money you’d have to pay out in the event of a claim. Usually, the higher the excess, the lower the policy premium. You might not be paying much now, but could find yourself forking out a lot of money should you need to make a claim.

No courtesy

See if your car cover policy includes a courtesy car. Often, a car policy will not include this as standard but offer it as an optional extra. If you have access to another car, a courtesy car may not be a necessity if yours is involved in accident or gets stolen. On the other hand, if you rely heavily on your car for day-to-day things, a courtesy car could be an essential you don’t want to miss out on.

Know your limits

Most policies will have a limit on the maximum amount a single item can be insured for. If you have a high-value item – be aware that it might not automatically be covered by your home contents insurance. Expensive items might need to be insured separately.

Leaving your home alone

If you have a long trip away in the pipeline, check with your insurer to make certain you’re covered by your policy for the extent of your trip. Most policies will state the maximum length of time you can leave your property unoccupied before your policy becomes invalid. This is often 30 days, but can be longer.

Close, but not close enough

Check the wording around ‘close relatives’ in your policy documentation. Different insurance providers can have different definitions, but they will normally refer to a member of your immediate family. For example, if there was a death in your family and you had to cancel a trip, you may not be covered by your travel insurance if it’s not the death of an immediate relative.

Inform or invalidate

Not telling your insurance provider about a change in your circumstances could invalidate your policy. Remember to notify them of any change of address, modifications to your car, additions to your home etc… Any details that are relevant to your specific policy should be kept up-to-date.

Are your kids covered?

Independent financial research company Defaqto has found that around 28% of family travel insurance policies don’t cover children who live with an ex partner.

Most travel insurance providers will insure your children and step-children as long as they live at the same address as you. However, if you take children on holiday who normally live with an ex-partner they might not be covered. Some travel insurance companies only consider them family if they are living with you at your address permanently.

Doing your home work

If you start working from home, don’t assume a standard policy will provide sufficient protection. You may have valuable business equipment or want to cover the risk of business interruption if your home gets damaged. If you’re using your home for business purposes – you may even invalidate your existing home insurance policy. Speak to your insurer, as they may be able to extend your cover to protect your business needs. A specialist business insurance policy might also be worth considering.

Policy Expert

We’re driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. To speak to one of our experts, call 0203 014 9300 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

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