It’s fairly common for people to believe that they’re fully covered for the items involved in an insurance claim, only to find that due to ‘exclusions’ in their policy, they’re actually not.
What’s the definition of exclusions?
Exclusions, in relation to insurance policies, are clauses inserted into the terms of a policy which state what items, or events, are not included in the cover provided.
It’s only rational that this is the case, otherwise insurers would be going bust left, right and centre!
Always read the small print
It’s wise to always go through the small print of your Home Insurance cover documents as insurers differ somewhat in what they will and won’t cover.
However, here are a number of exclusions commonly found in your average Home Insurance policy:
- Wear and tear – You can’t claim for items which simply wear out through age or excess use. If your sofa collapses under you because the legs have given way after 20 years of use, don’t go asking your insurer for the cash to cover the cost of a new one!
- Poor maintenance – Maintaining your home is an important part of property ownership. If your roof starts to leak for no other reason than you’ve never cleaned the guttering or allowed tiles to work lose over the years, it’s hardly fair to expect your insurer to stump up for the repair work.
- Negligence – Insurers expect a certain level of competency when it comes to how you live your life, and look after your possessions. If you left your front door wide open for no reason or your iPad on a nightclub table while you had a dance, and the obvious then happened, you won’t get a penny off your insurer.
- Wrongly describing locks and alarms – The locks and alarms fitted to your home are very important. When you take out insurance, insurers will ask you what standard and type these are. If you get it wrong, and perhaps describe locks which are better than the ones you actually have, future claims for theft could be invalidated.
- Having lodgers – If you have lodger, but fail to tell your insurer, you could invalidate any future claim. Claims made due to a lodger’s behaviour are nearly always counted under ‘exclusions’ as they’re not the actual individual or close family living in the property when the insurance was taken out.
- Non-disclosure of building work – If you stick an extension on the back of your house but don’t tell your insurer and the new structure then collapses, the insurer will exclude the new structure and not pay you anything as it didn’t form part of the building when your policy was first put in place.
- Being away – Don’t leave home for too long! Most policies will exclude any claims for loss or damage to a home if it has been unoccupied for a certain length of time (usually 30 consecutive days).
- Bicycles – If you have away from home cover, bicyles often need extra cover as an ‘add on’ otherwise they’re listed under ‘exclusions’ as they’re so easy and commonly stolen.
- Gates and fences – Garden gates and fences are usually excluded from storm damage claims as they’re so damaged so often, even if a storm isn’t particularly severe.
- Loss or corruption due to software viruses – Think twice before downloading something onto a mobile device, PC or laptop if you’re not sure about it. Understandably, the loss or corruption of tech devices, or the loss of important data and files, such as for music, games and film, caused by any program or software intended to cause such loos or corruption, is also excluded.
Policy Expert is an online Home Insurance broker, dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. Policy Expert is driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. For more information on insuring your home with Policy Expert, speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
James is a journalist and digital editor with over 13 years’ experience writing and editing for media and finance businesses. He specialises in personal finance and economics, but also covers property, travel and news