Seven Things That Could Invalidate Your Building Insurance Claim

  1. Leaving Your Home Empty — If you leave your home unoccupied for more than thirty consecutive days, the insurer could refuse to pay on any insurance claim you might make, whether that’s fire, flood or burglary. Make sure you arrange cover for your home to be empty, whether as a one-off or ongoing.
  1. DIY Disasters — DIY can save you money, but it can be very expensive too. If your insurance policy doesn’t include accidental damage, you could end up having to foot the bill for drilling through the water pipes. Make sure you’re covered before starting.
  1. Wilful Damage — Whether it’s you or a visitor to your home that’s responsible, most insurance policies don’t cover wilful damage. That includes unruly guests at a party, for example. So make sure you trust the people you invite into your home.
  1. Neglect — There are always maintenance jobs to keep your home in good shape, whether that’s clearing your guttering or having your wiring checked regularly. If you don’t bother and it leads to a disaster, your insurer’s Loss Adjuster might refuse your claim, so make sure you keep your home in good repair.
  1. Home Improvement — It might seem odd that home improvement can be a problem, but you could end up being underinsured. If you haven’t informed your insurer about a new extension or loft conversion, they won’t be covered in any valuation for repairs, so get everything sorted out before you start the improvements.
  1. Vermin — Creatures like rats or mice can cause substantial damage, such as chewing through wires, and this may not be covered by your insurance policy. Check your policy for what’s covered, and deal with any sign of vermin promptly — most local councils have a pest control department.
  1. Not Informing About Regular Guests — If you regularly take in guests, for instance as an Airbnb host or short-term rentals, you must inform your insurer, or your insurance policy may be invalid under non-disclosure rules. Check with your insurer what implications any arrangements will have on your policy.

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