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Home > Home Insurance > Home Insurance Guides > Common home insurance mistakes to avoid

Common home insurance mistakes to avoid

Do you find yourself spending hundreds or thousands of pounds each year for home insurance that doesn’t payout when it should?

The majority of people don’t read the fine print regarding their home insurance policies, but insurers can find very legitimate reasons to deny a claim buried within the small print of a policy.

Insurance providers are not necessarily using sly tactics, but homeowners who fail to take certain security precautions or make a critical mistake on their application may risk losing their coverage in the unfortunate event of a burglary or fire.

When you purchase a home insurance policy, you are primarily paying to have peace of mind. So, you need to take every precaution to not invalidate your insurance by failing to comply with any of your policy’s terms and conditions.

To keep your policy right as rain, let’s take a look at some home insurance mistakes you should avoid.

Skimping on security

When you fill out an application for a contents insurance policy, the quote you’ll receive will depend upon the type of security features you have on your home’s windows and doors. Most of the time, insurers will offer you a lower rate if you install approved locks, such as British Standard mortice locks on any exterior doors of your home and key-operated window locks.

Obviously, it is a wise idea to provide your home with as much protection as possible, but a potential problem may surface if a theft or accident occurs and your insurer doesn’t believe your home is as protected as it should be.

If your loan application makes no mention of your home’s lack of security, home insurance providers can legally deny any burglary claims that may arise.

Not correctly valuing your possessions

Most of the time, an insurer will ask you to provide an estimated value of your belongings to ensure that you are covered for the correct amount. Unfortunately, studies have shown that many consumers frequently underestimate the value of their possessions.

The greater your coverage amount, the more expensive your policy will be. However, if you take out £20,000 in coverage and your possessions are worth £40,000, your insurance provider will only be required to payout 50 percent of your claim.

In the event of a fire, you may end up filing a claim for the entire amount. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that you are fully covered for the correct value of your home and all of the possessions that it houses.

Forgetting to update your policy

Any important changes, such as the addition of a security system or new security doors, should be immediately reported to your home insurance provider, because you home insurance premium may be reduced.

You should also notify your insurer and adjust your policy for any new items that you acquire. While doing so, be aware that most insurance policies have payout caps for valuable items. So, anything you own that may be worth more than £1,000 will need to be insured separately.

For example, if you buy a valuable work of art or an expensive new TV, you should not wait until the policy renewal to get the item covered.

Not looking into digital coverage

With the increasing popularity of downloading, many people now have expansive film and music collections on their hard drives. Unfortunately, your insurer may not payout for any lost MP3 and video files if they are not explicitly included in the policy. Since all insurance providers do not make digital download coverage a standard practice, it is a good idea to contact your insurance company to find out if you are covered or how much it costs to extend your coverage.

Relying on your landlord for coverage

If you are a renter, your landlord likely only has insurance coverage that protects the structure and appliances of the property. In which case, their insurance will not cover your belongings, so you should never assume that it does.

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