When making the monumental decision regarding your new property, we must be confident we have made the right choice. It is just as imperative to protect that investment and protect your home.
But what happens when you don’t read the small print, and you need to make a claim? LawSure Insurance has created a list of conditions you may not have been aware of. Ensuring you have full knowledge of what could annul your insurance can help you avoid financial difficulty in the future.
Keep It Locked
It may seem obvious to secure your property when you’re away but if this has not been done correctly, when making an insurance claim it may be declined as you may not have taken sufficient steps to keep the home secure. Even if you are popping around the corner, make sure all doors and windows are locked.
15% of burglars enter through an unlocked window, secure all possible entrances. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure this is set before vacating the property.
Upgrades and Construction
It is becoming more common to make improvements on your own home, rather than move house. However, you will need to make your insurer aware of these works before they commence.
If you are changing some cabinets or painting the hallway, it is unlikely you need to disclose this type of work. However, if you are making structural changes, then your insurance provider will need the full details.
Your insurance needs to reflect the current value of the property, and you may need additional insurance to cover the renovation.
Also, consider the security of your property now you’ve got workers on site. If you are away are there areas of the home that have been compromised from a security aspect?
Overestimating Your Contents
Whether accidentally or deliberately, exaggerating the value of your items can leave you with an unpaid claim.
The UK’s average value of household items is £35,000 but do not just assume this applies to you.
You may have certain items that are of high value, and these may not be automatically covered such as jewellery or technology. The value threshold can vary between providers, but it is best to disclose these items to ensure they are covered.
As a nation of dog lovers, it is increasingly popular to own a canine companion. We all want the best for our pets, and that includes giving them access to gardens and outdoor space.
However installing a dog flap can compromise the security of your property. Nimble burglars, may gain direct access from the dog door and it can also weaken the integrity of the door itself.
Always advise your provider if you are planning on installing a dog flap, you may be required to pay a premium, but this ensures you are covered.
Insurance companies understand we all take holidays throughout the year and leave our property empty. However, if you are planning on being away for an elongated period, then you will need to check your terms and conditions.
The typical length that will need to be disclosed is 30+ days, but this can vary. You may be required to obtain unoccupied property insurance.
Renting A Room
Many homeowners generate extra income by renting out spare rooms, and even if you choose to live with a close friend, your insurer may see this as a security threat.
Having another person gaining access to your property and owning a set of keys can be a red flag for providers and your policy can be invalidated by not disclosing your new roommate.
If you are planning to accept a lodger at any time, check your terms and conditions and if in doubt, call your insurer as your insurance policy may need to be altered.
Showing Off Your Selfies
We are all secretly guilty of celebrating on social media and want to boast about our recent holidays. But, posting your holiday snaps while away can be seen as a security breach as you are announcing to the web that your property is vacant.
Since the introduction of social media, there has been a significant rise in burglaries while families are on holiday.
Police forces, the government, and the Financial Ombudsman all advise against posting holiday photos while away. Instead, wait for your return before sharing these with family and friends.
New Doors and Windows
Installing new windows and doors will usually increase your security, but your insurer will still need to be notified.
When taking out your initial policy, your provider will have asked you an abundance of questions, including the doors and windows of the property. Now, these have changed; they will need to keep their system updated. You will also need to obtain all the FENSA certificates.
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