You’ve paid your insurance premium so you are definitely covered financially if something goes wrong – right? Well, actually no. Unfortunately, you might not be if your insurance company finds something isn’t accurate in the information you’ve supplied to them.
A simple mistake could mean reduced insurance payouts or even no compensation at all. We look at the common ways insurers can avoid making a payout, and outline exactly how you can get insurance cover you can rely on.
When it goes wrong
The Weldin family were left facing financial heartache after their insurance claim was refused. A devastating fire in their home resulted in a bill for hundreds of thousands of pounds to repair the property and replace destroyed goods. But when the family came to make their claim it was refused. That’s because they had stated the property had five bedrooms, but the insurance company considered it to have seven bedrooms. Although the amount claimed by the Weldins for the repairs and replacement of contents was below the amount they had insured for, the insurer refused to pay out as it said it did not cover homes of that size. The Weldins even took their case to the Financial Ombudsmen, which found it against them. So they were left faced with trying to find the £460,000 to carry out the rebuild work themselves.
Mistakes on your insurance form can be easy to make
The seemingly endless questions on an insurance application form can leave you feeling bewildered and confused. But it’s essential that you always provide 100% correct information. Getting everything right can be even harder if you’re buying your insurance online, for example through a price comparison website. Buying insurance online using a series of tick boxes can leave you at risk of innocently making mistakes that can cost big.
11 ways insurers will try to avoid payouts
There are many common mistakes that we all make when buying insurance. If you accidentally do any of the following, your insurer could reduce your payout or even refuse your claim altogether:
1) Firstly, failing to declare accurately how much of your roof is flat.
2) Mistakenly declaring the wrong type of lock on your doors or windows.
3) Also, be careful not to under-estimate your contents replacement value.
Even if your claim is for less than the amount you’ve specified, your insurer could reduce your insurance payout if they think you’ve under-estimated the value of your contents.
4) Failing to notify your provider that you sub-let your home or run a business from the address, including Airbnb lettings.
5) Next, remember that specialist buildings need specialist insurance.
For example, you’ll need to tell your insurer if your property is listed or has a thatched roof.
6) And always check empty home limits or exclusions.
Most insurance companies specify a maximum number of consecutive days that the property can be left empty. Make sure that you won’t exceed this limit.
It’s not just simple mistakes that can void your cover. Insurance policies can include all sorts of exclusions, which can mean your insurer won’t pay out what you expect.
7) Accidental damage.
This is not normally included as standard in home insurance policies. For example, if you, the kids, or the dog knock over the TV and it smashes, you might not be able to claim for a replacement.
8) Search and repair of water leaks caused by old pipework.
Water damage can cost thousands to put right. And so can the work to find the leak and repair it. But not all insurance policies include this cover, especially if the pipework is older and can be considered to have failed due to ‘wear and tear’.
9) Personal possessions worth more than a specified value.
If you own high-value items, like jewellery, watches or antiques, make sure you double check the maximum single item value on your policy.
10) Modifications made to your vehicle, including the addition of a non-factory standard tow-hitch or stickers.
If you don’t declare these modifications, your entire policy can be voided.
11) Finally, failing to use locks on windows or doors.
Having locks or a burglar alarm is not enough. If your property is not properly secured and you are robbed, your insurance company could refuse your claim.
That great-value deal that isn’t what it seems
Comparison websites know you’re looking for a rock bottom price. And sometimes you’ll be given cover options that don’t offer everything you’ve requested. That’s why it’s essential to carefully review exactly what is included and any special terms before you purchase online.
How to avoid the financial heartache
Using an independent insurance broker, like Park Insurance, can give you the peace of mind that you have exactly the level of insurance you need. Our expert team will talk through your cover with you. We’ll make sure that you’ve given us the right information. And we’ll make sure there are no nasty surprises lurking in the small print.
Finally, the benefits of using an insurance broker to arrange your insurance
Peace of mind that you’re financially covered is not the only benefit of using an insurance broker to arrange your insurance. They can also:
- Save you money. That’s because an independent insurance broker will shop around on your behalf to find the best deal on the right level of insurance
- Save you time and hassle. Let your broker do all the leg-work for you. And if you do need to make a claim, our expert team will take control saving you the hassle.
Contact Park Insurance for a free, no obligation quote on your home, travel, pet, car, and other specialist insurance
At Park Insurance we have 30 years experience helping customers to find the right insurance at the right price. We’ll shop around and negotiate great value deals on your behalf. And we’ll make sure that we create a bespoke package where nothing gets left out that you could come to rely on if something does go wrong.
Call our expert team on 0117 955 6835 or get in touch for a free quote today.