The cost of household insurance has risen sharply by 7% over the last year
Too many could be left out of pocket following a storm, flood or burglary because they have failed to read the small print correctly.
The cost of household insurance is rising sharply, up 7 per cent over the last 12 months to an average £131 a year, according to figures from Consumer Intelligence.
This is largely due to repeated hikes to insurance premium tax, which has doubled from 6 to 12 per cent in recent years.
John Blevins, pricing expert at Consumer Intelligence, says the cost is likely to continue rising as claims rise, notably for burst pipes: “The boom in home extensions and more people attempting to fix their own plumbing are two factors.”
Imagine calling your insurer only to be told your policy is void and will not pay out. This is the harsh reality for many
Alex Balcombe, director of insurance claims consultants Harris Balcombe, says: “Every homeowner’s worst nightmare is seeing their property flooded after a storm, burnt to the ground following an electrical fire or all smashed up by burglars.
“Imagine calling your insurer only to be told your policy is void and will not pay out. This is the harsh reality for many.”
Here is some of the small print you need to watch out for.
One of the main reasons for rejected claims is the failure to disclose all relevant information, such as any previous claims with other insurers.
To insure that your policy is not void, disclose all previous claims to your insurer
“Always be honest when answering questions that may affect your premium,” says Balcombe, adding that you may also be penalised for accidental non-disclosure.
“If you unknowingly live in a flood plain and your house suffers flood damage, your policy may not pay out.”
You must tell your insurer if your household circumstances have changed, for example if you decide to run a business from home, a new spouse or partner moves in or you take in a lodger or elderly relative.
Check what security measures your insurer expects you to have, or any claim for theft or burglary could be rejected.
Insurers may reject your claims unless you comply with their safety regulations
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