As your home is probably the biggest, most expensive asset you will ever own, it’s a good idea to protect it in any way possible. This might involve buying CCTV cameras, burglar alarms and in some areas even window shutters from the likes of Security Direct, and most certainly will involve signing on the dotted line on home insurance.
The right policy will help you to pick up the pieces should an emergency occur, but it’s also important to be aware of the things that aren’t covered, many current policies don’t cover for accidental damage, we have always ensured we were covered for this and that is something I thanked my lucky start over recently when my ironing board broke mid iron and introduced the red-hot iron to my living room carpet!
All too often, people forget to read the small print and only find out they don’t have adequate protection when they come to make a claim, so here are five things your insurance probably won’t cover you for:
1. Fences, gates and moveable property
Believe it or not, fences, gates and other moveable property are not protected in most home insurance policies, so if bad weather is due it’s essential to batten down the hatches to ensure extensive damage does not occur. All loose objects including outside furniture and gardening tools should be locked away and repairs to broken gates must be made in good time to ensure they’re not made worse in poor conditions.
2. Structural maintenance
Many homeowners presume that their insurance policy will cover any structural maintenance that needs to take place on their property – but this is simply not the case. Many insurers do not count standard or long-term wear and tear such as loose roof tiles or a crumbling wall as claimable, meaning you’ll probably have to foot the bill yourself.
Of course, if lightning strikes and damage is caused this would be seen as a definable event and one which most insurers would cover, but always read the fine print before make presumptions.
While many insurance companies will pay out in the event of a flood – although expect to pay high premiums if you live in a flood prone area – they will not always cover the cost of damp maintenance. Regular damp caused by poor insulation, for instance, is one of the most common exclusions on insurance policies giving many homeowners a headache when they realise they’re responsible for treating the damp.
4. Blocked drains
Not only are blocked drains stinky and annoying, they’re also not usually covered by home insurance. This is because a blockage is often caused by people putting the wrong things down toilets and sinks, and therefore many insurance companies aren’t prepared to pay out for such general maintenance. The good news is there are many ways to unblock drains yourself from using a good old toilet plunger and a bit of elbow grease to throwing three large tablespoons of baking soda down the sink followed by several glugs of vinegar – the chemical reaction of which gets rid of any gunk that’s built up over time.
5. Leaking pipes
If the water pipes in your home are old they may rust and leak. If you notice water dripping from your water system, you might be tempted to jump on the phone to your insurance company, but it’s wise to read the details of your insurance policy first. This is because leaking pipes, which have simply deteriorated, are often just considered a generic maintenance issue and are not worthy of a pay out. That said, if the leak has occurred due to a floor, landslide, earthquake or other natural disaster, you might be covered.
Taking out home insurance is a great way to safeguard your property, but be aware that every policy has exclusions limiting what you can and can’t claim for.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post and always read your insurance policy terms and conditions!