Read the small print before you blame the insurer

There are hundreds, if not thousands of cases were an insurer has not paid out on a policy when a claim has been made, because the cause of neglect, accidental or otherwise, by the insured means that they have undervalued the items when making the application. Take one example, that of a house insurance policy. Assume that you have insured your home and on the declaration to the insurer you have stated that the contents of the property are worth £20,000 when in fact they are probably worth nearer £40,000. You may get very slightly cheaper premium, but what happens if disaster strikes and the house is flooded?

The likely outcome will almost certainly be that you will be paid out, yes you will but it could be at half the value of the contents, which is all you have insured for. If the house is burgled and that nice piece of jewellery which you bought was stolen, you might just get half the value.

Insurers will always pay out on genuine claims for travel, motor insurance accidents, but they will always check that you have taken out the correct cover and if you have not read the small print and decided it is not important, you should not be surprised if the insurer raises an item in the terms and conditions! It has come to light through a survey carried out by a holiday home and travel insurance company, that a remarkable fifty percent of homeowners have an insurance claim rejected and further 60% of people never bother to read the terms and conditions when taking out insurance. This is hardly the fault of the insurers and this is why the small print should always be looked at and questioned if you are in any doubt.

insurance

How to ensure that you don’t invalidate your holiday home insurance

Protecting your holiday home with the right insurance is essential, especially as you will only be staying in it for a short time each year. In this article we’ll tell you the most common ways home owners inadvertently invalidate their holiday home insurance so you don’t fall into the pitfall.

No proof of ownership of loss or damaged items

It is estimated that insurance fraud costs the UK insurance market over £1 billion a year, so it is no surprise that insurance companies are cracking down on claims. One of the main reasons why a claim may be declined is because the claimant does not have proof of ownership documentation for the items that are lost, damaged or stolen.

It is advised that you keep all receipts for valuable items in a safe place in case the insurer asks for them. Alternatively you can take a picture of the item with a time stamp; this may be enough proof for the insurer.

If the house suffers any storm damage try to get your hands on any local or national newspapers as evidence if there is a dispute.

Not disclosing any home modifications

You should always inform you home insurer when you have any work done to your holiday home including new fixtures and fittings or extensions. Bear in mind that any changes to your home may change the conditions of your insurance policy and you may have to pay a higher premium.

Not informing your insurance company about any structural work done to your home could mean that you are underinsured, leading to a reduced claims payment and a bigger financial burden to you.

Inadequate security

Most home insurance policies have some sort of security demands that the house should have, these include having an accredited alarm system, specific locks on all windows and doors and regular inspections.

If you fail to comply with the policy your claim is likely to be refused if you are burgled. Claims can also be denied if the insurer feels that you have not taken reasonable care of your items if they are damaged or lost.

Always read the small print

One of the most common reasons for a rejected claim is because the policy holder has not read the terms and conditions of the policy properly. Make sure that you read everything thoroughly and understand all of the demands and that they suit your holiday home needs before signing the contract.

Protect your home and possessions

Protect your home and possessions with the right insurance

Picture: Anthony Sigalas