8 Factors That Could Invalidate Your Home Insurance
Vaidehi Desai is co-founder of www.traderguide.in, a Technical Analysis Software for Stock Market, a venture of Sthapati Infotech Pvt. Ltd. She is a Senior Manager at SDCPL – Gharpedia. She has earned MBA from Auro University, Surat in 2013 & Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Symbiosis Distance Learning, Pune. She brings with her years’ experience in Personal banking with HDFC Bank. Her passion for music made her take a Degree in the subject. She looks after the Buy-Sell- Rent & Finance & Legal sections of Gharpedia. You can reach her at LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
Protecting our homes is one of the most important things we can do. Without home insurance, there are very few people who can afford the luxury of paying for new items or structural damage should a disaster strike.
But did you know there are hidden stipulations within many policies that could lead you to invalidate this insurance and be refused a claim? From an empty property (even if you have probate insurance) to holiday selfies, we are here to help you avoid the below factors invalidating your home insurance.
Factors Invalidating Your Home Insurance
01. Leaving a Property Empty for Longer Period of Time
Insurance providers understand that everyone needs a holiday now and then and a few weeks leaving your home empty shouldn’t cause any issues.
However, if a property is left for 30 days or more (this can vary so check with your provider), then you could be invalidating your insurance.
One of the most common reasons as to why a property is left vacant for such a time is because someone has passed away and their beneficiaries are going through the selling process.
During the probate administration process, most people are aware of the importance of wills and probate insurance. However, unoccupied property insurance will also be required.
02. Changing Your Security Might Create Problem in Your Home Insurance Policy
When you initially took out your home insurance policy, it is likely the provider asked you questions regarding locks, doors and windows.
Making changes to these features and not notifying your insurer could be detrimental when you come to make a claim, even if these changes heighten the security.
Always notify your insurance provider to any alteration in security measures.
03. Having a Tenant May Invalidate Your Home Insurance
Renting out a spare room in your home is a popular way to make some extra cash. However, not all home insurance providers are happy with this.
Even if you are welcoming in a trusted friend, your provider will see this as a strange adult with access to your property’s keys and contents.
Always notify your provider before anyone new moves in, they will need to adjust your policy accordingly or may need to create a new policy altogether.
If you are thinking of renting your property, then read this blog before you rent your property to the tenant.
04. Building an Extension Can be Proved Invalidate for Home Insurance
Building an extension or any other major changes to your property need to be declared before work commences.
Firstly, your policy needs to reflect the true value of your home. Any building work is likely to increase the value of your property. If your cover does not reflect the price of your home, you may be left out of pocket when making a claim.
Secondly, this building work can be deemed a risk by your provider with open walls, uninstalled doors and workmen having access to your property. Notifying them early on that alterations are going to be made can prevent issues later on.
05. Holiday Photos of Your Vacation on Social Media would be Problematic for Your Home Insurance Policy
We all love gloating about our most recent holiday on social media; however, this could invalidate your policy.
The majority of home insurance will stipulate that you must take ‘due care’ to protect the property. Openly advertising that you have left your home vacant especially if you are adding location tags to your post could be seen as you not following this rule.
You can still upload your holiday photos, it is just best to wait until you have returned home before doing so.
06. Not Locking Doors and Windows Can Put Your Home Insurance Policy at Risk
It may seem incredibly basic, but you’d be surprised how often people fail to lock up their home. In doing so, burglars can gain easy access and insurance providers won’t payout if you try to make a claim.
Even if you are just popping to the shop or walking the dog around the block, always lock all entrance points, if you have a double lock system, this must also be used.
Well, if you are failing at having perfect door lock for your home security, you are at the right place. Gharpedia has a solution for you.
07. Providing the Wrong Valuation Probably Invalidate Your Home Insurance
All policies will ask you to value your contents should they all need replacing, most commonly if a fire or flood occurs.
It can be difficult to know exactly how much all your possessions are worth but getting this wrong could lead to a refusal of payout if your insurer believes you inflated the worth of your content.
The average UK household items are worth £30,000, but this doesn’t mean it applies to you. Take the time to really evaluate your items, from furniture, clothes, appliances, jewellery, really everything you would require to get back on your feet after a catastrophe.
08. Having Doggy Doors in Home Can Invalidate Insurance of Your Home
As a nation of animal lovers, we all want the best for our pets and installing a dog flap is a great way to allow your dog to enjoy your garden while you’re out.
However, these can be seen as a risk from an insurance provider, the size could allow nimble burglars easy access and they can also upset the integrity of your door.
They certainly aren’t banned by providers, but you should always let them know, even if an incident occurred that didn’t involve your dog flap, insurance providers will always look for any way to avoid payment.
When in doubt with any of the above, simply give your insurer a call. All good providers will be glad to answer any queries transparently and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Hope, this article on factors invalidating your home insurance will help you to secure your home.