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Don’t neglect your home in lockdown

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Home insurance doesn't usually cover poor upkeep, so your claim could be declined if you haven't maintained your property
Don’t neglect your home in lockdown

Homeowners have been urged to use any extra time at home to check their property for necessary repairs – before they develop into a big problem.

Comparison website GoCompare said that home insurance does not cover damage caused by day-to-day use or poor upkeep. So a claim for water damage caused gradually by a blocked or leaking gutter would be declined. The damage was preventable if the gutter had been cleaned and maintained.

Damage caused by wear and tear or problems caused by a lack of maintenance are among the main reasons for insurers rejecting household claims.

Are you covered?

GoCompare is also reminding people to check their home insurance to see if they have valuable cover for home emergencies such as burst pipes, or boiler breakdown.

A home emergency is an event that causes your home to become unsafe, insecure or causes damage to your home or contents.

Insurance usually gives you access to a 24-hour helpline providing a call-out service for emergency repairs. It covers the costs of call-out and labour charges and for parts and materials up to the sum insured.

But the comparison site found that only 26% of buildings insurance policies automatically include home emergency cover, while 49% offer cover as an additional extra .

Lee Griffin, CEO of GoCompare Home Insurance said: “Months of coronavirus lockdowns has seen people spend much more time at home than usual – increasing the day-to-day wear and tear on their property.

“Being housebound gives people more opportunity to notice whether their home needs any repairs or spot any jobs that need doing. We’re urging people not to put-off home maintenance projects which could lead to structural damage to your home or possessions – such as plumbing leaks or blocked drains or gutters.

“Home insurance only provides a financial safety-net for unforeseen events, with policies typically excluding cover for problems caused by poor upkeep. If you notice jobs that you need professional help, you can still arrange for them to be done. Under lockdown 3 rules, tradespeople, including plumbers, electricians, and roofers can continue to enter other peoples’ homes to carry our work including repairs and maintenance.”

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