Many homeowners are sometimes unaware what cover they should select to ensure the policy matches their lifestyle. Do they need personal belongings or extra accidental damage cover? And are the policy limits adequate once they’ve established which insurance covers to buy?
According to Aviva’s claims data3, the most common home insurance claim is for accidental damage – accounting for around 40% of all claims. Nearly two thirds of homeowners in our survey (59%) thought home insurance automatically covers accidental damage, but this cover is usually an optional add-on to most policies.
Accidents can and do happen, and accidental damage cover is there to protect you against everyday mishaps. If, for instance, you dropped a tin of paint on your carpet or accidentally drilled through a water pipe, most policies wouldn’t cover this unless there was accidental damage cover in place. It’s worth checking what cover is available as different insurers offer different levels of cover that aren’t included as standard.
Home contents insurance covers items inside the house, but increasingly we’re taking our possessions – like our smartphones and tablets – out and about with us. To make sure these items are protected if they’re stolen, lost or damaged, homeowners should consider personal belongings insurance, which is usually optional. There’s an added advantage to this cover: personal belongings insurance often covers items anywhere in the world, so you might not need to include baggage cover in your travel insurance – although it’s always best to check your policy as cover varies.
Nearly a third of homeowners think their policy covers boiler or other mechanical breakdown, such as a television that stops working. But 15% of our declined claims6 are for mechanical or electrical breakdown, which is commonly a standard exclusion across the industry (unless you have a specific boiler breakdown product).
There are other more specific products available, such as home emergency insurance or electrical warranty cover that provide protection if your appliance breaks down, so it’s worth checking to see if you have this cover in place. For instance, we offer home emergency as an optional add-on, providing cover for plumbing emergencies or boiler breakdowns.
At Aviva, we want to make insurance easier to understand – and we’re committed to further improving our products and documents.
We also encourage homeowners to take more time to understand the product they’re buying to make sure it meets their needs. All too often customers buy a policy based on price and then realise they’re not covered when they make a claim. It’s important to remember that not all policies are the same, and some lower-priced policies may miss the mark when it comes to providing the right cover.
3Breakdown of Aviva home insurance claims by % of all claims 2016
6 Analysis of Aviva home insurance claims 2016 which are rejected due to policy exclusion