What is accidental damage insurance?

Cover for when calamity strikes

While household accidents are common, that doesn’t mean they’re not a hassle. One way to keep stress levels down is to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. 

If you subscribe to the ‘better safe than sorry’ school of thought, accidental damage cover can be a valuable add-on. It won’t stop your top-of-the-range TV tumbling off the wall, but picking up the pieces afterwards will be easier on your pocket.

Here’s some things to consider if you’re thinking of adding accidental damage cover to your contents or buildings insurance policy. 

Please remember, policies can vary depending on what level of cover you pick. You should always read the detail of any policy to see exactly what is and is not included.

What is accidental damage?

Accidental damage is caused suddenly and unexpectedly by an outside force. It’s different from damage caused by wear and tear or a breakdown. You can add accidental damage cover to either your contents insurance or to your buildings insurance. Or even both.

What’s likely to be covered:

  • Adding accidental damage cover to your buildings insurance will protect you, for instance, if something falls off a shelf and cracks your bathroom sink. Or if a football smashes your window.

Accidents like knocking a TV over or cracking your glass coffee table are covered if you’ve added accidental damage cover to your contents insurance.

What’s usually not covered:

  • Accidental damage protection won’t cover you if, for example, your computer crashes because it’s very old.
  • Portable electronics and clothes are often excluded from contents insurance accidental damage policies, so make sure to check with your insurer. 
  • Damage caused by animals (like a pet chewing your furniture) is usually not covered.
  • Poor workmanship or design wouldn’t be covered as part of your buildings insurance accidental damage cover.

With accidental damage cover you can only claim for damage to your house or garden, as part of your buildings insurance. Or items inside your house or garden, as part of your contents insurance. Items away from your home aren’t protected. For example, if you drop your laptop while walking down the street, this wouldn’t be covered under accidental damage. However, you can protect your belongings while they’re away from your home by adding what is often called personal belongings cover. Remember to check the details of the cover before adding it to your policy.

Do I need accidental damage cover?

That’s up to you. Accidental damage cover is an optional extra that you can add onto your home insurance policy. You may prefer to cover the cost of any accidents or breakages yourself. However, if you can’t do that, it’s worth considering the benefits.

If you’re an Aviva home insurance customer and you decide you need accidental damage protection, you can add it to your policy at any time by logging in to MyAviva or calling 0800 068 5984 1.

The benefits of accidental damage insurance

Our most recent Aviva UK claims report shows, in 2017 2, more than two in five (42%) home insurance claims were for accidental damage.

And school holidays can be tricky, with Aviva data 3 showing spikes in accidental damage claims when the kids are at home, especially during the summer break. In August 2018, claims rose by almost a third compared with June of the same year. Mobile phones in toilets, scissors through sofas and slime on the carpet are just some of the stories shared with our experts.

As accidental damage cover gives you more comprehensive insurance, it offers peace of mind. This increased protection means the overall cost of your home premium will increase. The price you pay will depend on your particular circumstances and the level of cover you choose. 

Making a claim under your policy will also reduce your no-claim discount when you renew. But the reverse is also true. If you don’t make a claim your no-claim discount will increase until you reach the maximum number of years allowed under your policy. With us that’s 5 years. 

You also need to consider the policy excess, which is the amount you pay on any claim. If your excess is £300, for instance, you’ll be liable for the first £300 of any replacement costs.

How do I make an accidental damage claim?  

Aviva Home Insurance customers can make a claim online by logging in to MyAviva. Alternatively, you can call 0345 030 6945 1 — lines are open 24 hours a day. If it’s an emergency, get in touch as soon as possible. 

We’ll need to know what happened and when, plus details of what you’re claiming for. Photos of damage or receipts for lost items are helpful.

Ready to get cover?

With Aviva Home Insurance you can choose Buildings, Contents or both.