December 4, 2021

SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs

SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs

Five simple mistakes that can mean your home insurance claim gets rejected

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, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs
, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc Blogs

Homeowners who make mistakes when buying insurance can find their claims are turned down – even if these errors aren’t their fault.

Even mistakes made when buying house insurance on price comparison websites count – even if these aren’t customers’ fault.

The problem is if an insurer thinks they haven’t been told a ‘material fact’ about a property.

Exactly what a material fact is varies between insurers, but is basically anything that would lead them not to insure you.

The Association of British Insurers said: “An important fact about you or your circumstances that would influence an insurer’s decision on whether to issue a policy and on what terms.

“Non-disclosure or misrepresentation of such facts can result in your policy being cancelled or your claim being declined.”

Common examples of these include:

The age of the building

There is a very simple rough rule of thumb with insurance – the older a building, the more it costs to insure.

Not telling your insurer something can be a costly mistake if you need to make a claim
Getty Images)

So if an insurer is told a building is newer than it is, the insurance premium quoted will be lower, because the house is seen as less risky.

But if a claim does get brought, the insurer can then reject it if they find out.

Their logic is that they have charged a lower price for the risk than they otherwise would do, making the deal unfair.

The property is near a river

Houses near water sources are at risk of flooding, which insurers want to factor in.

If a house has flooded before, or it’s at risk of this, insurers want to know.

If it later floods, and a claim is made, it can be rejected by the insurer.

Your home is unoccupied for more than 30 days

If you have ever bought home insurance you may remember this question – and might think it’s none of your insurer’s business.

But they ask because leaving a house empty hugely increases the risk of insurance claims.

The obvious example is the chance of theft increasing. But it also raises the likelihood of fire and water damage getting out of control and causing serious – and expensive – damage.

Again, if you make a claim when the property was empty and haven’t told your insurer, they don’t have to accept it.

Are trees and shrubs nearby

Another question that may seem odd – but what insurers are worried about is subsidence.

Subsidence is when properties sink slightly, causing damage to their structure.

A leading cause of this is thirsty trees and shrubs leaching water from the soil.

As such, insurers often ask about whether any trees or large shrubs are planted near the home.

Is the property made of unusual materials

Some homes, especially older ones, may have a rare design feature – like a thatched roof, wattle-and-daub walls, felt roofing and so on.

These can increase the fire risk, and are also expensive to maintain or repair.

As such, insurers need to be told if your home is not made of bog standard materials – or claims could be rejected.

The mistakes can be made by others – you still pay

Most home insurance is now bought on price comparison websites, rather than direct from insurers or brokers.

These websites have software that pre-fills the answers to certain questions – to speed up the process of getting insurance, which many see as a chore.

But this software can get it wrong – and if you don’t spot it, you can still end up with an insurance claim getting rejected.

For example, if you enter ’10 Downing Street’ into MoneySuperMarket, it thinks the building is a post-war prefab bungalow with four rooms – not a Georgian town house with more than 100 rooms.

CompareTheMarket says the Prime Minister’s residence was built in the 1950s – not the 1680s.

These websites do ask that you correct any autofill errors – but you miss any at your peril.

A spokesperson for CompareTheMarket said: “We check the quality of the data by calculating how many times people edit the information they input and thoroughly monitor our website to ensure that people can clearly edit the information if they do not agree with the pre populated data and that they have lots of opportunities to amend their answers if necessary.”

A source close to MoneySuperMarket said some of the errors come from other customers entering wrong information about properties, which the firm’s software then remembers and repeats.

The source said: “If no historical data is available, then no pre-population will display. The information is mostly correct, and it saves people time.”

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