Research suggests that many of us are paying out for home insurance policies that are not sufficient and we may not be able to claim if we were affected by a loss. This is typically where we fill out the application for insurance incorrectly (often unknowingly) and leave ourselves open to problems when it comes to claiming.
One example relates to the locks that you have fitted on your doors. Sometimes home insurance forms will include a question about the type of locks that you have and whether you have a five lever mortice lock on all your doors. Many people do not know without checking. If you were unsure and simply answered “yes” then you could have a problem claiming in the event of a burglary, particularly if the door was the place of entry. The insurer may offer a reduced sum or refuse to pay out at all if you had answered incorrectly.
Leaving your door unlocked can also be a reason for a refusal of your claim. Sometimes police will actively inform the insurance company if a homeowner has failed to secure their home sufficiently, including failure to lock the door. So fitting a Night latch, which is easy to use, can be a good addition to your external door.
Another common issue relates to burglar alarms and whether your burglar alarm is regularly serviced. This is an area where you could get caught out as the insurer can usually check whether the alarm was activated at the time of the burglary and they may request service history. If you state on your form that you always set the burglar alarm and have annual services then you had better make sure you follow through with this to ensure you are sufficiently covered.
When applying for home insurance or renewing your policy it is definitely worth taking the time to read the small print and make sure you fill in the details correctly.