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Homeowners urged not to neglect their property during lockdown
- Reminder to check home insurance policy for valuable emergency cover
- 26% of buildings insurance policies automatically include home emergency cover
- 49% offer cover as an additional extra
With ‘stay at home’ guidance in force across the UK to help stop the spread of Covid-19, GoCompare Home Insurance is urging homeowners to use any extra time at home check their property for necessary repairs – before they develop into a big problem.
The leading comparison website 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.
Wet, windy, and icy winter weather takes its toll on homes and gardens and can cause significant damage. While home insurance provides financial protection against damage from major events like fires, storms, or floods – it does not cover damage caused by day-to-day use or poor upkeep. Therefore, 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.
If you have an urgent problem or an emergency in your home, then help may be available under your home insurance in the form of home emergency cover. This typically gives customers access to a 24-hour helpline providing a call-out service for emergency repairs by local trades people at an agreed call-out charge. It covers the costs of contractors’ call-out and labour charges and for parts and materials up to the sum insured.
A home emergency is an event that causes your home to become unsafe, insecure or causes damage to your home or contents. Incidents covered may include boiler breakdown, the failure of your home’s electric or gas supply, plumbing and drainage issues, home security issues and, the cost of dealing with vermin infestations.
A fifth of home contents and 26% of buildings insurance policies automatically include home emergency cover, 45% of contents and 49% of buildings policies offer cover as an additional extra.
Cover for equipment which has not been properly installed, maintained, or repaired is usually excluded. For example, failure of boilers or heating systems may only be covered if they have been inspected or serviced by a qualified person within the preceding 12 months.
As with all insurance policies, it is important to check the policy documentation before making a claim as should the emergency encountered not be covered, the customer could end up with a bill for any completed repair work and/or call out fees.
Lee Griffin, founder and CEO of GoCompare Home Insurance commented, “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.”
For more information on home emergency cover visit: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/home-emergency-cover/.
For further information please contact:
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
Notes to editors
1Source: Defaqto Matrix of 377 home buildings and 406 home contents insurance policies – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (14 January 2021). Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).