Home and Contents Insurance
Paying for insurance to cover your home and contents is something that most of us do. In return, we expect that when our home or contents is damaged we are covered.
However, not all insurance policies are equal and some policies exclude damage or events that we expect should be covered.
Where items or events are excluded from a policy, it’s worth checking if this is consistent with the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (“the Act”) which says that some events must be covered under a policy of insurance and other events can only be excluded if you are notified in writing.
Also, sometimes an insurer values its own hip pocket more than it values you, your home and your belongings. Long and protracted disputes about the best way to fix your home and the value of your belongings are the last thing you need following an insured event; whether it be a fire, flood or burst water pipe.
Importantly, all insured people are required to carry out necessary maintenance on their home. If there is any evidence that a failure to maintain the home has caused or contributed to the damage claimed, an insurer may refuse to pay the claim or limit the amount that they will pay.
There are a number of things that you should do to protect your interests during an insurance claim:
- Carry out and keep records of maintenance which you carry out on your home;
- Where possible, taking photos of all damaged items;
- Making detailed lists of all damaged items;
- Making notes of any conversation you have with your insurance company representatives;
- Recording discussions you’ve had with contractors and when they attended your property etc; and
- Confirming important conversations in writing.
Further, if your claim is dragging on or the insurer has made a decision that you do not agree with, you can lodge a complaint or exercise other rights at the Financial Ombudsman Service or in court.
At Berrill & Watson, we provide free advice to people who want assistance with their home and contents insurance claim. If your insurer is giving you the run around, or you are unsure if an insurer’s request for information or its decisions are unreasonable, give us a call.