Are you unwittingly invalidating your home insurance?

17th June 2021

One in four UK households have no home contents insurance whatsoever, a situation made worse by the pandemic, as many people tighten their financial belts.

Even if you are insured, you may not be aware that there are several ways to potentially invalidate your policy, leaving your precious possessions at risk. Here are some surprising ways you could invalidate your home contents policy:

Leaving your home unoccupied

Many people have been forced to leave their home unoccupied during the pandemic due to moving in with relatives or getting stuck abroad. Your policy will usually limit the number of days you can leave your home vacant (typically 30, although fewer in winter due to the risk of freezing pipes and flooding). If you plan to be away from home for longer, it’s important to contact your insurer to discuss the available options.

Renovating your home

Whether or not your home insurance is affected by renovations usually depends on the scale of the work. Small renovations such as redoing your kitchen or bathroom are unlikely to impact your policy, but you should definitely talk to your insurer if you’re carrying out extensive work, for example a loft conversion or structural alterations.

Using your home for business

During the pandemic, we’ve increasingly been working from home. For office-based workers, the ABI has stated that remote working won’t affect your home insurance. However, if you’ve switched to using your home as a business premises, for example to keep business stock or receive clients, you will need to speak with your insurer.

If in doubt, talk it out

A good rule of thumb is to discuss any changes in circumstances with us. We will be able to tell you whether they’ll affect your policy. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to find a competitive home insurance policy or to update your cover, we can help.