Protection for every eventuality
When looking at the wealth of buildings and contents insurance quotes online two things become immediately apparent: that insurance providers will try to alarm you by warning you of myriad impending catastrophes, and will also try to reassure you that they alone hold the key to your peace of mind. You should be aware when taking out a policy that even if a provider claims to provide cover against any eventuality, it is rare for even the most comprehensive cover to include quite literally any set of circumstances imaginable within the small print.
Common exceptions include such scenarios as a millennium bug style computer meltdown, leaking radioactive matter, a terrorist attack or full-scale warfare. (Fortunately these scenarios are only common in the sense that they are often omitted from home insurance!) A couple of much more likely reasons for a company to refuse payout are:
- Alterations to a property: If you have had work done on your home since taking out your policy, you will find that any damage to that part of the building will be exempt from your buildings cover. Therefore if you are considering an extension, loft conversion or even a new shed you would be wise to seek a new house insurance quote to include the additional material and make sure you don't get caught out.
- Improper locking of doors or windows: Insurance companies are exposed to fraudulent claims all the time, and will know by liaising with police officers whether or not your property shows any sign of forced entry after a burglary. Always remember to properly secure any potential entrance point to your property before leaving the house – especially for an extended period of time. Also crucial is to make sure that you have the appropriate types of locks fitted in your home. A final exit main door should have the British Standard recognised five lever mortice design, with the BS seal visible on the front. If you are having new locks fitted, remember to specifically request this level of security or higher, and if you are living in rented accommodation it would be well worth asking your landlord if you are at all unsure.
As long as you take care to read through your policy and understand the terms fully, there is no reason why you cannot enjoy significantly increased peace of mind by taking out fully comprehensive home insurance cover. Make sure that you don't feel pressured into taking the first option available to you, and remember that there are organisations like the ABI (Association of British Insurers) and Financial Ombudsman Service that can offer expert advice.