Friday 8 August 2014

Top 5 Most Common Home Insurance Claims

Assessing Home Insurance Claims must be an incredibly interesting job to say the least! A bit like hearing all the reasons children come up with for not completing their homework.

There are many kinds of home insurance claims; some of them are, putting it mildly, a little bizarre! Or if not the tale itself the extent of the damage purported to have occurred...

Examples include:

  • a claim for a damage to a carpet that had been eaten by a snail!
  • Damage caused to a shed by a badger that had become trapped inside; and 
  • An £8,000 claim for damage caused by a pigeon that fell down a chimney. (It's the pigeon I feel sorry for in that case)!
Bizarre claims aside, most of the home insurance claims that are made fall into just five categories, with almost half of them being due to the escape of water or damage done by the weather, with the bulk of the rest being due to theft, accidental damage and subsidence. 

In 2013 home insurance payouts amounted to around £3.8 billion. 

You should always make sure any cover you take out covers what you need it to.

Between the devil and the deep blue sea! As pretty as water is, it can be harmful in and around the home. By the way, the source of that phrase is not at all what you might think! It is nautical in nature and nowt to do with Lucifer!
These are the five most common home insurance claims that were made last year based on data.

1. Escape of water
Problems caused by pipes and faulty plumbing are the biggest problems for home owners in the UK and tops the list of the most common insurance claims. In 2013 this accounted for 24% of all home insurance claims that were made that year.
While a leaking pipe is really a minor issue, it can cause a huge amount of damage. The average claim for such an incident is £3,500 for ruined furnishings, belongings, and damage to walls and ceilings.
2. Weather and storm damage
In terms of buildings claims, it is weather and storm damage that's the major culprit, and altogether accounts for almost 24% of all home insurance claims. 

With the changing weather patterns that we are seeing in recent years, storms and flooding are becoming increasingly common, and if the cause of this is global warming then things are only likely to get worse in the coming years.
3. Theft
Theft accounted for 14% of home insurance claims in 2013, and many of these could have been avoided had the home owner taken more care with security. Even if you have home insurance, you still need to take reasonable care and provide your home with at least a minimum level of security. Leaving a window open in the hot weather is an open invitation to opportunistic burglars, so try not to do so, and check your policy to see what level of security your insurance company expects from you.

4. Accidental damage
Most of the claims made for contents insurance were due to accidental damage, and it accounts for 9% of all home insurance claims. This is defined as damage caused by an unexpected and non-deliberate action. It excludes wear and tear or any form of mechanical failure. If your television stops working you can’t claim for a new one, but if you accidently drop it onto the floor and break it then it will be covered.

5. Subsidence  
Subsidence is the fifth commonest home insurance claim, accounting for 4% of all home insurance claims. Subsidence involves a downward movement of the building’s foundations and can be caused by a number of factors such as the collapse of old coal mining tunnels, changes to the ground’s moisture content causing it to shrink, and excessive rainfall washing away soluble minerals in the ground creating a hole under the foundations.
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