Things that might affect your home insurance premiums or any claim you may make
Home insurance policies are complicated things at the best of times. You might look at the premium you’re asked to pay and wonder: “How did they arrive at that figure?”
When calculating your premium, insurance companies take a lot into consideration. This is a small list of the sort of things that will be taken into account when devising the figure.
Some of these things are obvious. Others…less so.
Let’s take a look in more detail.
The Geographical Location of Your House
As the December 2015 catastrophic floods in the North West of England made clear, some homes are at a higher risk of natural disaster than others.
So it should come as no surprise that homes located on flood plains generally pay higher insurance premiums.
Everyone knows that a high risk of flooding can result in a higher insurance premium. Fewer people seem to understand the relationships between home insurance and fracking which is very relevant for those of you who live and work in West Lancashire
Fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – involves blasting wells with water and chemicals to extract shale gas for use in energy production. There are fears that the practice could contribute to ground subsidence, that it could encourage earthquakes, and that the chemicals used in the process could affect local water supplies.
Most home insurance policies already cover for subsidence that’s beyond your control. So in theory, you may be covered for the harmful effects of fracking.
But this is very much a grey area. The long term effects of fracking in the UK are still unknown. It seems that many insurers are still waiting to see how things pan out before they make their stance on fracking clear.
If you’re worried about how fracking might be influencing your home insurance premium, we suggest you give your insurers / insurance broker a call and request an explanation.
The Presence of a Safe
In the wake of the global financial crisis, many homeowners decided to withdraw large chunks of their savings and lock their hard-earned money in a secure home safe.
It seems that insurers don’t like this idea. Most home contents insurance providers advise against storing large amounts of money in the home. Though home insurance policies do account for cash, they’re mainly concerned with “loose change” as opposed to stacks of bills, or to amounts of up to £500.
So if you insist upon storing a nest egg in a safe at home, your policy will likely have to be altered to account for your decision. And it’s fair to assume that the more money you have secured away, the higher the premium you’ll be expected to pay.
Plus if you are unfortunate to have a claim for burglary you will have to prove you had the money in the first place otherwise the insurance companies loss adjuster will decline your claim.
How You Use Your Home
Some people nowadays don’t merely live in their homes. And the specific way you use your home can directly influence your home insurance premium.
For example, if you work from home, there’s a range of factors you’ll have to take into consideration. Unless you want to invalidate your home contents policy, you’ll have to tell your insurer that you’re working remotely.
And depending on the nature of your remote work, you might have to consider a few add-ons to your home insurance policy. If you regularly invite clients into your home, you may need to add public liability insurance. And if you employ an assistant, you may need employer’s liability insurance.
Please note non disclosure of any of the above and in the event of a fire or flood it may result in your claim being declined and insurance policy voided.
If you need help understanding your home insurance premium, or if you’re about to make a claim and you need the invaluable assistance of a loss assessor, feel free to get in touch via our contacts page.