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Top 5 buildings insurance claims


If you own your home, you should have buildings insurance to protect against any damage to the structure of your property.

White and red house

If you have a mortgage, chances are that you're obliged to have buildings cover as part of the loan agreement.

But even if you own your house outright, it would be foolhardy to ignore insurance that would pay out in the event of a devastating fire, flood or storm.

We've analysed the claims data from thousands of customers over the course of 2012 to find out what the most common reasons for claiming on buildings insurance policies were.

Accidental loss or damage

Top of the list were claims for accidental loss or damage at home.

Examples of this include if your bathroom sink is cracked after something is dropped on it, or if your kids break a window with a football.

Second were claims for damage from storms. Insurers expect changing weather patterns to give rise to more of this type of claim in future.

The third most common claim was for escape of water due to freezing, followed by theft from home.

Fifth in the list was "malicious damage at home", which could involve vandalism or damage caused by attempted burglaries.

Make sure you're covered

Given the frequency of claims for accidental damage, you might want to make sure your own policy offers this type of cover.

Not every package includes it as standard so you may need to pay extra to get this protection.

You should check also whether your accidental damage cover extends to windows as well.

Other types of claims

For other type of claims, particularly those related to weather, you should make sure your house is kept in a good state of repair to ensure that claims aren’t turned down.

For example, if your home is damaged from water overflowing from a blocked gutter, your insurer may be within its rights to turn down a claim.

This is based on the fact that you should have kept your gutters clear.

Equally, if a fire is caused by your chimney being unswept you might not be entitled to a payout, which could leave you seriously out of pocket.

Freezing weather

In the colder months, it is also worth taking steps to make sure you aren’t affected by frozen pipes and the leaks they can potentially cause if they burst.

You may well be able to claim for the cost of any repair or redecoration work on your buildings insurance policy.

But the best bet is to prevent a problem before it happens.

If you do find a frozen pipe, this video guide from British Gas tells you how to thaw it safely:

Should you claim?

On any home insurance claim you have to pay an excess before the policy pays out.

This could be around £100 or £200.

So if the overall value of a claim is just a few hundred pounds you may not end up with much money.

Plus, when your policy comes up for renewal it's likely the price of cover will increase, as you're now seen as a higher risk.

Click here to find out the top five home contents insurance claims.


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