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08 Mar 2013
Chris Torney Chris Torney

Top 5 buildings insurance claims


Accidental damage is the top reason people claim on their buildings insurance. But what else do people claim for?

A picturesque detached house on a sunny day with a blue sky

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's sensible to get insurance that would pay out in the event of a devastating fire, flood or storm.

We've had a look at what the most common reasons for claiming on buildings insurance policies were.

Top 5 types of claim

  • Accidental loss or damage at home - cracking your bathroom sink after dropping something on it or kids breaking a window with a football.

  • Weather damage - damage from storms like a tree falling onto your house or garage and the roof needed to be repaired

  • Escape of water - typically caused after frozen pipes that have burst.

  • Burglary - claiming for replacement doors, or repairing smashed windows following a robbery.

  • Malicious damage - this could include vandalism or damage caused by an attempted burglary.

Other types of claims

Many types of claims can't be helped and are triggered by bad weather and accidents.  But there are precautionary measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of you needing to make a claim.

For example, installing a burglar alarm or upgrading your locks will increase your home's security and could potentially deter burglars.

It's also important to 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 turn down a claim because 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

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.

Going into the colder months don't forget to prepare your home for winter, especially if you live in an older house.

This will help make sure you aren't affected by frozen pipes and the leaks they can potentially cause if they burst.

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

Should you claim?

With any home insurance claim you have to pay an excess before the policy will pay out.

This could be around £100 or £200.

So it's worth figuring out if what you're claiming for is worth it, as when your policy comes up for renewal it's likely the price of cover will increase because you'll be seen as a higher risk.

If the overall value of a claim is just a few hundred pounds, you may not end up with much money.  Making a claim will affect your home insurance no claims bonus.

Why not also read our article on the top five home contents insurance claims.


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