Insurance claims for accidental damage increased over the past year as more people worked from home, so it’s a good time to check your own coverage.
Figures from some of the country’s biggest insurance providers have shown a sharp rise in claims of accidental damage during the lockdown.
With many millions now working from home, the chances of accidents and damage to property have inevitably gone up. Halifax Home Insurance reported a rise of 35% for claims between July and September 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
Types of accidents included damage to computers and other electrical items, broken windows and water leaks. With holidays cancelled, children home schooling and everyone staying in, appliances were used a lot more than normal, along with central heating systems.
Millions paid out in home insurance claims
One Insurance provider paid out £33 million in home insurance claims in 2020, with 15% going towards accidental damage claims. General claims not related to accidents accounted for 25% and were mostly related to appliance and pipework damage.
The biggest rise in claims related to damage to computers and electrical equipment because of spillages. As working from home turned many of us into amateur office managers, the usual health and safety measures within a normal office environment were not easy to replicate – especially with children and pets in the picture.
Admiral reported its accidental damage claims increased by 28% since the lockdown started in March 2020, compared to the previous year. Damaged laptop claims increased by 31% and claims around damage caused by home renovation also rose.
Check your accidental damage coverage
It’s a good time to see what your home insurance policy includes when it comes to covering accidental damage to your property.
- Check that you have the accidental damage cover in place, because it’s often offered as an optional extra to your home insurance.
- Check the limits and exclusions on your accidental damage cover, making sure there is enough to cover any new gadgets or equipment you bought during lockdown.
- If you have made renovations and upgrades to your home during lockdown, try to calculate the extra value they bring to your home to ensure your home policy covers it.
How to avoid accidental damage in your home
Sometimes, accidents just happen. But there are ways to reduce the likelihood of an accident, like keeping drinks in a closed cup, away from computers, or tidying cables to avoid tripping.
With many homeowners installing wooden flooring, it’s worth keeping rugs secure with non-slip backing, and encouraging children to be aware of risks in the home when they are playing.
And it’s always a good idea to have your insurers’ telephone number and the policy details handy for when you need them.
Along with helping you check the small print in your accidental damage policy, your financial adviser is here to help you find insurance plans that work best for you and your family, to make sure you’re best protected.