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Are you covered for accidental damage?

Are you covered for accidental damage?

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 29/10/2015
First Published: 29/10/2015

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Home insurance is one of those things that everyone should ideally have, but the question is, are you covered for more than the minimum? Having a basic level of buildings and contents cover is all well and good, but if you haven't checked that you're covered for things like accidental damage, you could be in for a shock should you need to make a claim…

£5bn of contents at risk

According to research from The Co-operative Insurance, almost half (46%) of respondents don't have accidental damage cover, which according to their calculations, means that more than £5.6bn worth of contents is at risk. While many insurers provide a certain level of accidental damage cover as standard, not all of them do, and some people may require additional cover to be fully protected.

By failing to have this kind of insurance, householders won't be protected against "unintentional and unexpected loss or harm to a person's contents or property", such as spilling a drink on the carpet or breaking expensive glassware or electrical items, and considering how easily such accidents could occur, the costs involved could soon add up.

This can be seen in the finding that 28% have experienced accidental damage at some point, with the average value for such a claim coming in at £458 – could you afford to cover that out of your own pocket? Not only that, but 53% have tried to remedy damage themselves, and 12% admitted that they made it worse in the process.

This could perhaps be in an attempt to save on the cost of repair or replacement, but it could turn out to be a false economy, as the average amount individuals would pay for repairs before making a claim on their policy was almost £300. Accidental damage could be more common than many people think, too, with the most common claims being for water damage (27%), broken glass (24%), broken electrical items (22%) and spilt wine or drinks (19%).

Make sure you're protected

You may think that you don't need accidental damage cover – 53% of those who don't have such protection said this very thing – but the slight increase to your premiums could more than pay for itself should you need to make a claim. In fact, 73% of those who have such cover have made a claim on it, and when you consider how much the typical claim amounts to, it makes a lot of sense to consider it.

"You should check what is covered by your home insurance policy before you take it out to ensure it meets your needs," said Caroline Hunter, head of Home Insurance at The Co-operative. "Some insurers include specific elements of accidental damage cover as standard, for example damage to TVs and video equipment. However, portable items such as laptops or tablets may not be covered, [and these can be] expensive to replace.

"Therefore, it pays to think about what you could afford to purchase again if an accident occurred, especially if you are particularly dependent on certain items day-to-day. Accidents are an unfortunate but real part of everyday life, so increasing the level of cover you have may be worth it in the long run."

What next?

If you want to make sure you're covered for every eventuality, start by checking the small print of your current policy. If you don't have accidental damage cover as standard it'll be worth speaking to your insurer to see if you could get this added on, and if not – or if it's time to renew – use our home insurance comparison tool to see if you can find a policy that better meets your needs.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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