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Cost of home maintenance a key concern

Cost of home maintenance a key concern

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 01/06/2015
First Published: 01/06/2015

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

If you're approaching later life, you're hopefully getting to the stage where your mortgage is almost paid off. That means you can start to think about being mortgage-free and able to enjoy your home in all its glory, but unfortunately, other concerns could get in the way – and the cost of home maintenance is one of them.

According to research from Age UK Enterprises, 21% of homeowners aged 60+ cite the cost of home maintenance as the biggest concern when thinking about looking after their home in later life. Being physically able to maintain their home was another key concern, with 35% having significant worries about being able to carry out everyday jobs such as mowing the lawn.

Unfortunately, this could do more than leave your home in disrepair – it could even invalidate your insurance policy. Insurers won't cover the cost of general wear and tear or damage to homes that occurs over time, and in many cases, your claim for future damage could be denied. For example, insurers won't pay out to fix a roof after a storm if the roof was poorly maintained to begin with, as they expect homeowners to keep their properties in good repair to minimise the risk of damage.

This is why any concerns over cost or even physical ability should be dealt with as soon as possible. If some maintenance jobs are being put off because you think you can't afford it, just think of what would happen should you need to make a future claim that's denied – the cost of repairing damage would be far greater.

Gordon Morris, managing director of Age UK Enterprises, said: "As the weather improves, many of us think about turning to getting odd jobs done around the home. However, for a fifth of people aged 60 and over, checking what needs to be done and undertaking general maintenance can be a cause for both monetary and physical concern.

"Simple steps, such as frequently checking the exterior of the home, can go a long way to helping homeowners identify potential problems early on and ultimately help save money and prevent worry. There are also a range of potential sources of help with this and none of us should be worried about calling on this help."

The sooner you're aware of any potential problems, the sooner they can be solved – and hopefully it'll mean the cost of repair won't ramp up. Regularly checking the exterior of your home for any damage could be all it takes, paying particular attention to the pointing, the roof and window seals, and if you can make the necessary repairs, you can be confident that your home is in good order – and that your home insurance policy remains valid.

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.