House Contents Insurance: make sure you are adequately covered to avoid a future claim dispute

Posted Apr 30, 2019.
Whilst house contents insurance is often perceived as yet another annoying expense on top of all the other bills that we face, it is really important that when you take out insurance for the contents of your home, that you make sure that the cover is adequate for the TOTAL VALUE of your contents.  Do not be tempted to save money on premiums by selecting a lower level of cover. Doing so could leave you with big problems should you need to make a claim, which is the whole point of having the cover in the first place.

What is underinsuring?

Our insurance disputes team here at Bakers have seen many situations over the years where a customer, having misunderstood the principles of insurance, has under insured the contents of their house. In some cases, this has resulted in their entire claim being refused, and the policy being voided by the insurance company.  When you arrange contents insurance you will be asked what level of cover you need. If you chose, say £25000 of contents cover, you may think that is adequate as you are never likely to damage or have stolen more than that amount. However, it’s easy to overlook the total value of all the contents in your house and if you actually need say £100,000 of cover, you need to pay the premium to cover this risk. This is one of the basic premises of how insurance works, and to be safe it’s always better to over value the contents of your home when arranging a policy.

 As a customer purchasing an insurance policy you have a duty to give a fair and realistic presentation of the risk to the insurance company. This means that you must disclose all material facts that affect the risk to the insurance company. If you have £100,000 of contents in your home but only tell the company that you have £25000 then you are not fairly presenting the risk. For instance it is clear that a home that has £100,000 of goods in it is far more attractive to a burglar than one with £25000 in it. It’s likely that in the event that you do suffer a loss the true value of the contents will be investigated by the companies loss adjusters and the claim refused in it’s entirety.  This it is considered that your failure to provide the correct value was deliberate then the insurer has the right to refuse the claim and void the policy.

Disputed claim? Bakers are here to help

However, if you find yourself in a situation where you did present the risk fairly or that the mistake was not deliberate, but your insurer is refusing to pay all or part of a claim, there may be something that can be doneAt Bakers Solicitors, disputed insurance claim cases are dealt with on a no win, no fee basis. There is no upfront or unexpected costs, so if you feel you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company please contact us today for friendly and professional assistance. You can contact us by email, arrange a free consultation online or ring us on FREE on 0800 731 7284.