Does My Home Insurance Cover My Household Appliances?

Televisions And Toastie Makers: Does My Home Insurance Cover My Household Appliances?

Your appliances are an important – and expensive – part of your daily life. But are they covered by your home insurance? Read on to find out.

Yes, it does – for everything except wear and tear. As long as your appliances are damaged or lost in an event your home insurance covers, you’ll get back the cost.

However, a standard home insurance policy won’t cover gradual wear.

In this article, we’ll answer questions like:

  • Does my home insurance cover kitchen electrics?
  • What appliances does my home insurance cover?
  • Can I get my fridge or oven replaced on my home insurance?

Appliances are expensive, so it’s useful to know when you can get your home insurance to help out.

Fire, flood and theft

It’s unlikely that a burglar will break in and steal your dishwasher, but stranger things have happened. Like the rest of the contents of your home, your home insurance should cover you if your appliances are stolen.

And just like the rest of the contents of your home, your appliances and white goods are covered in the event of a flood or fire. Even if the flood or fire was started by your machine, your home insurance should cover at least part of the cost.

This is because insurers consider appliances – even fixed ones – as non-permanent. As you’d generally take them with you if you moved, they fall into the category of “contents” when it comes to insurance. There’s a little overlap, of course. Generally speaking, you wouldn’t take your oven to a new house, but insurance providers won’t cover it under buildings insurance.

Damage caused by appliances

Has your new tumble dryer caught on fire? Both the dryer and the smoke damage resulting from the fire will be covered under your home insurance. But be careful – check the exact wording of your policy for exclusions.

It depends on how old the machine is, and how likely the fault occurred. But even if you have an old appliance, you may have cover for some of the costs. If your old washing machine leaks all of a sudden, for example, your home insurance will cover any damage caused by the leak, but you won’t get a new machine.

And, if the manufacturer issued a recall for appliances with known issues, and you kept using your machine, this may possibly invalidate your claim. In a similar way, if the fire investigation found that you never emptied the lint out of your dryer, even though you were supposed to, you’d be at fault.

Spoiled food

As always, you should check your policy wording – or have your broker do it for you – to see if you’re covered for spoiled food.

Imagine you go on holiday. As always, you empty your fridge of perishables like milk and lettuce before you leave. However, you fully stock your freezer for your return. Your wiring trips out, and you aren’t there to notice. You come home to a dark house, and a large, sour puddle on the kitchen floor. All the food in your freezer has defrosted, and you have to throw it out.

An inconvenience, to say the least. But, especially if you have a large family, freezers can hold an amount of food worth anywhere up to €300 or more. That’s an expense you don’t need.

Luckily, many standard home insurance policies include spoilt food nowadays. As long as your fridge or freezer broke down due to a power outage or unforeseen fault, such policies will help replace your food.

Laptops and other items

Generally, your home insurance policy will cover appliances and electronics such as laptops, TV’s, sound systems, etc. But, your claim won’t work if you never told your insurance provider about them in the first place.

This is why it’s important to be honest about the value of the items in your home. You need to work out the true cost of replacing items such as washing machines, ovens, vacuum cleaners, smartphones and everything else. If you don’t, your insurance provider cannot give you an accurate quote.

The manufacturer or retailer may have offered you separate insurance when you bought your laptop or smartphone. This is a great idea to have, as these policies often cover things that may not be included by your home insurance. For example, accidental damage or screen repair.

If you have any questions on what household appliances are covered on your home insurance, just call us in QuoteMe.ie

If you are unsure if and what household appliances are covered under your house insurance, or is your policy is up for renewal, call us and talk to our home insurance experts. We can guide you with our expert trained insurance specialists. We know all the angles when it comes to home insurance. We are available for direct phone calls between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

You can also get a home insurance quote online on our website. We compare home insurance in the Irish market from 12 insurance providers to get you the right cover for your situation. 

The Water Tank Was Leaking And Our Tenants Never Told Us’ – Am I Covered?

Landlords need to cover all bases when they invite tenants into their properties. If a water leak affects the property you let out, your insurance may cover it. Find out more inside.

If your tenant never told you that your water tank is leaking, it’s unlikely you’ll be covered. This is because water damage claims must be sudden and unforeseen.

Gradual water leaks are not covered by home insurance. This is because either they’re caused by normal wear and tear, or could have been avoided with routine maintenance. It really depends on the story around the claim.

In this article, we’ll answer questions like:

  • Am I covered if there’s a water leak in the property I let?
  • Does landlord’s insurance cover water damage?
  • What if my tenants damage my property?

Dealing with other people renting your property isn’t always smooth sailing. If your tenants haven’t noticed an escalating problem, like a leaking water tank, read on to find out if you’ll be covered.

Landlord insurance – what it covers

If you rent out your property as a landlord, you should have landlord insurance. This will include buildings insurance, which protects the structure of your property against damage from hazards like fire or floods.

It is also likely to include contents insurance. This will protect any furniture and non-permanent fitting you’ve provided, as in a furnished flat.

You can add optional extras onto your landlord insurance like key protection, loss of rent insurance, legal expenses insurance and home emergency cover. These features won’t come as standard with every policy, but providers usually offer them as extras.

So if a water leak is bad enough to damage your property, whether you’ll be covered depends on how it happened.

Water damage – what to expect

Having a major leak in your home will cause significant problems. Depending on how long the leak has been going on, your tenants should have noticed something was wrong.

No hot water, boiler issues and temperamental radiators are all signs that something might be up with the pipes. A more obvious symptom would be large pools of water in the kitchen or bathroom, or dark stains spreading across the ceiling. Your tenants should give you a call as soon as they notice something was wrong.

But if your tenants left the property unoccupied for a while, or you weren’t on the best terms, the leak may have been happening a lot longer. If you let a flat on the first or higher floors, this could spell disaster for the properties underneath.

You’ll need your insurance if you have to pay for ruined flooring, bubbling paint, peeling wallpaper, cracks in the ceiling, or electrical wiring. This is on top of any dehumidifiers or other specialist equipment you may need.

Is my tenant at fault?

It all depends on the cause of the leak. Your insurance provider will send out a loss adjuster to investigate what happened. They’ll get everyone’s side of the story, and work out who needs to pay what.

For instance, if your tenant left the taps on by accident, your insurance will cover it. This is because insurance providers allow for the fact that everyone’s human, and accidents happen.

But if it turns out that you, the landlord, needed to repair the pipes and you ignored it, you’d be at fault. As a landlord you are responsible for keeping your property safe.

And if there was a gradual leak and your tenants never told you, you will not be covered. As a landlord, you should have been checking things and not relying on your tenants to maintain your property for you.

So, if you don’t keep up with general maintenance, your insurance won’t cover it if the worst happens. You may also have to pay for replacing or repairing your tenants’ damaged belongings.

If you suspect your tenant flooded the property on purpose or due to negligence, consider getting the Gardai involved. Take photographs of all the damage before you clean up, and obtain a crime reference number.

Water damage and other properties

The costs begin to rise if the water damage is serious enough to affect other properties. This can often happen in the case of flats. For example, if your tenants are on holiday and the water tank leaks, it could affect the flats below it.

If this happens, you may only know about the problem when someone else complains to their own landlord. You may have to involve their insurance, and work things out face to face. The other property’s landlord insurance should help to cover things, depending on how bad the damage is.

Bear in mind the Gardai can break in if a neighbour calls them first about a water leak. Actually, they are allowed to gain entry to a property under the Criminal Evidence Act on the grounds of ‘preventing serious damage’.

If you have any questions regarding landlord insurance pick up the phone and call us in QuoteMe.ie

If you are a landlord and you are unsure about the insurance you have on your properties or your premiums are up for renewal, fee free to contact us with any of your questions. We are home insurance experts. We know all the angles. We have seen all eventualities and types of claims. We will guide you accordingly and help you find landlord home insurance that suits your specific needs. We are available for direct phone calls between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

You can also get a home insurance quote online on our website directly. We compare home insurance in the Irish market from 12 insurance providers to get you the right cover for your situation. 

Will My Home Insurance Go Up if I Make a Claim?

You should only make a claim when you really need it. But will claiming affect your Home Insurance policy in the future? Be aware of the facts, as you could end up paying extra.

In short: yes. Costs could rise significantly, so it’s not worth claiming on your home insurance policy unless the cost of an incident is substantially above the excess. It’ll also cost you your no claims bonus.

Making a claim on your home insurance is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Making a claim could impact your ability to get insurance with another provider, and cost you more each month.

In this article, we’ll cover topics like:

  • Will I pay more for home insurance if I make a claim?
  • How will making a claim affect my home insurance?
  • What will happen to my no claims bonus if I make a claim on my home insurance?

Many small-scale disasters can be handled quickly and easily at home, without getting insurance involved. This is better for everyone, as time and money isn’t tied up in processing your claim. However, if the incident is large, the whole point of having insurance is so that it’s there for you when you need it.

Making a claim

If you’ve been burgled, the first thing to do is phone the Garda. You’ll need a crime reference number to make an insurance policy claim.

Next, ring your insurer and tell them you want to make a claim. They’ll walk you through the process, and inform you of anything you need to know before you proceed. Before you start, it’s a good idea to gather receipts, take photos and collect any other evidence that will support your claim.

If fire, flood, break-in or any other event has damaged your home, make sure your insurer signs off on the work required before getting it done.

Your insurance provider will let you know how making a claim will affect your premium down the road.

How claims affect your premium

Statistically, people who make an insurance claim are more likely to make one in future. It’s proved by nationally gathered data, which insurers rely on to calculate insurance risk. This is why your premium goes up after you make a claim.

There are many reasons why this is. If you claim on your insurance to repair flood damage to your house, for example, it’s likely you live in an area prone to flooding. Your insurer is just protecting their interests in the event another disaster should strike.

These factors, and your insurance provider, will determine how much your premium rises. A general rule is that if you’re in doubt whether to make a claim, just ask your provider if it’s worth it. They won’t lead you down the garden path, as it’s best for everyone to be rational about it.

If your insurance won’t pay substantially more than you could out of your own pocket, it generally isn’t worth it. You’ll need to cover the costs of repairing your home or replacing lost items, as well as the excess.

Your no claims bonus

Insurers want you to stay safe first of all. But they also don’t want to spend any money on expensive claims. So, to reward you for being safe, they’ll give you a discount. This discount applies if you don’t make a claim within your first year of a policy. This is called a no claims bonus.

The value of your NCB can vary from insurer to insurer. It generally starts at 10% to 15% for a one year no-claims bonus. It will then increase with each additional claim-free year. This means mature policies can save you a whopping 40%. That’s an awful lot to lose if you make a claim.

Compared to car insurance, the increase on your home insurance when you lose your NCB will be small. This is because home insurance premiums are smaller and the maximum no claims bonus on home insurance policies is only 25%. For cars it is 55%.

Any claim – big or small – will wipe out your no claims bonus. This will mean paying more a year for the same cover, so think carefully before you make a claim.

Past claims

Not only do claims have a serious impact on your current policy, they will likely affect home insurance you take out moving forward.

Whenever you take out a new policy or renew your old one, your insurer will ask you if you’ve claimed on home insurance before. It’s in your best interest to be transparent with your provider, as inaccurate information could lead to your policy being cancelled. Insurance providers need to know if you’ve claimed in the past because it affects your risk of claiming in the future.

You’ll most likely pay more for your new premium if you’ve made a claim in the past. If you have to claim for flood damage, for example, your insurer will ask you to pay more because they now know the risk to your home is real.

This is why making a claim should only be done in dire circumstances. Insurance is there to take care of you should the worst happens – but make sure it’s truly the worst before you proceed.

If you are unsure about anything to do with making a claim, please call us in QuoteMe.ie

If you are in doubt or unsure of anything to do with making a claim, feel free to pick up the phone to us and we can help you with any query you might have. Our trained home insurance experts have been helping our customers for over 30 years when it comes to processing claims. We have seen all eventualities and will guide you accordingly. You can call us directly, between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you would like a home insurance quote online you can go directly to our Quote Engine and compare home insurance in the Irish market from 12 insurance providers to get you the right cover for your specific circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you. 

What Types of Water Damage Are Covered by Home Insurance?

What Types of Water Damage Are Covered by Home Insurance?

Home Insurance policies don’t always cover every type of leak or flood. Find out how you’re covered before you’re left high and dry.

I left my taps running – am I covered?

The bad news is, accidents happen and sometimes your floors and ceilings suffer for it. The good news is, your home insurance will cover these floods if you or your kids left the taps running.

Home insurers consider taps left on as flood damage, just like cases of natural flooding, even though you might personally feel guilty. If your overflowing bathtub or sink is a result of negligence on your part, your insurance will cover you just like if it happened because of mechanical failure. After all, we’re all human.

If the tap’s only been running for a few minutes, your structure and possessions may be fine and a couple of hours with the mop will prevent having to make a claim.

But if the taps have been running for a couple of hours or more? You’ll have to say goodbye to your no-claims bonus if you need to pay for ruined flooring, peeling wallpaper, new electrical wiring or equipment like dehumidifiers or carpet cleaners. And if your property hasn’t been maintained properly, your insurer may reject your claim.

Burst and frozen pipes

Your home insurance will cover you if one of your pipes bursts and causes water damage in your home. However, as always, it’s best to prevent these kinds of accidents and avoid making a claim.

Water expands as it freezes, and pressure builds up behind chunks of ice if the pipe is warm and cold in different places. Burst pipes are a big risk in winter. Keep taps dripping in very cold weather to prevent a potentially catastrophic claim. Drain water from outdoor taps and cover them with foam cladding (or an old sock), and disconnect and store hoses and sprinkler systems.

Also, make sure to insulate water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home, such as the loft, cellar, or garage.

Something else you need to think about is paying for water lost through a burst pipe. Do you have a water meter? If you do, this could mean you pay higher bills for water that did nothing but damage your home. For example, Allianz states that while it pays claims involving leaks, cover for lost water will be capped at €1,000.

Storms and floods

Good news – many home insurance policies cover storm damage, flooding and subsidence. But you should always check your policy, especially if you live in a high-risk area like a flood plain.

A recent study by location intelligence company Gamma shows that over 60,000 Irish homes are at risk of flooding due to climate change. While the Irish Government is working on a new law to force insurance firms to provide cover in areas at risk of flooding, they aren’t obligated to do so at the moment.

Many insurance companies refuse to offer cover on homes that have been flooded in the past. Some won’t even give you cover if your home has never been affected, but your neighbour’s has.

While many home insurance policies do include flooding, some only cover structural damage to your property. Not all policies cover the contents of your home. It’s vital you read the small print if you live in an at-risk area, to find out how you’re covered.

As always, prevention is better than cure. So, if your home is at risk of flood, invest in sandbags. You can also move your car to higher ground if needed and keep up to date with flood warnings from Met Eireann.

What’s not covered

What’s not covered

Checking your policy carefully will let you know if your flood-damaged contents are covered by your home insurance policy. Or, you can get your broker to check your policy for you. Some policies only cover the structure of your property, and won’t replace your waterlogged belongings.

Insurance is there if the worst should happen, but it’s not a maintenance contract. If flooding or water damage occurs as a result of natural wear and tear, you won’t be covered. Similarly, your insurance will not look kindly on poorly maintained or neglected properties.

It also matters whether you put preventative measures in place if you had adequate warning of a flood. For example, if a storm in your area hit the national news, but you failed to put down sandbags. That would affect your insurance.

What Kinds of Structural Damage Are Covered by Home Insurance?

What Kinds of Structural Damage Are Covered by Home Insurance?

Your home, essentially, is four walls and a roof. Your buildings insurance will cover all of these, as well as the permanent fixtures and fittings. But what kind of damage can you expect, and what will your home insurance not cover?

Contents make your house a home. But lots can go wrong with the roof over your head – and when it does, you want to have confidence in your insurance.

The main structure of your house is covered under home insurance. But what exactly does that mean, and what happens if your building is damaged and insurance won’t pay out?

In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:

  • What kinds of structural damage will my home insurance cover?
  • Will my home insurance pay for a damaged roof?
  • Does home insurance cover cracks in the wall?

Put simply, your insurance will cover some kinds of damage and not others. Read on to discover what’s what.

In a nutshell

Need a quick, at-a-glance key to understanding your buildings insurance? Here’s what it covers:

  • Subsidence or ground heave of land (unfortunately, you probably won’t be covered if you live in Cork or other affected areas)
  • Flying or falling objects (trees, aerials, etc)
  • Falling trees and branches
  • Riots and civil commotions
  • Malicious damage (if it is not caused by people who are allowed to be in your home)
  • Falling aerials, masts, satellite dishes or security cameras
  • Leaking or overflowing of water or oil from any heating, plumbing or drainage system

Foundations and groundwork

Your house sits on foundations, which are hopefully solid. But many things can go wrong which compromise the integrity of your foundations, and unfortunately you may not always be covered.

This is because it can take a long time to detect structural damage. This means insurance companies consider foundational damage a maintenance problem, and won’t cover it. The purpose of insurance is to cover sudden peril. It’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card for not looking after your property.

However, once you’ve discovered what’s gone wrong and taken steps to repair it or prevent future problems, your insurance policy may cover ensuing loss. For example, if cracks in the foundation let water seep into your home, your insurance won’t cover the cracks but may replace your soggy belongings.

Walls and ceilings

Again – definitely maybe, but possibly not. As with foundations and groundwork, the focus is not so much on the damage but on the cause of it. Does your wall have a crack due to a sudden and unexpected event, such as a lightning strike? You’re likely covered. But, is there a crack in the wall because, year after year, you failed to make necessary repairs? Insurance won’t cover your mistake.

Your insurance considers subsidence, heave and landslip unforeseeable events. As such, most household insurance policies cover loss or damage caused by subsidence. But while they usually cover the cost of repairing the damage, they won’t stretch to preventing further subsidence. If you don’t like your chances, you’ll have to pay to shore up your defences or move.

As subsidence is an insurable risk, premiums may go up for you if you claim. Also, if you live in an area which is prone to subsidence, you may be paying more for it.

The roof of your house

You guessed it. If external, unusual events damaged your roof, your insurance will cover you. But if you did it yourself, you’ll have to pay for it yourself.

The biggest threat to your roof is storm damage. Unfortunately, the Irish climate isn’t always exactly calm. If a storm is responsible for a hole in your roof, you can expect to see damage such as many missing tiles, tree branches, and debris. If that’s the case, you should be covered by your home insurance. Your insurance provider will check Met Éireann data to find out if a storm occurred, and if it was bad enough to cause the damage.

If the weather wasn’t very strong, but the wind was able to dislodge a tile because your roof has prior wear and tear, you won’t be able to claim. It’s your responsibility to maintain your roof, and watch out for loose tiles and potential holes.

Got a flat roof? Bad news. A flat roof surface will wear out quicker, meaning more regular maintenance. There’s a higher chance of you making a claim on your buildings insurance, which means they’re more expensive to insure. If you haven’t kept up with the demands of your flat roof, you may be in for a nasty shock.

Outbuildings, doors and windows

Your home insurance policy will also cover everything which could be considered a permanent part of a property. This includes doors, windows, locks and security measures. This also includes bathroom and kitchen fixtures such as sinks, showers and toilets: anything which you wouldn’t take with you if you moved.

Many policies cover outbuildings, like sheds and garages, but some will require you purchase additional cover. Your insurance typically won’t cover things like outdoor swimming pools or saunas. You can usually arrange cover with your insurer, but it will cost more than a standard policy.

If you have any queries on what is covered for structural damage to your home, just call us in QuoteMe.ie

If you have any queries about what is covered for structural damage to your home call us and talk to our home insurance experts. We know all the angles when it comes to home insurance. We have seen all eventualities and will guide you accordingly. We are available for direct phone calls between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

You can also get a home insurance quote online on our website directly. We compare home insurance in the Irish market from 12 insurance providers to get you the right cover for your situation.