Does Home Insurance Cover Me If I Injure Myself Cleaning Gutters?
Caeva O'Callaghan | August 10th, 2021
Household chores can be mundane, but they’re also potentially dangerous. Will your home insurance help you out if you get hurt cleaning your gutters?
No. You will not be able to claim on your home insurance if you injure yourself while working from a height, even if it’s on your own home.
Your home insurance policy will contain public liability, but this won’t extend to you.
In this article, we’ll go over the following:
- Does home insurance cover repairs?
- Will my home insurance cover roof leaks?
- I was injured at home – can I claim?
If you own your own home, you have the responsibility to maintain it to a good standard. But this doesn’t mean your insurance will help pay out if you’re injured while doing so.
Does home insurance cover repairs?
Your home insurance will include a buildings section, which covers the structure of your house. As you might expect, buildings insurance helps to protect the fabric of the structure itself, and any accidental damage that may happen to it.
Buildings insurance will protect against things like:
- Subsidence or ground heave of land (except in Cork or other badly 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
In other words, your buildings cover will protect your house against unforeseen events. It won’t protect you if you decide to climb up a ladder and clean your gutters yourself, and it also won’t cover you if you leave your gutters clogged due to negligence.
Will my home insurance cover roof leaks?
In cases of unforeseen events, yes – so things like lightning strikes, flying or falling objects such as branches, or malicious damage, your roof will be covered by your home insurance.
If, however, you were negligent with the maintenance of your property and your roof starts leaking as a result, your insurance will not cover the extensive repairs that will be needed.
You need to keep your gutters clean, and not just to make them look good. To keep the entirety of the outside drainage system of your home working, you need to keep your gutters free of leaves and debris.
If your gutters become clogged with slime and muck, you start to encounter problems. During heavy rainfall, if water cannot escape properly it may seep into your home through wall cavities and gaps in brickwork, which could cause damp and mould. In turn, damp and mould can cause or exacerbate respiratory issues, especially in children.
Your home insurance probably will not cover you for damage caused by damp and condensation because it is more often than not a property maintenance issue. This means you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
I was injured at home – can I claim?
Put simply, your home insurance covers your home – its buildings and contents – and not yourself. Home insurance includes public liability as standard, to protect anyone else from accidents while they are on your property. It does not protect you.
It’s all down to fault: whose fault was it that you got injured? If you were alone, there’s only yourself to blame. But if something – or someone – else caused you to get injured, this is where you can investigate possibilities of a claim.
For example, if you were using a piece of equipment or technology, you need to reach out to the manufacturer. If you had a builder over and they left a cable out which you tripped on, you would be able to claim under the builder’s public liability policy. Similarly, if you injured yourself at someone else’s house, you would be a member of the public and be covered there just the same.
If one of your guests at a barbecue gets burned, your home insurance would cover them. It would not cover you if you got burned, and it was your own fault – if you were grilling incorrectly, for example – but if the barbecue was faulty, then you may be able to claim.
Have you been injured at home, and are wondering where you stand insurance-wise? Give us a call today and we can help you.