What Are the Typical Exclusions on a Home Insurance Policy?
Caeva O'Callaghan | January 26th, 2021
Buying insurance is always a good idea, but you need to be aware of how you’re covered before you go ahead with an insurance purchase.
When you buy a home insurance policy, not everything is included as standard. It may be surprising what’s left out.
To avoid any nasty surprises, we always recommend you check over your policy as thoroughly as you can. Better yet, get your broker to do it! This way, you’ll be sure you have enough cover should you need it, and your most valuable possessions have protection.
In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:
- What does home insurance cover?
- Is there anything home insurance does not cover?
- Why do home insurance policies leave out some risks?
It’s not always clear what a so-called “standard policy” includes, or what kind of cover you can expect – particularly as it can often differ from one home insurance provider to another.
What does a standard home insurance policy cover?
Before we look at what’s left out, let’s check the minimum kind of cover you can expect from your provider.
- Your house – walls, ceilings, the structure and any fixtures or fittings that can’t be removed from the house
- Its contents – furniture, carpets, appliances, TV, ornaments, etc
- Your personal effects – clothing, bags, jewellery, sports equipment, bicycles, etc
Your insurer will state the maximum value of the items you can claim on (contents up to a certain amount, e.g. €100,000) clearly in your policy. Most policies carry an excess, which means that you won’t be covered for the first few euros of a claim. A typical excess may be between €150 and €250.
Many policies offer new for old cover as standard. This means you will receive the full replacement cost of items which you cannot recover due to loss, theft or damage. However, some policies will only offer you the amount that your items are worth at the time of the claim.
Typical buildings and contents exclusions
Anything which you may consider to be above and beyond someone’s reasonable possessions may not have cover under a standard home insurance policy.
For example, if you own fine jewellery, valuables, antiques or art, these will likely not be covered. They’re simply too expensive to have protection under a standard home insurance policy. You’ll need to seek out specialist insurance, which several providers offer.
You’ll also have to pay extra to cover possessions that you regularly take out of the home, such as expensive cameras or equipment. This is known as ‘All Risks’ Cover, which is designed for higher-value items.
Your home insurance policy may not cover the contents of a freezer or pantry, or damage caused by a computer virus. These may be insurable, but they will not typically fall under a standard home cover policy. You can normally purchase add-ons with a standard policy to cover these risks.
What risks are typically excluded?
Any damage to your home or possessions caused by fire, flooding and storms, as well as theft, will have cover. In addition, your insurance protects your home from damage from subsidence or burst pipes. (Always check your policy, especially if you live in a high-risk area like a flood plain.)
However, you cannot claim through your home insurance if your contents are stolen through deception. This means when you give someone access to your home for other purposes. So, if you give your keys to a tradesperson who then steals from your home, or a vengeful ex who damages your belongings.
Any damage caused by general wear and tear will not have cover, such as your carpet wearing thin over the years. Most policies will restrict and reduce cover if your property is unoccupied for a long time (typically 40 days).
Also, buildings insurance will not normally pay out for damage due to:
- Sonic bangs (pressure waves from aircraft)
- Radioactive contamination
- War and terrorism (including riots)
If your home insurance is up for renewal call us today and we can give you expert advice!
If you have any questions about what is covered and not covered by standard home insurance policies call us today and talk to our home insurance experts. We are available between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.