Four important questions about home insurance answered

Reports suggest that home insurance renewal quote prices have soared by 42% on average in the year to April, with the cost of labour and materials for repairs being a major factor.

Despite these price rises, many customers are unsure what their insurance policies cover, with 90% of people struggling to understand them.

If you want to know why price rises are happening, and ensure you’re covered for unexpected situations, the experts at unoccupied property insurance provider Alan Boswell Group answer four important home insurance questions.

1) Why has the price of home insurance increased? 

There are many reasons for the increase of home insurance premiums. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have had a big impact on the costs and supply of materials along with  delays, and the increased costs of energy. Big data and AI also play their part, and geospatial intelligence helps provide more accurate data to insurers on those risks.

Additionally, checks can be made on the electoral roll as well as performing other soft searches digitally such as credit checks, planning checks/consents, and tree mapping. Big data and AI gives insurance companies better insights into insured risks here.

Other home insurance price rise factors stem from the impact of global warming, as this can lead to increased flooding risks, windstorms, and subsidence – leading to more payouts and therefore higher insurance premiums.

2) Does property insurance cover bed bugs?

Although uncomfortable, bed bugs can be easily dealt with in most situations. However, with the rate of bed bugs peaking in summer due to the warmer weather and increased travel, how covered is your home against such costly pests? 

Standard Property Insurance policy won’t typically cover you in the event of bed bugs or any form of rodent or insect infestations. Property Insurance is designed to cover unexpected, sudden losses, such as those that could be experienced due to severe weather or fire damage. 

Although standard property insurance will not cover the likes of buying a new mattress or bedding due to bed bug infestations, there are alternative policies to bare in mind that cover against pest infestation, such as optional home emergency cover – an add-on that covers emergency call-outs for problems such as pest control.” 

3) Is an unoccupied property insured following the death of the occupant?

Unoccupied property insurance covers a property that has been empty for longer than a standard home insurance policy allows. 

Most home insurers will not cover a home if it’s been empty for more than 30-60 days, whilst unoccupied property insurance can cover a property for much longer periods. It is common practice for executors of a will to arrange unoccupied property insurance whilst a loved ones estate is being finalised.

4) Is your home insured in the event of a flood? 

With extreme weather events becoming more frequent and severe across the UK as a result of global warming, many insurers are re-evaluating risks and adjusting their insurance policies. Thus leaving homeowners facing rising insurance premiums and even some homes being uninsurable.

With more frequent storms hitting the UK this year, including the likes of Storm Henk which left more than 1,800 homes flooded, it’s very important to be aware of what your home insurance policy specifically covers and the excess applicable.

Most home insurance policies will cover the building and its content following storm damage. It’s always wise to read your policy wording thoroughly before accepting, particularly if you live in an area prone to flooding, as insurers may decide to exclude flood cover if the risks are too high.

If an extreme weather event does result in damage to your property, it’s important to contact your insurer as soon as possible. They will advise on what to do to help mitigate the loss, asses whether emergency accommodation is required, as well as assessing the damage that has taken place and appoint a loss adjuster if required.