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Five surprising things you need to tell your home insurer

Written by: Selwyn Fernandes
If your circumstances change, it may not always be obvious whether you need to inform your home insurer. Here are five points you absolutely need to tell your provider.

1) You’re having building work done, e.g. an extension

If you’re having work done to your property, this can increase the risk of damage to the rest of your home. If your roof is being removed for instance, there’s an increased risk that water could get into your home and damage your belongings.

Also, you will want to ensure that your insurer is able to cover the work in progress. You don’t want your part-built extension to collapse only to find you are not insured.

2) You start a business from home or decide to let it out

Typically, home insurance is not designed for properties which are let or used for business. The cover you have may not be suitable if you change the purpose of your home.

For example, if the property is rented out, landlord cover may be more appropriate.

3) You leave the home unoccupied for more than 60 days in a row

When a home is left unoccupied, the risk of certain types of incident increases. Insurers may exclude certain cover if your home is empty for a long period, or they may agree to continue cover if you take certain precautions, such as leaving the heating on during winter months to prevent pipes from freezing.

4) You need to increase your contents or buildings cover

If the amount of cover you have as given on your policy schedule is different from what you need,  it’s important to let your insurer know. If you inherit something valuable, for example, you may need to adjust your cover. If you don’t, the amount you get in the event of a claim could be reduced.

5) You are moving to a new address

This is the most important piece of information because it’s the buildings and contents at this address that’s insured. It’s one of the main factors when calculating your price.

The address can give a lot of information about your property and the area, so it’s critical your home insurer has the correct one.

Selwyn Fernandes is LV= managing director of home insurance

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