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Don’t make this home insurance mistake!

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Failure to fill in your insurance quote accurately could cost you in the event you need to make a claim

Homeowners could be overpaying on home cover by not filling in insurance quotes correctly, said Compare the Market.

The price comparison site found that more than a third (37 per cent) of homeowners admit they can’t accurately answer questions about their property which impact their insurance policy.

This is despite the fact that the majority (83 per cent) are aware that this could affect them making a successful claim. So before you choose an insurance company, it pays to do some research on their services and their terms.

Tricky questions

For example, over a quarter (28 per cent) do not check whether their door locks meet the minimum safety standards in their home insurance policy.

Fewer than a fifth (19 per cent) feel very confident about knowing the cost of rebuilding their homes, while more than a third (37 per cent) of homeowners don’t know whether their home is within 400m of water.

In addition, a third (31 per cent) don’t know what percentage of their roof is flat, and two fifths (43 per cent) don’t know what the external walls are made of.

These are considered key factors an insurer uses to determine a property’s risk. Failure to answer them correctly could lead to policy holders overpaying on their premium, or not being covered in the event they need to make a claim.

Disputed claims

In fact, two-fifths of homeowners (40 per cent) experience a dispute with their provider when making a home insurance claim, according to comparethemarket.com.

These disputes could leave homeowners out of pocket, with over a quarter who make a claim (27 per cent) not receiving the full amount in compensation. In nearly half of these cases (13 per cent), the claimant received nothing at all.

Chris King, head of home insurance, comparethemarket.com said: “Answering questions to get a quote may seem trivial and time-consuming but giving accurate information can be critical to ensure your insurer compensates you if you need to make a claim.

“For any questions you are unsure of, it’s worth taking a few minutes to check or speaking to an expert. The cost of double-checking is far lower than the stress and expense of having a claim refused because you’ve rushed filling in a quote.”

For example a surveyor can help you accurately determine how flat your roof is, the external wall material or whether you are within 400 metres of water. A professional jeweller can help estimate the current worth of any valuables in your home.

To work out the rebuild cost of your home, you can use the rebuild cost calculator provided by The Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).