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How to protect your home against accidental damage

Accidents can happen at any time around the house. Purchasing the right home insurance with accidental damage protection can help you cover the cost of repairs and replacement. 

In this guide, we discuss the benefits of accidental damage insurance and how to protect your home...

accidental damage insurance
accidental damage insurance

What is accidental damage insurance?

Accidental damage insurance is an optional add-on that you can choose when you purchase home insurance. It covers you for unexpected and unintentional damage to your property and contents within your home. 

This isn't often included with standard home insurance, so make sure you add it as a bolt-on when you're getting a quote.

Do I need to add accidental damage to my home insurance policy?

You don't necessarily need to add accidental damage cover to your policy. However, it's always worth considering for extra protection. You can choose to add this to your buildings and/or contents cover. If you're renting, your landlord is responsible for buildings insurance but it's up to you to purchase accidental damage with your contents insurance.

What does accidental damage cover?

The definition of the term 'accidental damage' tends to differ slightly between insurance providers. It generally includes cover for accidents such as broken gadgets, cracked windows and doors, and even things like carpet spillages. It's definitely worth checking what's included in your policy before you commit to purchasing.

Here is a quick breakdown of what may be included...

Accident damage cover - buildings insurance

An accidental damage policy added to your buildings insurance can offer cover for things like:

  • Broken or smashed glass windows
  • Any damage to drains, pipes, cables, and tanks connected to your home
  • Fire, flood, storm, and general water damage
  • Any damage to kitchen units and built-in appliances e.g. ovens
  • Toilet basins, sinks, and other bathroom fittings damage
  • Collision damage from a car, a tree, or other forces
  • Any damage to locks or keys

Accidental damage cover - contents insurance

You can also purchase a policy that specifically relates to your contents insurance, which offers protection for accidents such as:

  • Accidental damage to laptops, mobile phones, and other gadgets within your home
  • Any damage to your furniture such as sofas, beds, etc.
  • Spilling liquids like coffee and red wine and staining carpets
  • Damage caused by a contractor
  • General damage to your property & garden

Will I be covered against damage caused by children or pets?

As discussed above, most policies will let you claim for most mishaps around the home. Sadly, chances are it won't cover you for marker pen wall art or juice stains on furniture. The same goes for pets. The cover doesn't include scratching, chewing, or tearing of furniture caused by animals within the home.

If your kids or pets knock over furniture by accident while playing, that might be covered. It's always best to check your policy and ring your insurer beforehand to check. Quite often, it may be cheaper, in the long run, to fix problems like these without involving your insurer. That way, you keep your no-claims bonus and can get cheaper home insurance quotes.

Does my policy cover damage caused by DIY work?

While you are covered for things like inserting a nail into the wall and accidentally bursting a pipe, you're not covered for botched DIY jobs. If you're planning a bigger project, remember that you aren't necessarily covered for poor workmanship or cheap building materials used by tradesmen, either.

Accident insurance wear and tear clause

Some policies include a 'new for old' policy within their contents insurance, meaning you will receive a brand new replacement or equivalent in cash or voucher. However, others contain a wear and tear clause. As most household items depreciate in value over time, your items may not be replaced or refunded.

Your insurer will always consider the damage and age of each item and may make a percentage deduction from the settlement amount. Check your policy terms and conditions to see if you'll receive the current value of the item, should it need replacing.

Are my items covered outside of my home?

Check your policy to check if your items are covered when you leave your home. You may be covered within your garden area, but you may need to purchase personal possessions cover on top. This is specifically handy for gadgets that you carry on the go with you e.g. mobiles and laptops.

It's also worth double-checking your insurance if you're moving. Some insurers will extend your cover if you're using a professional moving company. However, some will not. It's also worth asking if the company you use has its own insurance.

How much does accidental damage insurance cost?

The price of adding accidental damage to your home insurance policy can vary. This all depends on how much cover you'd like to take out and the value of your buildings and contents insurance. There are other factors involved that can help you reduce the price.

How to save money on accidental insurance

Here are the main ways you can save money when purchasing this policy addition:

  • Increase your excess amount - insurers will offer lower premiums if you choose to increase your voluntary excess. Just make sure you can afford it, in case you ever need to make a claim
  • Pay annually - paying one, upfront sum will help you save money. Paying monthly will cost you extra because insurers add interest to your monthly payment
  • Keep hold of your no-claims bonus - could you fix the problem without claiming on your insurance? The longer you can build your no-claims bonus, the less risk you are. Hence, your insurance will cost less

Compare & get cashback

Comparing home insurance quotes with Quidco can help you find the best deal for you. Plus, you’ll get up to £30 cashback when you take out a policy. 

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