Poor maintenance

It is possible for your insurer to turn down a claim if a property has not been well maintained. For example, if you have a hole in the roof or a blocked gutter that has not been addressed for months on end, it may lead to damage that could have been avoided with good maintenance.

A list of specified perils will be provided by your insurer, which will not cover maintenance issues. While taking good care of your property should occur no matter what it is used for, holiday home insurance or unoccupied property insurance customers may not be able to keep a close eye on the condition of their properties – compared to those in permanent residence, for example. It’s worth keeping a regular check on guttering, tiles etc.
Infestation, too, is not covered by the majority of insurers, so it is crucial to take action should you spot any signs of rats, mice or pigeons that have taken up residence in or near your property.

Policy lapse

Automatic renewal is a feature of some policies, but a good number of property owners choose to opt out of this, in order to avoid any fees relating to cancelling the policy once a second term has started or this might be because cover may no longer be required among other reasons. Make sure you are fully aware if you have opted in or our and if you are paying by Direct Debit if your policy will automatically renew. If you don’t check you may find yourself without cover, especially if you have moved and failed to update your correspondence address. Find out if there is a period of grace, or if the cut-off date is set in stone.
More exclusions and pitfalls in the next part.