This is the second part of our series of blogs covering problems that might prevent an insurer from paying out, or cause them to pay out a less-than-expected amount.

Security requirements of your policy

Some policies, including holiday home, regular home or let property insurance, may require you to install security measure that are specific to your property. For example you may be asked to agree to fitting additional locks, security bars or shutters in order that a policy is considered valid. You may need to assure your insurer that you do not take unnecessary risks, such as leaving keys under plant pots or door mats for your guests. You may need to guarantee that long term residents do not take similar risks.

Check for a 'forced entry' clause in your policy. This means that only thefts by forced entry will be covered; a burglary that occurs with the use of a key or via an unlocked door or window may not be covered.

Winter heating warranties

Due to recent harsh winters, many insurers are putting winter heating warranties into their policies, which means that if a property is left unoccupied for a certain length of time, a minimum temperature must be maintained inside the building. There have been recent of reports of some major home owner insurance providers reducing this period to just 5 days between October and March inclusive!

Most water-related claims can be avoided by draining water and central heating systems if you leave your property for any substantial period, together with turning off water and gas supplies at the mains.
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We’ll highlight similar issues in part 3.