What is accidental damage home insurance? Accidental damage is often an add-on for home insurance. It can usually be added to your both your buildings insurance and your contents cover depending on what you wish to protect.
Essentially this is a home insurance extension that covers damage caused by yourself, which would otherwise be excluded by your home insurance policy, so if you want your home insurance to cover this, make sure you’ve done what you need to be covered.
Get a quote from Emerald Life today online and choose our accidental damage cover added on at the click of a button.
Accidental damage is quite a complex product when you consider how it works. Clearly it makes sense that if you dropped your TV then you would want it to be covered by your home insurance policy. Similarly, if you were moving furniture and damaged a wooden floor then that could also be the type of expense you would want be covered for.
Note that the former example would be a contents insurance issue while the latter would be buildings, therefore you should make sure you have the appropriate add-on.
But conversely, both these situations leave opportunities for fraud – like deliberately dropping your TV to get a new one from your insurer. There may well be further enquiries from the insurer or their loss adjuster, so it is important to be honest or you won’t be covered for your whole policy going forward.
As such accidental damage cover will vary between different insurers and so it is worth comparing different offers and what they define as accidental damage in their policy.
Generally, accidental damage is defined as damage that is sudden, unexpected and unforeseen. In particular, pretty much all accidental damage insurance policies will exclude wear and tear. That means an insurer is not going to pay out if your carpet needs replacement because it is old and tattered.
Often accidental damage can lead to a big claim. As with most insurance you should also check the excess – the amount you have to pay towards a claim.
Buildings vs Contents
At Emerald Life we let you insure buildings and contents for accidental damage separately. That means if you want accidental damage cover for buildings but not contents then you can, or vice versa.
But what does that actually mean?
Buildings insurance refers to the physical structure of the property – including fixtures like sinks and doorframes.
Items inside the building come under contents insurance.
If you damaged a window then you would need accidental damage cover on your buildings insurance to cover it. But dropping a TV would need accidental damage cover on contents insurance.
Pets and Families
Some cover such as Emerald’s own also includes pet damage in the home – up to £5000 in our case – which is available for buildings and contents insurance. Our home insurance policy wording reads: “We will pay up to £5,000 for loss or damage to Your Contents caused by scratching, chewing or fouling by Your domestic pets. A deduction for wear and tear will be made for any items over 3 years old.”
Most accidental damage policies are also designed specifically to help with damage caused by children.
Therefore both households with children, pets or both could stand to benefit more from accidental damage insurance policies if they find the right cover for them on your insurance.
Home Policy Exclusions
When comparing accidental damage insurance policies you should check what kind of items are covered and what are not covered. The key exclusion in most home insurance is wear and tear, meaning longer term damage is not covered.
We also exclude mechanical or electrical breakdown. This is relevant today with electronics like computers and TVs that can break down quite quickly.
Then there is also an exclusion for damage caused by cleaning, alterations or repair. That comes down to the idea of accidents needing to be unforeseen as if you were interfering with the item in this way then damage was always a significant risk.
Vermin and insect damage is also an exclusion of the Emerald Life home insurance policy.
Is It Worth Getting Accidental Damage Cover On Home Insurance?
As with all forms of home insurance policies it is important to find the right cover for you. With insurance, accidental damage cover can seem like a shiny extra you don’t actually need. However, for just a small amount of extra premium you can get covered for a wide variety of unforeseeable events.
That said, different people are likely to have a different need for such cover. As mentioned, households with pets and children may appreciate accidental damage cover more than a single person. Depending on the nature of your contents you may only want accidental cover for them.
Of course a certain level of personal reflection could also be useful here as do you consider yourself to be clumsy?
You should also consider your excess and work out if it would actually be worth claiming for a lot of home accidents. Your excess is the contribution you may towards any claims and so if you damaged your TV you might find it makes more sense economically to simply buy a new TV. On the other hand a full carpet replacement could be very expensive.
How Likely Is a Claim To be Paid?
As with all home insurance policies, accidental damage is only useful if you are likely to have a valid claim and you may wonder how your home insurer may treat such claims. Do you have to validate that damage caused really was accidental?
In theory yes as the policy requires damage to be unforeseen and accidental, but in practice you have paid for a product and your insurer needs to honour that providing they don’t have reason to doubt the accident. Therefore there may be limits on how many times you can claim and obviously an insurer may be suspicious if you claim regularly.