How to make that your buildings insurance really has you covered


Most homeowners are unaware that failing to carry out maintenance or taking action to minimise risks that might lead to a pay out give their insurer an excuse to get out of settling a claim.

It’s crucial to read the small print of any insurance policy to make sure you don’t breach the terms and conditions unintentionally.

Here’s a list of simple maintenance tasks that can save hassle and stop the insurer from backing out of your building insurance cover:

  • Clean out gutters

Remove any leaves and debris so water runs freely down the drain instead of overflowing down walls, causing damp that can damage mortar on the oputside and plasterm inside.

  •  Walk around the property and look at the damp course

A ‘bridged damp course – that’s one where a pile of debris or something leaning against the wall lets moisture from the ground in to the wall causing rising damp inside.

  • Check the roof

Loose or broken tiles or places where the lead flashing or mortar has come away let water in through the roof. Loose tiles can slip, falling on passers by or damage cars.

  • Sweep chimneys

Keeping chimneys clear helps circulate air, stops fires and blockages as well as removing nesting birds.

  • Cut back climbing plants

Plants climbing walls look good – but damage brickwork, mortar and the roof by pushing up tiles.

  • Keep and eye on trees

Building insurance may cover falling trees or branches, but not if they are rotten and you have failed to maintain them.

  • Look in the loft

Make sure birds or are not nesting. They make a mess. Look for rats and mice as well because they can chew through cables.

These jobs only take a few minutes every now and then. Making sure your home is kept in good condition gives an insurer no excuse from backing out of making a payment if you have a claim.

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