Urgent question re insurance renewal

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
23 replies 2.3K views
NikiyaNikiya Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
Our home insurance expires tonight. I cancelled the automatic renewal my husband had set up to be able to look at the matter closely.
I discoverd they would not cover against burglary (anybody's main concern I suppose) unless all the doors in the house have one of three types of locks. Now at least one door does not have any of this.
It is secure, because it has a good lock, a chain and two bolts, but bolts do not count for the insurers (I have just confirmed this).
I do not want to pay for a policy that is for most purposes only decorative, so my urgent questions are:
What happens if we are uninsured for a few days, while I sort this out?
I mean, what would be the consequences --if any-- with my mortgage lenders??
Thanks in advance
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Replies

  • AnniseleAnnisele Forumite
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    If your house burns down/falls into a hole/some other calamity occurs while you're uninsured, you'll still be liable for your mortgage debt - and your mortgage lender won't be at all happy that you allowed your insurance to lapse (which would be a breach of the T&Cs of your mortgage).
  • marshallkamarshallka Forumite
    14.6K Posts
    I once moved house about 18 years ago and although I only rented it I had to work the day I moved and thought I would sort out the insurance later. I returned to my front door open and all my things nicked. I nearly died. It was a detached house and in quite large grounds so they must have waited for me to go out (after seeing me move in) and then come in to take the lot. The police came out and as I was a single parent they took the attitude of "must have arranged it" BUT after allowing them to make their snide remarks about "bet you can claim a lot etc" I then let it out to them that I had not got ANY insurance. They soon changed their attitude to me then and were so nice and helpful.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    I don't know if it's too late but I would suggest you get the policy with the best 14 day cancellation terms i.e. least cost.
    Don't renew as I'm not sure teh 14 day period applies to renewals. Get a new policy.
    Then take 14 days to sort out wat you want, but a least you'll be covered
    You might have to pay for time on cover and/or an admin fee so you need to find one that has reasonable terms for 14 day cancellation.
  • NikiyaNikiya Forumite
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    Thanks! Well my question was not so much about what might happen IF there is a loss while uncovered... I can figure that much, but what consequences a would a few days without coverage have, even it nothing happens.
    As matter of fact I renewed and yes Lisyloo, I do have the 14 days to cancel if I find something else.
    Anyway I have discovered I need to change a couple of locks because there is only three types they accept and if you have a different one they won't cover you for burglary.
    I believe this applies to all insurers... they do not take bolts into account, although in my view (and experience!) they are even safer than locks.
  • mattymoomattymoo Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Nikiya wrote: »
    I believe this applies to all insurers... they do not take bolts into account, although in my view (and experience!) they are even safer than locks.

    Bolts can only be set from the inside. Key operated bolts are accepted by some insurers but simple slide bolts are easily overcome by a thief once they have gained access to the property.
  • foggytownfoggytown Forumite
    325 Posts
    Nikiya wrote: »
    Anyway I have discovered I need to change a couple of locks because there is only three types they accept and if you have a different one they won't cover you for burglary.
    .

    It could be worse than that! Many insurers would use your non-compliance with their lock requirements as a convenient reason to deny any claim. It has often been the case that a breach of a condition or warranty (even unintentionally) doesn't necessarily have to be pertinent to the loss itself to deny the claim or void the policy from inception.
    42 years of experience in the insurance industry.
    And nothing the industry tries do to us surprises me any more!
  • mattymoomattymoo Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Foggytown
    A condition requires the breach to be relevant before a claim can be declined.
    A warranty means the breach will affect all claims.

    Most, if not all home insurance policies carry a Security Condition.
    Warranties are found in commercial policies.
  • edited 3 May 2010 at 6:54PM
    foggytownfoggytown Forumite
    325 Posts
    edited 3 May 2010 at 6:54PM
    mattymoo wrote: »
    Foggytown
    A condition requires the breach to be relevant before a claim can be declined.
    A warranty means the breach will affect all claims.

    No, that's not the case. Insurers can take the position that they wouldn't have accepted the risk in the first place if the true information had been known. The insurer could claim that it was a breach of a condition precedent.
    42 years of experience in the insurance industry.
    And nothing the industry tries do to us surprises me any more!
  • mattymoomattymoo Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    foggytown wrote: »
    No, that's not the case. Insurers can take the position that they wouldn't have accepted the risk in the first place if the true information had been known. The insurer could claim that it was a breach of a condition precedent.

    You're talking apples and pears here.

    Non disclosure of material facts (convictions, occupation, occupancy, house type, claims history etc) leading to cancellation of a policy / avoiding claims is nothing whatsoever to do with warranties and conditions.

    The ombudsman clearly states that a breach of a policy condition must be relevant to a loss for a claim to be declined. For instance, if no locks are fitted to windows but thieves entered via door, the claim would be paid.

    Warranties are really the preserve of commercial policies and even here, the move is towards conditions so that a commercial policy is warranty free. One of the most common warranties in use is the Bona fide subcontractors warranty.
  • foggytownfoggytown Forumite
    325 Posts
    mattymoo wrote: »
    The ombudsman clearly states that a breach of a policy condition must be relevant to a loss for a claim to be declined. For instance, if no locks are fitted to windows but thieves entered via door, the claim would be paid.

    You don't appreciate the difference between the denial of a claim and the voiding of a policy ab initio?
    42 years of experience in the insurance industry.
    And nothing the industry tries do to us surprises me any more!
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