Contents insurance is essential for every homeowner

Five surprising things that can invalidate your home insurance

James Carter
Authored by James Carter
Posted: Monday, January 31, 2022 - 13:46

Contents insurance is essential for every homeowner, and with a UK home burglary every 106 seconds, it’s vital you’re protected should the worst happen. However, it’s good to know that certain things can invalidate your policy and push you outside the guidelines of your insurance policy. 

Insurance provider SO-SURE, has compiled a list of seemingly small actions to be aware of that can void your contents insurance. Check out the tips below for the top five things that could cost you more money and invalidate your insurance. 

1.    Installing pet doors 

Whilst it may be a lot easier for you and your pet to have a door flap installed, this can affect or even void an insurance claim. Some insurers say it can make your door

less secure and more prone to damage, so just make sure to inform them if you have a pet door installed. In some cases, it may mean you have to pay a slightly higher premium for this addition to your main door. 

2.     Dodgy locks 

Keeping your home as secure as possible us every homeowner's goal, so be sure to keep your locks in good working condition, or it may cost you money.  

Each insurer will expect a minimum level of security to keep you covered, depending on where you live and the level of cover you opt for. Similarly, the types of locks you

have should be considered to meet the standard that your policy indicates you need. If these are poorly maintained or faulty, insurers may reject any claims you make. 

For most cases, insurers will look favourably on those who have high quality and well-maintained locks, and sometimes favour additional security such as burglar alarms when

deciding your premiums.  

3.     Sharing holiday selfies 

An innocent selfie of your family on holiday may seem harmless, but it could attract burglars by letting them know that your home is empty, offering a prime time for them

to take advantage of your vacant property.  

It may invalidate your contents insurance if you are seen to publicly show that the residents of your home are away, so be careful what to share and when to share it. Perhaps

share your holiday snaps when you get home and are flicking through the camera roll!  

4.     Having building work done 

Building work can increase the risk of damage to your home’s structure and contents, so be sure to notify your insurer of the work that you are planning of undertaking.  

If you’re having building work carried out on your property, it nearly always increases the risk of damage to the home’s structure or contents. If you don’t, you might be

at risk of invalidating your insurance policy from building work damages. 

Once you’ve told your insurer, you may have to pay more for the duration of the project, however this is standard as your property is more at risk of damage throughout this

time - it may be a one-off payment or an increase in premiums to cover the additional risk. 

5.     Having a lodger  

Since 2009, the total value of relief declared as a result of the government’s Rent-a-Room Scheme has increased by 187%2,

with more people than ever taking in tenants. To many insurance providers, a lodger can be considered an extra risk, for example, they may pose as an extra security risk or cause damage. You may have to change your policy to more accurately reflect the extra

risk to your home into account. 

Gabriel Cabral, Senior Marketing Manager

from SO-SURE, commented: 

“Owning your own home is exciting, but it’s important to make sure your contents insurance covers any changes or improvements, and that you don’t unintentionally put your

home security at risk. 

“Always keep your insurance provider in the loop of any changes, even if they may seem trivial, and keep your eye on what cover you require, as this can change year on


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