Unfortunately, accidents happen and even the most house-proud of us can find ourselves with damage at the hands of clumsy kids, DIY jobs gone wrong and general butter fingers.
When these sorts of home disasters strike, it pays to have the appropriate cover in place and that’s where accidental damage cover comes to your rescue.
Included in most home insurance policies or available as an add-on, this type of cover is designed to protect you from the costly consequences of repairing or replacing home contents that have been damaged accidentally. Accidental damage cover can be included in home insurance policies for buildings only, contents only, and combined building and contents policies.
But what exactly constitutes accidental damage under your home insurance policy and how can it help? Here’s what you need to know.
What is accidental damage?
As the term suggests, ‘accidental damage’ is damage that occurs as a result of a sudden, unexpected and unforeseen event that causes visible damage by yourself or your guests. This means that you won’t be able to claim for damage caused gradually by wear and tear.
Various levels of accidental damage cover are available based on what you feel is necessary for your circumstances. For example, a basic level will cover small mishaps like a broken mirror, while full cover can cover big jobs like carpet replacements.
What is the difference between contents and building cover?
Accidental damage contents insurance covers your personal belongings, including furniture, unfitted carpets, decorative items, and appliances.
Accidental damage building insurance, on the other hand, covers permanent fixtures such as windows, doors, bathroom and kitchen fittings, pipes, etc.
What is covered?
Nobody is above a fleeting lapse of coordination or moment of clumsiness. Glasses of red wine get spilt on carpets and mirrors gets smashed. With cover in place, rest assured that you won’t be facing costly consequences.
We’ve all been there – what seems like a simple DIY job ends in disaster when a paint pot ends up face down on the carpet or an ill-placed nail bursts a water pipe.
Before carrying out any work on your home, check your policy to see what you are covered for, as DIY damage may require buildings and contents policies, depending on what you are doing.
It’s important to note that ongoing renovation works would not be covered by accidental damage insurance.
Kids will be kids
As much as we love them, young children are the root of many a home insurance claim, due to damage caused by moments of clumsiness and general curiosity. All it can take is a minute unsupervised and you’ve got a new work of art on the living room wall or they’ve spilt their juice all over your brand-new sofa. For these instances, it’s worthwhile having adequate cover in place.
What isn’t covered?
Unfortunately, most insurers will not cover for damage caused by your beloved pets. Better get working on that house training.
Accidental damage insurance will not cover for deliberate destruction or vandalism of belongings. Defective premises may be covered depending on your policy.
Electronic gadgets and high-risk items
Items such as mobile phones and laptops are frequently taken out of the home and therefore may not be covered by your policy. For these, you may need to add personal possessions cover, or specify them along with any high-risk items individually on your policy.
The inclusions and exclusions on specific policies are not always consistent, so it’s always worth checking the terms of a policy before committing. One thing they all have in common, however, is that accidental damage insurance can give you peace of mind that your home is protected from day-to-day mishaps.