Contents Insurance - Standard
Your basic contents policy will provide for
everything within your home whilst it is in your home. It
can be extended to provide some cover for certain items
taken outside of your home. More about that later. Therefore
your contents includes: Household goods and personal effects
of every description. That is anything within your home that
could conceivably be of a domestic nature and that is not
part and parcel of your buildings. Not only your goods and
personal effects but anything in your home that you are
responsible for. e.g. you are looking after something for a
social club you belong to, or your children are looking
after some items they've brought home from school for the
weekend or holiday.
Your contents include your aerials and
satellite dishes for your tv and radio. Note that it does not
include transmitting aerials for amateur radio. If you are in
to this you should ask your insurer to extend the cover.
Telephones are included along with permanently
installed domestic appliances (this is where you could have
disputes between buildings and contents insurers if wordings
vary). All mains supply meters are part of your contents.
Exclusions are 'property more specifically insured', that means
if there was another policy in force that specified the item,
you should claim on the other policy.
Then there is the accidental damage cover. This
covers you for anything and everything that could possibly
happen, unless it is listed in the exclusions. The 'onus of
proof' is with your insurer. So if they reject your claim, they
have to prove that the exclusion applies to your claim. Typical
Contact lenses (insure them via your
Damage which is normal settlement and wear and tear etc.
Rot, mildew, rust, corrosion
Insects woodworm vermin
Dyeing, cleaning, repair or renovation.
Thus if you damage your clothes because the wrong washing
machine setting - tough! There is no cover. What is vermin? The
policy does not define this. Perhaps it should. Is a red
squirrel vermin? Is a grey squirrel vermin? Is a fox vermin or
a hedgehog? Where do you draw the line.
Interestingly there was a little press on this
subject a couple of years ago. One insurer accepted a claim for
impact by a squirrel that had sneaked into their home and
knocked over a vase. Another rejected a similar claim on the
grounds that they were vermin.
Many policies also exclude damage by domestic
pets, but by no means all of them. I suggest that, unless the
policy wording you have is crystal clear you should push for
settlement. Insurers have to obey what is known as the 'contra
proferatum' rule. This means that as they worded the policy,
they have to accept the consequences if it is not crystal
"The cost of replacing said spectacles was
This is not an estimate as I have already bought
them following a long conversation with a parking
meter which I took to be a hyperthyroid bald
|Extracts taken from actual claim
forms submitted to
a number of UK car insurance companies