11:31 21 June 2013
Did you know that making a claim on your home insurance could push up the cost of cover by almost 50%?
In fact, claims for potentially avoidable household accidents have added an extra £17.4million to the cost of home insurance, according to MoneySupermarket research.
The study, which analysed 3.6million quotes run through our home insurance channel, also found that out of 13 potential reasons for claiming, just four make up the bulk (78%) of all claims on home insurance cover.
So let's take a look at what those claims are, how much they add to the cost of cover and, crucially, the best ways to avoid them...
It probably comes as no surprise that accidental damage is the number one claim made on home insurance. It covers everything from drinks being spilt on carpets and couches to dropping the TV while rearranging the front room.
This type of claim accounts for 35% of all claims and could add 8% (or £10.45) to the cost of cover each year.
So, how can you avoid making an accidental damage claim?
Escape of water
Next on the list is escape of water, which makes up 19% of all claims and can add a whopping 30% (or £41.62) on to the cost of your annual home insurance policy.
Burst water pipes are the main reason for this type of claim; a problem that usually arises as a result of pipes expanding and bursting as they freeze during the winter months.
With that in mind, here are the best ways to avoid an escape of water claim:
The third most common cause of a home insurance claim is theft; a problem that accounts for 18% of all claims and can add an eye-watering 42% on to the cost of cover (£57 a year).
Simply being vigilant is the best way to avoid having your belongings stolen, but here are some more specific pointers...
Storm and flood damage
Amazingly, given the number of serious floods we've had over the last couple of years, storm and flood damage accounts for less than 1% of all contents claims.
It does, however, make up almost 8% of all claims on buildings insurance and can add an extra 34% (or £46.63) on to the cost of cover. In the worst cases, you could end up forking out £1,000s more at renewal or even struggle to get insurance at all.
But while it's impossible to completely protect yourself against floods, here are a few pointers that could help minimise the damage...
How to keep the cost of cover down
The good news is that competition among providers is continuing to bring down the cost of home insurance. So you shouldn't have to break the bank to find a policy that suits your needs.
However, it's important that you shop around for cover and don't just accept the first decent-sounding quote that comes along - comparing quotes with MoneySupermarket could save you as much as £212 on the cost of your home insurance.
Once you have that cover in place, be sure to take steps (such as those mentioned above) to try to avoid the need to make a claim so that your premiums don't rocket the following year.
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