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A quick summary of your home insurance

What is and isn't covered?

A home in the sunshine with a lot of bushes, trees and greenery in the background

When it comes to home insurance, everyone knows it's important to have something in place, just in case the worst happens. But do you really understand what level of cover you need, the different kinds of policy and what 'home insurance' actually covers?

Most homeowners aren't aware of what their home insurance does (and doesn't) cover. Some think their home insurance will cover anything that happens, from wear and tear, to maintenance issues and even boiler breakdowns. Others don't know they can make a claim for something that is covered by their policy.

This is a snapshot of the things you need to know about LV= home insurance.

Home insurance: the basics

We'll give you a choice of insuring your buildings, your contents or both. Most people choose to insure buildings and contents, but if you live in a flat you might find that you only need contents insurance.

Whether you've got buildings or contents, your insurance will cover you for:

Subsidence

Storm

Theft

Fire

Vandalism

flood

Water and oil leaks

Impact

You'll also have a limited level of accidental damage cover in case fixtures and fittings, like windows, get damaged. However, you will need to add extended accidental damage cover if you want your insurance to pay out for things like red wine stains on carpets.

We also cover lots of other handy things as standard, such as replacement locks and keys if yours are lost or stolen; plants in the garden; even digital downloads to replace your online music and film collection.

Our home insurance policy document has a full list of the things we cover.

If you need cover for things you take out of the home with you, or help with certain legal matters, we also have a range of other optional extras that you can 'bolt on' to your home insurance.

So, what isn't covered by home insurance?

Wear and tear

It may come as a surprise, but LV= home insurance doesn't cover 'wear and tear'. In fact, wear and tear is excluded by most insurers.

Wear and tear is the bumps, scuffs and breakdowns that happen to your home and belongings over time.

For example, if your washing machine starts to make a funny rattle when it's on the spin cycle, or if your carpet in the hallway has become worn and threadbare from years of tired feet coming through the door, you won't be able to claim for a new one.

There are things you can do to prevent wear and tear from becoming a bigger problem by checking your home regularly. Use our interactive 'Home MOT' guide for ideas of how to stay on top of it.

Home maintenance

When storms roll in, most homes can withstand rain and wind if they've been properly maintained. However, weather can highlight problems with maintenance rather than cause problems. Good examples are loose guttering falling down, or a leak because of a split in a flat roof – events that aren't generally covered by our home insurance.

We also get lots of calls from customers wanting to know if they can claim for damage to their fence panels. Fence panels aren't covered if they've been damaged in a storm. This is also the case for any plants and contents you have in the garden.

Other than that, damage caused by a storm is usually covered. To establish storm conditions, we use expert weather data. Generally, a storm is classed as wind speed or gusts over a certain speed.

Loss in the home

When your other half cooks, it's only fair that you do the washing up. After scrubbing the last pan, you realise your engagement ring is missing and you're pretty sure that there's only one place it could've gone, down the plug hole.

Many people assume that your home insurance will cover you as standard if you lose something in the home. In fact, you're only covered if you add additional cover. This is because technically you can't lose something in the home - it's there, you just can't find it!

LV= only covers loss in the home if you've taken out optional personal possessions cover, so consider adding this to your policy if covering loss in the home is important to you.

Pests

No one likes an uninvited guest, especially when those guests are mice, rats or creepy crawlies. It's also not unheard of for squirrels and even birds to make their way into a home. In the panic of trying to escape, these pests can ruin carpets, chew furniture and cause all manner of chaos - but is this covered?

In short yes - but only if you have extended accidental damage cover.

Our Home Emergency cover will also help remove pests from your home. So if you see Speedy Gonzales zip across your kitchen floor, we can be there to help remove him.

Getting a quote

The way we live and what we own is constantly changing so it's important that as a homeowner, you're aware of what you're buying and what cover you have in place.

Here are some examples of things you need to tell your insurer about:

  • If you need to increase your level of cover
  • A decision to change the use of your home e.g. renting it out or starting to run a business
  • If and when you're planning to have building work done
  • Your home being unoccupied if it's for more than 60 days
  • A valuable worth over £1,500 that you buy or inherit
  • If you're moving house

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