Mr and Mrs X bought a home insurance policy last year, only to be told that it would not pay out when they made a claim. Mr and Mrs X was away from the home for 45 days to Australia to see his son and his family, with no one occupying his home in India. On returning back to India, he put in a claim for burglary under home insurance for the laptop and CD player, which burglarised when he was on holiday. The claim was rejected due to exclusion – ‘Being away from the home for over 30 days with no one occupying it.’
Every insurer is different and policies coverage may differ on the type and amount of cover available. So it is always advisable to read the policy terms and conditions before you purchase and make sure that you have the right cover for your home.
What are exclusions?
Exclusions are situations or conditions where in insurer is not liable to pay the benefits to the insured person in the event of an accident.
Exclusions are two types –
1. Permanent/Standard Exclusions
These are the main exclusions of the policy, which cannot be covered, even after paying additional premium.
2. Temporary exclusions
These are exclusions, which can be covered by paying extra premium. These are like add-on.
It is very important to know all the exclusions in your home insurance policy. Listed below are some more common exclusions which could be applicable to your home insurance policy –
1. Intentionally or Purposely Damage
The first one is the destruction or damage to the property that is caused intentionally or purposely. In other words any loss or damage by the insured and/ or insured’s domestic staff direct or indirect involvement in an attempted burglary.
The losses that are caused by depreciation are not covered under this policy and for this reason the insurance claim couldn’t be availed. Depreciation and damage caused by wear and tear or gradual deterioration.
3. Nuclear or Radioactive materials
Damages that are caused by nuclear or radioactive materials are also one of the exclusions of this policy. Any damage directly or indirectly caused by or contributed to or arising from ionising radiation or contamination by radioactivity.
4. War and nuclear perils
Insurance claim can’t be made in case of the damage of property occurred due to enemy invasion, act of foreign enemy, civil war, revolution, etc. Damage as a consequence of war, invasion, act of foreign enemy, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolution etc.
5. Government or lawfully constituted authority
Any damage due to confiscation, commandeering, requisition or destruction by order of any government or lawfully constituted authority. Any loss or damage to any property that is illegally acquired, kept, stored which is subject to forfeiture.
6. Software or Viruses
Any electronic damages or failures that are caused by software or viruses are not usually covered
Any loss or damage occurring while insured’s home is unoccupied, for a period of more than 30 days consecutively and if the insured failed to inform the company about the same.
8. Pollution or Contamination
Damage to property and contents due to pollution of any kind.
If a tree topples over in a windstorm and crushes your house, you’re covered. If your home collapses because of a termite infestation, you’re probably not. Insurers expect you to take care of your home and deal with any maintenance issues on your own dime.
10. Consumable articles
Not every insurer is the same and there may be more or less exclusions applicable to your policy, it is important to read your terms and conditions to make sure your home insurance policy covers you for everything that you need.
As well as the above exclusions there are also a number of circumstances that could affect a claim not being paid out, below are the more common reasons –
1. Falsified information
2. Not using a burglar alarm if you have specified that you have one or in the event of a burglary there is no forced entry
3. Failing to report a burglary to the police
4. Leaving windows open or not using the locks
5. Using your home as a business without informing the insurance company
6. Lack of maintenance – any repair work due to your negligibility is unlikely to be covered
7. Failure to carry out repair work on previous claims