Top 5 Home Insurance Claims

Here at Allianz we deal with our customer’s home insurance claims every day. These range from relatively minor claims like Accidental Damage which is an optional extension of cover, right through to much larger claims following fire or flood damage.

1. Water Damage

Water Damage was the biggest category in 2016 accounting for 28% of all household insurance claims.

The most common Water Damage or ‘Escape of Water’ claims arise from pipes (e.g. underfloor pipes, radiators, or leaks from overflow pipes in the attic). A common query is that of Escape of Water from bath and showers. We don’t cover loss or damage where water leaks through the grouting or seals which is considered to be ‘wear and tear’.

Here are some guidelines and tips to help prevent water damage from occurring. These should only be undertaken by a professional. Should you decide to seek the services of a professionals, please note that their fee won’t be covered under your home insurance policy.

  • Check appliances such as your washing machine, dishwasher and water heaters. In particular, you should check their pipes and water supply hoses for signs they’re getting old or loose. Arrange for their replacement or tightening as necessary and if in doubt always refer back to the maintenance guidelines provided with your appliances.
  • Keep plumbing systems as clean as possible. Remove grease buildup from the kitchen sink. If a build up remains this can lead to an increased risk of water overflow.
  • Ensure that all pipes are sufficiently insulated to avoid freezing and bursting during spells of cold weather.

2. Storm Damage

Storm damage in Ireland is quite common and accounted for 19% of all Allianz household insurance claims in 2016. Storm damage usually includes damage to roofs when slates or tiles are displaced, and damage to gutters.

Your Policy covers your Premises; when a sum insured for this cover is shown on the schedule. Your policy covers Storm, however this is excluding loss or damage:

  • To fences and gates, lawns, hedges, trees, shrubs and plants
  • By frost
  • To roofs constructed with torch-on felt, exceeding 10 years of age, or other felt exceeding 5 years of age.

Here are some guidelines and tips to help prevent storm damage from occurring. These should only be undertaken by a professional. Should you decide to seek the services of a professional, please note that their fee won’t be covered under your home insurance policy.

  • Check the condition of the roof looking for cracked and broken tiles or slates; cracks in chimneys; or problems with pointing. The condition of the roof is of particular importance in the event of heavy snow conditions with its unexpected additional weight.
  • Keep gutters, valleys and drains clear to carry water away quickly and efficiently. A blocked drainpipe with trapped rainwater may crack or shatter in the event of freezing conditions.
  • Make sure that all electrical devices are unplugged during a thunderstorm.
  • Consider cutting back low hanging tree branches, which could cause damage in high winds but take care if power lines are nearby.

3. Accidental Damage

The next most common claim in 2016 resulted from Accidental Damage and accounted for 17% of household insurance claims.

Accidental Damage is an optional extension of cover under your Home Insurance policy covering accidental damage to premises and/or contents - subject to the exclusions outlined in the Policy Document.

If you’re with Allianz and have selected Accidental Damage your policy will reimburse you for damage to your contents. The following are examples of contents covered under accidental damage:

  • Household goods
  • Clothing
  • Furniture and furnishings
  • Personal effects (these include wallets, handbags, mobile phones, jewellery, hearing aids, etc.)

If you wish to learn more about our Home Insurance Policy you can do so here.

4. Theft – Forced Entry

Next on the list are claims resulting from Theft – Forced Entry, which accounted for 14% of household insurance claims in 2016.

Theft mainly involves forced entry through windows and doors at both the back and front of homes, but can also include theft outside the home. Items stolen from outside the home can be protected under our optional extension ‘All Risks Cover’. This protects you against loss, theft of, or accidental damage to, portable personal items. These could include jewellery, clothing, photographic or sports equipment to name but a few.

Garda Analysis Service data shows that front doors are the most common entry point in 29% of burglaries. Burglars also commonly target back doors (26%), back windows (24%) and front windows (8%). 1 in 5 cases involve a burglar getting access through an unsecured door or window.

An Garda Síochána Lock Up and Light Up Campaign offers clear simple and effective advice with regards to tackling burglaries. If You Love It, Lock Up and Light Up.

These simple steps can help protect your home from theft. Whether you’re at home or going out,

  • Remember to turn on some lights.
  • Use timer switches.
  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Use an alarm.
  • Store keys away from windows and letter boxes.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house.

5. Fire Damage

House fires accounted for 10% of Allianz household insurance claims in 2016. Damage following fire is often severe and the amount claimed for is usually quite high.

Damage mainly results from chimney fires, followed by electrical fires and fires from other areas within the home. This includes damage arising from household appliances. A simple preventative measure (which is often forgotten) is removing the lint from your dryer. Lint can clog your appliance and prevent it from working properly, which could possibly result in a fire.

The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue service jointly run Fire Safety Week – a campaign aimed at enhancing fire safety, particularly in the home.

The campaign advocates a 4 step process to ensure fire safety.

  1. S - Smoke alarms. Make sure you have at least one on every level/floor.
  2. T - Test your smoke alarms weekly or ask someone to check it for you.
  3. O - Obvious dangers. Look out for fire risks like overloaded sockets, candles and unattended appliances.
  4. P - Plan your escape route. Keep access routes clear and have your keys at the ready.

You can learn more about Fire Prevention on the Fire Safety Week website.

At Allianz we take particular care to provide you with a dedicated Claims service designed with you in mind to ensure the fair and prompt settlement of all legitimate claims.

If you would like to report a new claim, discuss an existing claim, or avail of our 24 hour emergency assistance service, you can call us directly on 01 613 3990. For more information on household claims including what to do in the event of a claim please visit the Home Insurance Claims section of our website.

Please note:It is important to remember, when proposing for insurance cover, that the information you provide is true and complete and that no material fact has been misrepresented or withheld by you. Failure to disclose all material information may result in the voidance or cancellation of your policy, a claim not being paid or partly paid, you encountering difficulty obtaining insurance elsewhere or, in the case of property insurance, you breaching the terms and conditions of any loan on the property.

Information correct as of 18/08/2017. Calls may be recorded.

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