The Financial Ombudsman Service says it sees a steady stream of complaints about household insurance and security. Often it relates to claims that have been turned down because the householder didn’t have the right locks, doors or alarm.
The Ombudsman Service’s approach is that it is reasonable for an insurance company to ask someone to fit extra locks or alarms. In some areas of high crime these can make a real difference to the likelihood of a property being burgled. According to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), insurers have become more specific about security. A spokesman said: “Over the last couple of years we’ve seen insurers specify exactly what they want – not least because we’ve seen a rise in the number of car keys being stolen so cars can be taken.”
However, just because it’s in the contract doesn’t mean it’s fair. It is not reasonable for an insurer to specify a particular type of lock and not to highlight this when you take out the policy. It also wouldn’t be fair for an insurer to specify a particular type of window lock and reject a claim if a burglar gained entry via a door.
If your insurer does reject your claim, and you think you’ve been unfairly treated, you must complain to them first. If they fail to resolve things, you can then approach the Ombudsman for help. Learn how to go about this in our guide How to complain about a financial company.
If you want to find out more about home insurance generally, read our guide Your essential guide to home insurance.
Have you fitted additional security measures and did this result in cheaper home insurance premiums? If you would like to share your experience you can join the money discussion on the Rest Less community forum or leave a comment below.