Following on from our last post, here we’ll discuss how factors relating to the location of your property and your personal history could influence the type of home insurance policy you need to apply for.
Again, these don’t mean that you won’t be able to get insurance – but when you are shopping around for a quote you’ll need to check that they’ll cover your specific circumstances – and if you are on a comparison site check the “assumptions” they make to generate your quote.
Properties at risk of flooding – if your home is in a flood risk area it will be more costly to insure and you may find it harder to find an insurer who will accept you. If your home is at very high risk of flooding the Flood Re scheme set up by the government and the insurance industry will ensure that you can always get insurance cover.
Buildings at risk of subsidence - some properties in the UK, particularly those in the South East, are vulnerable to subsidence. This is where a property (or part of a property) gradually sinks into the ground due to a lack of moisture in the soil underneath. One of the main causes of this in the UK is due to clay soil drying out, but nearby trees can also absorb moisture which leads to subsidence.
If you live in a high risk area for subsidence or if your home has subsided before then you may find it harder to get cover. The same is true of heave – which is the opposite of subsidence: the ground absorbs water and swells up damaging your home.
Coastal properties - some homes close to the sea or located on or near cliff-faces could also prove to be difficult to insure. If the surrounding location has the potential to be eroded by the sea or subject to landslides in wet conditions, standard insurers will be reluctant to insure your property.
Criminal convictions - if you have got unspent criminal convictions for non-motoring offences, many standard insurers are likely to refuse you a policy. A change in the law means that if your sentence resulted in less than four years in prison, you don’t have to disclose this information to insurers. On the other hand, for sentences that lasted for four years or more, you will need to disclose them – but some insurers specialise in cover for those with previous convictions. If your conviction is for fraud however, you may struggle to get cover.
Bankruptcy - whether it’s you or your partner that is going through a bankruptcy (or in some cases has ever been bankrupt), you’ll have to consider alternative home insurance options to make sure you’re covered properly. When applying for a quote, you will have to include details of any bankruptcy, and many mainstream insurers may refuse to cover you if you are bankrupt or have ever been bankrupt.