1. My insurance company did not send me a renewal for my policy. What can I do now that we have a burst pipe that has caused damage to our carpet?
Under the law your insurance continues under the same conditions. However, the insurance company may have evidence that the renewal was in fact sent, so make sure you didn't just forget to reinsure.
Check out our fact sheets on settling insurance disputes if the insurer does not come to the party.
2. Why should I tell my insurance company about something that has happened to me in the last twelve months, even if it increases their risk, if they do not ask it on the policy?
This will be part of your insurance policy. Sometimes the question is specifically asked e.g. whether you have modified your car in the last twelve months.
If the question is not asked, and it is something you wish to keep confidential, you should get legal advice or speak to your broker before the policy expires.
Remember, if you do not disclose a material fact the insurance company may be able to avoid paying on a claim, so make sure you get advice.
3. We suffered loss because of an accidental breakage in our house. The event is covered by the policy, but the damage was caused by one of my son's friends. Are we covered?
It depends on what the policy states. For instance, it is generally accepted that losses are covered if the damage is caused by family members living permanently in the house.
To check out this situation ring the insurance company or your broker, read the policy carefully, and if the loss is significant and you are still not covered, you might want to seek legal advice.
4. Is it possible to get insurance for my gardener? Can I add it to my home insurance?
Yes. You should get in touch with your insurance company or your broker and see what can be done. It is always a good idea to ensure that people working on your property are covered for accidents and other losses.
However, first find out what sort of insurance the gardener carries (ask for evidence, don't just take their word for it).
5. Will the insurer check all the details of my application for car insurance? If not I might be able to hide the fact that I have had three accidents, all my fault, in the last year.
In fact the insurer may not check the accuracy of the information you give, but it may mean that when you make a claim it will be refused. In other words, there is every possibility that the information will be checked at the time you make a claim, and therefore a serious possibility that payment will be legally rejected.
6. Does the house contents policy provide new for old cover?
Often it does, but you must check at the time you take out the insurance, and if you have forgotten to do so, make sure you ask well before the cooling-off period has expired.
7. My car insurance application asks whether I have any traffic offences in the last five years. Surely they are not interested in my speeding fine last year?
You should declare any traffic offence, no matter how innocuous. If you do not do this there may be grounds to refuse a claim in the future. Better to be safe than sorry.
8. I think I paid too much for my insurance. Can I complain to the Insurance Ombudsman?
No, the Ombudsman does not deal with these types of disputes.
9. I haven't checked the replacement value of the property in some years, but my friend says the insurance company automatically increases the replacement value each year? Is that right?
Unfortunately most home owners are underinsured. Ring the company (or better your broker if you have one) and ask for the current replacement value of the property, then follow our steps in these fact sheets that deal with this issue.
You will have to come to a decision about obtaining a realistic value for your property, and remember to include everything that will need to be relaced and the all the associated costs.
10. Do I have to pay the insurer if I lose at the Insurance Ombudsman?
No. This is one of the big advantages of the dispute resolution scheme.
Last Updated – April 2010