November 8, 2012

Kevin Paterson, Sales & Marketing Director, Assurant Intermediary

I came across some pretty stark research the other day that really serves to illustrate how little the public understands how their home insurance works. 

If these figures are to be believed there is real work to be done by both insurers and brokers to better educate customers. That could present a golden opportunity for brokers to show their value.

Carried out by Onepoll amongst 2000 UK homeowners in September on behalf of AXA this year, the research states that six out of ten people make wrong assumptions about the cover provided against stormy weather on their policy. 

The insurer turns down one in twenty storm damage claims because the damage has been caused not by the weather but by a lack of maintenance of the policyholder’s home, yet 59% of people would expect their insurer to pay out for any weather-related damage to their home no matter what the state of its repair. In fact 23% believe that a home insurance policy is there to pick up any sort of structural damage caused by general wear and tear.

And it’s not just storm damage that seems to cause confusion about what is and isn’t covered by most standard home insurance policies.  More than 50% of people also assumed that fire from unswept chimneys, leaks from rusty pipes and fire from old or faulty electrics were also covered as standard.

No wonder then that insurance gets such a bad press for turning down claims when so few realise what their policy can and can’t cover. 

These figures might seem surprising to us as we work in the industry but consumers clearly need educating. The good news is that brokers are best placed to do just that. 

As winter approaches and weather related claims start to rise, this is the ideal time to speak to clients about their B&C policies and make sure they are aware of the realities of the extent of these policies and the responsibility that lies with them as homeowners for ongoing maintenance. 


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