As the property market starts moving again in England, GoCompare Home Insurance is warning home movers to check their home contents insurance to make sure their belongings will be covered.
The coronavirus regulations implemented in March brought the UK property market to a halt, leaving over 450,000 home buyers and renters2 unable to move. Lockdown rules in England have now been eased to allow the housing market to resume business and to help people get moving.
In its guidance3 on house moves during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government is recommending that households should try and do as much of the packing themselves as possible. However, GoCompare Home Insurance is warning DIY home movers to check their insurance to make sure they are covered. Most policies only cover the loss of, or damage to, possessions during a home move if they are packed and transported by professionals.
The comparison website compared over 400 home contents insurance policies and found that most (78%) provide cover for belongings during house removals as standard, while 11% offer it as an optional extra with accidental damage cover.
Typically, cover only applies if the home move is undertaken by a professional removal company. In addition, delicate or breakable items such as glassware and china are usually only insured if they have been professionally packed. Common exclusions include cover for valuable items such as jewellery, watches, personal money and, coins. GoCompare’s analysis also revealed that 12% of policies don’t cover home removals at all.
Lee Griffin, founder and CEO of GoCompare, commented: “The government has amended the coronavirus regulations to help get the housing market in England going again. Its ‘Moving home during the coronavirus outbreak’ guidance document recommends new processes for property professionals and the public to help ensure that the risk of spreading the virus is minimised - for example, social distancing arrangements and the use of online property searches and virtual viewings. However, the packing and removal of your home’s contents are aspects of moving home which can’t be done virtually.
“The coronavirus can survive on surfaces for some time, so Government guidance recommends that people clean and pack-up their belongings themselves. While most home contents policies cover home moves, a common requirement is for items to be professionally packed. If you’re due to move, we recommend that you contact your home insurer well in advance of the moving date, to let them know of your plans.
“Your insurer will be able to advise you on what cover, if any, is provided for your belongings while they are in transit and highlight any limits or restrictions which may apply. For example, valuables including money, jewellery, watches, deeds and other documents may be excluded, while cover for items held in storage may be restricted, with some policies specifying a certain number of days or excluding cover completely.”
Lee Griffin continued: “Changing address is a good time to review your home insurance arrangements, as savings of more than £100 are typical4. Premiums are based on the postcode, the type of property, and the value of your belongings. While your current insurer may have offered the best deal on your old property, they might not be as competitive for your new home. However, before committing to switch insurer, you should check your existing insurer’s cancellation charges to make sure that these don’t wipe out any potential savings.”
For information on home insurance and moving house, visit: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/moving-house/
For further information please contact:
Anders Nilsson or Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 655 132
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
Notes to editors
1Defaqto Matrix of 404 home contents insurance policies (13 May 2020) - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
2Ministry of Housing, communities & Local Government (12 May 2020) - the Government estimates that more than 450,000 buyers and renters have been able to progress their plans to move home since March.
3Government Guidance on moving home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
4Price savings are based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence, conducted between 1 February to 29 February 2020: It compared 33 insurers from our panel and found 51% could save up to £102.63 with GoCompare on their buildings and contents insurance
GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
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