Haunted houses: Does your insurance cover a ghoul-ish guest?
- What householders can do if things go bump in the night (or the daytime come to that).
- GoCompare insurance has some tips to ensure your insurance claim isn’t a horror story
GoCompare home insurance is warning homeowners about the ghostly tricks and household nightmares that could invalidate your home insurance this Halloween.
According to Wikipedia, there are 164* reportedly haunted houses throughout the UK – from ghost cats to green ladies wandering hallways, there’s an array of paranormal activity going on throughout the UK. But what can you claim for if your home is as terrifying as the Tower of London?
GoCompare Home insurance has come up with some guidance on how homeowners can protect themselves against any financial frights if they need to make a claim:
“Objects thrown across the room”:
It’s scary enough having an uninvited guest in the house, especially if they’re out to cause mischief. If you take the case of the Enfield Poltergeist at 284 Green Street, a council house in Brimsdown, residents have repeatedly reported incidents of furniture being moved and “objects thrown across the room” ** which can cause havoc to your mind, let alone your belongings - and it could be even worse if you’re not covered for accidental damage on your policy.
GoCompare home insurance has reviewed 364 home contents insurance policies and found that just 75 provide accidental damage to contents as standard. The same research also revealed that almost a third (30%) of home insurance policies do not cover accidental breakage of glass and mirrors as standard.***
Likewise, if your paranormal friend doesn’t just stick to roaming the indoor halls, and also likes a stroll around the grounds, it’s worth checking that you’re covered for any damages to any contents that are kept outdoors.
Outdoor contents may need specific garden cover for any loss, theft or damage caused, especially if there are items in your garden that are particularly valuable. While many home buildings and contents insurance policies include a degree of cover for gardens, the amount and level of cover varies hugely between policies. For example, out of 329 home insurance (buildings) policies, 74% do not provide any cover for garden contents as standard.****
Ham House in London is said to have a paranormal puppy in residence that runs through the corridors of the stately home looking for its owner, the Duchess of Lauderdale. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation and find that you have a ghoulish Golden Retriever or Great Dane raising hell with your soft furnishings – would you be covered?
It seems that not everyone would be, as GoCompare home insurance analysed 364 home contents insurance policies and found that at only 16 cover damage caused by domestic pets as standard.*****
Fight or flight:
If your home is soooo haunted that you have to run and hide – like the Rashid family did in 2008 when they bought Clifton Hall, a million pound mansion in Nottinghamshire – you’ll be pleased to know that home contents insurance policies could come in very handy.
Again, GoCompare did some analysis and found that out of the 364 products on the market, 360 offer alternative accommodation if your home is unhabitable.****** The cover varies from associated costs of under £7500, to other policies that would pay out for more £20,000 of costs and for up to 24 months, but this depends entirely on your insurance policy.
As with all insurance, it’s best to check with your insurer before you put in a claim which allows you to hide from your haunted inhabitants.
However, if you discover that you have a ghostly presence in your home this Halloween and decide to make a profit from your phantom by opening up your home as an official “Haunted House”, you will absolutely have to think about your insurance cover.
Generally, running a business from home will need a specialist business insurance policy because, depending on the nature of the work, it can introduce new risks such as stock, specialist tools or equipment, and in the case of a Haunted House - visitors. Typically, standard home contents insurance policies do not provide cover if you are planning on running a business from your home, so you should talk to your provider if you are planning a home business to check what you are covered for, and then look for a specialist business policy to cover any risks outside of your home insurance.
While not a home insurance consideration, if you are looking to sell your haunted home, under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs), an estate agent has to disclose any “fair” information to homebuyers and sellers that could impact someone’s decision to buy a property. So, if you’re convinced there’s a spooky presence in your abode, it’s only fair to declare!
More information about accidental damage cover on your home insurance policy can be found here: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/accidental-damage-and-home-insurance/
For further information please contact:
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Notes to editors
*** According to a search on Defaqto Matrix on 11th October 2021 – out of a total 364 home contents policies, 70% covered accidental breakage to glass and mirrors as standard.
**** According to a search on Defaqto Matrix on 11th October 2021 – out of a total 329 buildings insurance policies, 242 do not provide cover as standard for items outdoors.
***** According to a search on Defaqto Matrix on 11th October 2021 – out of a total 364 home contents insurance policies, 16 provide cover for damage caused by domestic pets as standard.
****** According to a search on Defaqto Matrix on 11th October 2021 – out of a total 364 home contents insurance policies, 360 offer alternative accommodation cover.
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Notes to editors