Stamp Duty Extension: GoCompare warns DIY home removals may not be covered by insurance
- GoCompare Home insurance urges home movers to get in touch with their contents insurer to make sure their belongings are insured between homes.
- Most (76%) home insurance policies1 which cover house removals, only do so if the contents have been packed and transported by professional removal contractors.
- Moving home can be a good time to shop-around for a better deal on home insurance.
With a flurry of house moves expected to complete around the original 31 March Stamp Duty holiday deadline, GoCompare is warning that homeowners thinking of moving themselves need to check their contents insurance to make sure their belongings will be covered.
In a bid to boost the housing market, the Chancellor granted a Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday to homebuyers in England and Northern Ireland. Depending on the value of the property, the savings can be up to £15,000, so many house-hunters have been focused on completing the deal and getting moving before the tax break was originally due to end on 31 March 2021.
However, with Covid restrictions still in place, many movers will be tempted to do some, or all of the work themselves, but GoCompare Home Insurance is warning homebuyers that cover for belongings typically only applies if the home move is undertaken by a professional removal company.
The Government’s guidance2 document, ‘Moving home during the coronavirus outbreak’, recommends processes for property professionals and the public to help minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19. Social distancing arrangements, the use of online property searches and virtual viewings are advocated. Packing and removal of a home’s contents are aspects of moving home which can’t be done virtually, so the guide recommends that households should do as much of the packing themselves as possible. However, most home contents policies only cover the loss of, or damage to, possessions during a home move if they are packed and transported by professionals.
GoCompare Home Insurance compared the cover for home removals under nearly 400 home contents insurance policies. Most policies (76%) automatically provide cover, 11% only provide cover if the policyholder had chosen to top-up their insurance to include accidental damage cover, the remaining (11%) don’t offer any cover for house moves.
The comparison also revealed that cover for belongings is typically only valid if the removal is undertaken by a professional firm.
Fragile items such as glassware and china are usually only insured if they have been professionally packed. Common exclusions include cover for valuables such as personal money, jewellery, stamps, coins, deeds and other documents. Policies also vary on whether and for how long, they cover possessions left in storage - some policies specifying a certain number of days, while other exclude cover completely.
Lee Griffin, founder and CEO of GoCompare, commented: “We welcome the extension to the Government’s temporary Stamp Duty holiday. The initiative has undoubtedly helped buoy the housing market and the guidance alongside it provides important public health information to ensure that moving home can happen safely.
“Whether you decide to move yourself or employ a professional firm, you’ll need to contact your home contents insurer in advance of your moving date. They will be able to let you know what cover, if any, is provided for your possessions while they are in transit and highlight any limits or restrictions which may apply.”
Lee Griffin continued, “Changing address can also be a good time to review your home insurance arrangements. Premiums are based on the property’s postcode, type, number of bedrooms and the value of your belongings. While your existing 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.
“If you’re buying new furniture, electrical or white goods, or other items for your new home which would push up the value of your contents, you should review your sum insured to make sure it is sufficient to cover your new purchases.”
Over half of customers who switched and saved on their home insurance with GoCompare Home Insurance saved up to £1073.
For information on home insurance and moving house, visit: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/moving-house/
For further information please contact:
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 393 home contents insurance policies (05 February 2021) - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
3Based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 1 August to 31 August 2020: 51% of consumers could achieve a saving of up to £106.84 with GoCompare buildings and contents insurance based on a comparison of 37 companies.
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