House and contents insurance

Common issues people have about house and contents insurance are: proving ownership, forgetting to tell their insurer information, the cause of damage, and having to pay an excess.  See our information below, or for further help contact us

Info Sheets

Info sheets are quick guides to common issues 

Sum Insured - House Insurance
Gradual Damage
Floods
Excess
Non-disclosure - what you need to tell your insurer
Duty of Care
Jewellery
Proving Your Loss

Quick Answers

What do I have to tell my insurer when I take out insurance? 

You must tell your insurer everything that may affect its decision to insure you. This is referred to as the duty of disclosure. If in doubt, tell your insurer everything. If you do not tell your insurer all the information it requires, it can treat your policy as though it never existed and refuse your claim – this is called avoidance. See the info sheet: Non-disclosure - what you need to tell your insurer.

What information do I have to provide when making a claim?

You must be able to prove your loss in all cases. This means you may be expected to provide some proof of ownership, such as receipts. It is a good idea to keep an up-to-date photographic record of important household contents and personal items, such as jewellery. See the info sheet: Proving your loss.

Do I have to tell my insurer about my criminal convictions?

As a rule you must tell your insurer about all of your convictions. If you do not tell your insurer and later have to make a claim, it may avoid your policy and, as a consequence, be unable to consider the claim.  The exception is the “Clean Slate” legislation, which gives some people the right to withhold information about their criminal convictions in some circumstances.  See the community law website for more information on “clean slate”.

Why has my insurer only raised this issue about lack of information now, when I have made a claim?

When you make a claim, your insurer will ask you more questions or check up on your history. This can lead to your insurer finding out information which it should have been given when you applied for insurance.

Can my insurer decline my claim if I gave them information which wasn't true?

Yes, if the policy allows the insurer to do so. An insurance policy will usually state that you must not give it incorrect or false information when making a claim. If the information you give to your insurer is incorrect or false, it may mean the insurer can decline your claim or even cancel your policy. It can also affect any future insurance application you make. If you don't know the correct answer, let your insurer know that you will get back to them with the right information.

My insurer has told me that, because I included items which were not stolen in my claim for a burglary, it can decline my whole claim. Is this true?

Yes, if the policy says so. If you provide false information it can mean your whole claim is declined and/or your policy is cancelled. 

Case Studies

Search the case studies of complaints to the IFSO Scheme.