No matter how much you look after your home, everyone has the odd accident from time to time. It might be something small, like smashing your favourite vase, or a DIY mishap, such as putting your foot through the ceiling when you’re sorting out the loft.
Accidental Damage Cover is there to take the drama out of these little – or big – incidents, and give you peace of mind that your home and its contents can be repaired or replaced without too much trouble.
John Brady, Head of Commercial at John Lewis Insurance looks at Accidental Damage Cover and how it can help protect your home and contents.
Q & A with John Brady
Q. What’s your background and what experience do you have in providing advice about Home Insurance?
A. I've worked in financial services for 20 years, including banking, credit cards and insurance. The last five have been spent at the John Lewis Partnership, where I’ve helped to launch and develop John Lewis Insurance, including our personal insurance cover for cars, weddings, pets, homes, events and travel.
John Lewis Home Insurance offers a level of cover to
suit your needs.
Q. What is accidental damage cover?
A. Accidental damage means anything that’s unforeseen and unintentional – so a one-off accident that’s caused damage to your home or its contents.
Q. How does accidental damage for buildings differ from accidental damage for contents?
A. When it comes to buildings, accidental damage cover usually includes cables, fixed glass items, underground services, fixed ceramic hobs and hob covers, greenhouses and bathroom fittings.
Accidental damage to contents, on the other hand usually means that your insurer covers TVs, CD or DVD players and other home entertainment equipment. Some companies might require you to pay an additional premium to cover things like DIY mishaps or spilling red wine on your sofa.
Q. What sort of things aren’t covered by accidental damage?
A. Anything to do with wear and tear, for example if your faithful old carpet finally gets worn down and develops a hole, claims to do with bad workmanship and gradual deterioration, such as the time when your old computer eventually stops working. Damage to food, drink or plants also isn’t covered by accidental damage.
Q. What about damage caused by children and pets?
Every insurance company is different, but there are few who will cover damage caused by pets or vermin chewing or scratching at your belongings. Most good policies will cover one-off incidents involving children, which could give you peace of mind where there’s a white wall and a felt-tip pen on the loose!
Q. What about DIY accidents?
A. Different insurance companies have different rules, so always check your policy before starting a DIY project, and if you can foresee any problems it’s best to call a professional in.
With John Lewis Classic Home Insurance you're covered for accidents such as putting your foot through the ceiling while you’re in the loft.
Q. Am I covered for household accidents, like spilling wine
on my carpet?
A. Every policy varies, but Home Classic from John Lewis Home Insurance will replace your carpet if it’s damaged beyond repair. Our ‘matching sets’ cover gives you peace of mind if one part of a set, for example a three-piece suite, is damaged. If we can’t find a matching replacement, we'll replace the whole set.
Q. What about damage caused by other people, like removal men?
A. If you have John Lewis Classic Home Insurance and you’re moving house, if you’ve brought in a professional removal company, then yes, you’ll be covered for any accidental damage they cause within the home. Jewellery is not included in this and china, glass and porcelain is only covered if it’s been packed by professional removal contractors.
Q. What should I look out for in a Home Insurance policy?
A. Use this checklist to make sure you’re getting the right level of cover:
- Limits to what you can claim for
Some companies put a limit on the amount you’re covered for, or ask you to value all your contents and the cost of rebuilding. Our Buildings and Contents Cover is unlimited*, but if you have individual items that are very valuable and you want them to be covered away from the home, you’ll need to specify them if they’re worth more than £5,000. It’s worth noting that there is a single article limit of £15,000 and a total limit of £30,000.
- Damage to soft furnishings including sofas
John Lewis Home Insurance offers ‘Matching Sets Cover’, which means that if you bought a three-piece suite, bathroom suite or kitchen unit as a set and one individual item is damaged and a matching replacement can’t be found, the accompanying items in the set are covered too. In short: you get peace of mind that everything will still match.
- Excess and specific types of accidental damage
When you take out your policy, you can opt for a voluntary excess, starting at £100 – this would be the amount you have to pay towards any claim. If you choose Home Flex from John Lewis Home Insurance, it includes basic accidental damage cover, which covers things like TVs, CD or DVD players and other home entertainment equipment. Full contents accidental damage, which is included in the Home Classic policy will also include cover for soft furnishings, for example spilling red wine on your sofa or carpet.
* there is no total sum insured but money, single article and total valuables limits apply
Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and acceptance criteria apply. A copy of the policy wording and insurance complaints procedure is available on request.
John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered in England No. 00233462. Registered office 171 Victoria Street London SW1E 5NN. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of AXA Insurance UK plc who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. AXA Insurance UK plc. Registered in England No. 78950. Registered office: 5 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AD