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Frequently asked questions...
Do you cover homes with lodgers?
John Lewis Home Insurance is designed for families permanently living at the property. We may be able to cater for lodgers or a property with tenants, please call us for more information.
I use my home for business. Am I still covered?
Yes, as long as your business use is solely clerical. Our Premier Cover provides up to £10,000, including up to £500 for business stock.
What's covered by 'accidental damage' to buildings?
With John Lewis Home Insurance, Standard Accidental Damage Cover for buildings provides accidental damage cover for:
- underground services
and accidental breakage of:
- fixed ceramic hobs
- glass in windows
- bathroom suites
- drains and pipes.
Full Accidental Damage Cover for Buildings includes everything listed above, as well as damage caused by accidents like putting your foot through the ceiling while you’re in the loft or drilling through a pipe.
Accidental damage means sudden, unexpected and visible damage which has not been caused on purpose.
Premier Cover: Full Accidental Damage is automatically included.
Plus Cover: Standard Accidental Damage is automatically included and you can choose to upgrade to Full Accidental Damage.
Essential Cover: You can add Full Accidental Damage.
What’s the maximum number of bedrooms you can cover?
John Lewis Home Insurance can cover properties with up to six bedrooms. If you have more than this, you may be more suited to our Specialist Home Insurance. Call us on 0800 916 6880 to find out more and get a quote
Are my fences and garden walls covered for damage?
Yes, unless they're damaged by storms, flooding, ground heave, landslide or natural wear and tear.
How can I tell if my home is suffering from subsidence?
Subsidence is often confused with 'historical movement', so it's important to understand which applies to your property.
- Historical movement means the property has moved in the past, but is no longer moving
- Subsidence is the downward movement of the site on which your buildings stand by a cause other than the weight of the buildings themselves.
The signs of subsidence include windows and doors that begin to stick because the frames have moved and cracking in the walls. A Local Authority search will show records of building work carried out at the property - including underpinning, which is commonly used to stop or prevent subsidence.
What do you mean by a bathroom?
A bathroom is a room with a bath and/or shower, including en-suites. You do not need to include WC's or cloakrooms which just have a toilet and wash basin.
What's covered by 'accidental damage' to contents?
With John Lewis Home Insurance, Standard Accidental Damage Cover for contents provides cover for:
- satellite, video and audio entertainment equipment
- computer equipment
while in your home.
and accidental breakage of:
- ceramic hobs in freestanding cookers
- glass in furniture like glass tables and cabinets
in the home.
Full Accidental Damage Cover for Contents includes everything listed above, as well as providing extra protection against damage caused by accidents like spilling red wine on your carpet or knocking over a vase.
Accidental damage means sudden, unexpected and visable damage which has not been caused on purpose.
Premier Cover: Full Accidental Damage is automatically included.
Plus Cover: Standard Accidental Damage is automatically included and you can upgrade to Full Accidental Damage.
Essential Cover: You can add Full Accidental Damage.
What are personal possessions?
Personal possessions are individual items that you take with you when you leave the home. They are covered anywhere in the world against accidental damage or loss. They include:
- Clothes and shoes
- Musical instruments
- Portable TVs, hifi, electrical goods
- Photographic equipment
- Sports equipment
- Camping equipment
Each product has a different personal possessions limit so you can choose the product to suit your needs.
If you have any personal possessions worth over £3,000 you’ll need to specify them when you take out a policy with us.
Are bicycles covered?
Pedal Cycle Cover can be added to your policy when you get a quote. It protects against loss of or damage to pedal cycles and their accessories while in Europe, or anywhere in the world for up to 60 days. It doesn't include any motorised pedal cycles.
Pedal cycles worth over £500 on our Essential cover and over £1,000 on our Plus and Premier cover need to be specified when you take out a policy with us.
Would items stolen from my car be covered by my Home Insurance or Car Insurance?
Items stolen from your car could be covered by either your Home Insurance or Car Insurance policy. However the levels of cover will differ between the two.
If you have Personal Possessions Cover included in your John Lewis Home Insurance policy, items kept in your car are protected for up to the limit you have chosen. You can choose unspecified Personal Possessions Cover up to £25,000. If you have any possessions individually worth over £3,000 you’ll need to specify them when you take out a policy with us.
Limits apply for items left in an unattended motor vehicle.
John Lewis Car Insurance includes up to £250 to cover your personal possessions, plus unlimited cover for audio or Sat Nav equipment.
If your car is unattended, the item in your car would only be covered by your Home or Car Insurance policy if your car was locked, all windows were closed and it was concealed in a locked boot or closed compartment.
What counts as 'valuables'?
By 'valuables' we mean these non-household goods:
- Jewellery (including costume jewellery)
- Other things made of gold, silver or precious metals
- Cameras, camcorders or binoculars
- Paintings and other works of art
- Stamp, coin or medal collections
Each product has a different valuables limit so you can choose the product to suit your needs.
If you have any valuables worth more than £3,000 each, you’ll need to specify them when you get a quote.
If you have any valuables that are worth more than £20,000 each, our Specialist Home Insurance may be more suitable for you. Find out more or speak to an adviser on 0800 916 6880.
Why don't you count TVs or computers as valuables?
These items are not included as most households have them. We treat TVs and computers as household furnishings - even though they're often worth a lot of money.
Is my mobile phone or tablet covered?
Mobile phones and tablets are covered against loss by specific causes under the Contents section of your Home Insurance policy. They are not covered for accidental damage or loss in the home, unless the Accidental Damage Option is selected. Mobile phone and tablets can be covered away from the home for loss or damage under Personal Possession Option.
Will you replace damaged or lost things with brand-new items?
Our Contents Cover is a 'new-for-old' policy. This means that all items lost or damaged by specific causes will be replaced with new items or the cash equivalent.
Are items in my shed and garage covered?
Yes - as long as the building is locked and it's entirely on your land (as defined in the deeds to your property), limits apply to theft from outbuildings. If you have Garden Cover included in your policy, any garden furniture kept outside is also covered up to a value of £5,000.
If I lose my keys, will the policy pay for replacing my locks?
Our Premier Cover includes unlimited cover for accidental damage to locks and keys for replacement locks or lock mechanisms as well as keys. This doesn’t include keys for outbuildings such as sheds or garages.
Are my children's things covered while they're at university?
Student Cover can be added to all three of our cover levels. It protects the contents, personal possessions and pedal cycles taken away from the home by a member of your family who is studying at university, college or school. This includes things like laptops, mobile phones and money.
Contents are covered up to £5,000 and include:
- computers including notebooks, laptops, desktop computers, palm tops, fax machines, printers, electronic data downloads and film downloads up to £1,500 in total.
- games, game players including hand held and consoles up to £500 in total.
- DVD's, CD's, video tapes, records and cassettes up to £500 in total.
Personal possessions can be worth up to £3,000 in total and £1,500 for any one item.
Pedal cycles can be worth up to £500.
Money up to £200.
Are my parents or grandparents' things covered in their nursing home?
With our Premier Cover, we provide cover of up to £2,500 for a dependent relative's belongings while they’re living at a nursing home.
We have an elderly relative that lives in their own part of the house. Are their belongings covered by our contents cover?
Yes - your contents cover applies to the whole of the property. As long as that person is a direct family member and normally lives there, they're covered too.
Am I covered for public liability under my contents cover?
Yes. We'll give you cover for up to £2 million if you or your family becomes legally liable to pay compensation. Our Policy Wording has a full explanation of this part of the policy.
What does Home Emergency Cover include?
If you have Home Emergency Cover included in your Home Insurance, our trained advisors are available 24 hours a day to advise on how to minimise the impact of an emergency.
They will arrange for a qualified tradesperson to come out to you often within two hours, to make emergency repairs to your home if it isn't secure, becomes unsafe, or loses its main source of heating, lighting or water (hot or cold) because of:
- Failure or damage to plumbing or drainage system of your home
- Failure of the primary heating system
- Failure of the electricity supply
- Your roof no longer being watertight
- Damage to or breakage of window frame or panes.
Home Emergency cover also provides cover for the removal of vermin (rats, mice, squirrels, or wasps).
It doesn't cover:
- The normal day-to-day maintenance of the property
- Boilers over 15 years old or with an output of 60kW or more
- Boilers not serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Essential Cover: up to £500 of cover
Plus Cover: up to £1,000 of cover
Premier Cover: automatically included, up to £1,500.
If you live in rented accommodation, Home Emergency Cover isn't available.
What is Garden Cover?
Garden Cover protects your trees, shrubs, plants, garden furniture, lawns and tools against loss or damage caused by fire, theft, malicious acts or vandalism and other specific causes up to a value of £5,000. This also includes re-landscaping of your garden at your home as a result of damage by emergency services.
Who underwrites John Lewis Home Insurance?
John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL.
Am I covered during a house move?
Our Contents Cover insures you for any loss or damage during the move, as long as you use a professional removal company. If you are not using a professional removal company please contact our service centre for this cover.
Will a burglar alarm reduce the amount I have to pay?
Yes - as long as it's fitted and maintained by a professional alarm company. Make sure you turn it on when you're out.
Who is allowed to be a joint policyholder?
A joint policyholder can be a member of your family, a common-law partner, someone you have a mortgage with, or someone that you have a joint bank account with.
Will my mortgage lender accept your policy?
Yes. Usually, mortgage providers will only require buildings cover as a condition of the mortgage contract.
What does 'Unlimited Buildings and Contents' mean?
It means that no matter what the value of your contents (excluding valuables) and no matter what the cost of a rebuild, this policy will cover it. This means that there is no need for you to calculate the total value of your contents or figure out the rebuild value of your home, which is usually much less than the market value.
Remember, you'll still need to keep track of the amount of valuables you want to insure.
What are 'inner limits' ?
'Inner limits' refer to the limits within the policy for different covers. The contents policy includes inner limits for covers such as valuables, money in the home, business equipment, theft from outbuildings, contents in the open and a range of other covers that are included. The limit depends upon the product selected. For our music, film or electronic data downloads cover the inner limit is £500 for Essential Cover, £1,000 for Plus Cover and £5,000 for Premier Cover.
Do you insure unoccupied homes?
Our policy allows for the property to be unoccupied for up to 60 days. If your property is usually unoccupied, our Specialist Home Insurance may be able to provide cover. If your property is unoccupied for less than 60 days on a regular basis, depending on the circumstances we may be able to offer cover, please contact our service centre for more information on 0845 078 7560.
Do I get any extra benefits for paying for John Lewis Insurance services with my partnership card™?
Yes. Just as you do when shopping in John Lewis and Waitrose, you can earn one point for every £1 spent when you purchase from John Lewis Insurance using your partnership card.
Does this policy include Legal Expenses?
John Lewis Home Insurance offers Legal Expenses as an optional extra. This provides up to £100,000 cover for costs for certain family legal matters.
A free 24 hour helpline for any legal matters is also available to those who have selected this cover when arranging their policy.
John Lewis Premier Cover includes Legal Expenses Cover as standard.
Does this policy include IdentityTheft Cover?
John Lewis Home Insurance includes Identity Theft Cover as standard. You’ll have access to our Identity Theft Helpline that will provide you with full assistance and guidance in recovering your identity if it’s been fraudulently stolen.
We’ll pay up to £50,000 to cover costs you have to pay to defend your name and restore your credit status, or any lost wages if you have to take time off work to meet with police or legal counsel.
Read our Policy Wording for the full list of things we’ll cover.
What is 'wear and tear'?
Your home and its contents will naturally deteriorate over time and through use - this is called 'wear and tear'. If you want to repair or replace something in your home because of this, it won't be covered under your John Lewis Home Insurance policy. You can find out exactly what you are – and aren't – covered for in your Policy Wording.
Because no insurance policy will cover you for general wear and tear, it’s important to check your home regularly for anything which may deteriorate over time.
What is Protected No Claims Discount?
This option enables you to protect your no claims discount so that in the event of a claim you will not lose the entire discount you have earned.
If you choose to protect your no claims discount you can make one claim in a three-year period and your no claims discount will not be reduced. Then, for any second or subsequent claim in a three-year period, your no claims discount will be reduced by two years for each claim.
If you choose not to protect your no claims discount then for each claim you make in an insurance period, your no claims discount will be reduced by three years.
How do I make a claim?
To report a claim, call us on 0845 078 3838 (8am – 8pm Monday – Friday and 9am – 5pm Saturday). If you have Home Emergency Cover, call 0845 603 1274, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How will my claim be settled?
We’ll either repair your goods, replace them with new items, or pay out a sum equal to the cost we would have to pay for repair or replacement.
What is a policy excess?
An excess is the amount of money that you pay if you make a claim.. Increasing the excess will reduce the amount you pay for your cover.
What excess do I have to pay with John Lewis Home Insurance?
The standard policy excess for our Home Insurance is £100 and you may increase this up to £500. Claims relating to escape of water damage have a £250 excess, unless your chosen excess is higher. Claims relating to subsidence, landslip and heave have a £1,000 excess.
What happens if I can’t live in my house because of flood or fire damage?
If your home is seriously damaged – due to flood, for example – we'll find alternative accommodation, similar to your own, for you to live in until you can return home. Limits vary depending on your level of cover.
What happens to my policy if I move house?
If you move house you’ll need to contact us on 0845 078 7560 before your move so that we can arrange for cover to be transferred to your new property. Moving house could increase or decrease the amount you have to pay, as postcode, number of bedrooms and type of property help determine the cost.
What do I need to do if I want to rent out the property I have insured?
If you need to rent your property you will need to contact us on 0845 078 7560 before tenants move in. That way we can either make the necessary amendments to the policy or amend your cover to an alternative John Lewis product which would be more suitable for your requirements.
Can I increase my personal possessions cover?
Yes - you have the option to increase your unspecified personal possessions cover up to £25,000 for an additional amount. Individual personal possessions must be specified if they are worth more than £3,000 up to a maximum of £20,000 for any one item. Overall policy limits for personal possessions vary by product selected. Please call 0845 078 7560 if you would like to discuss this with one of our Customer Managers.
How do I make changes to my policy?
If you would like to change any of the details on your policy, please contact us on: 0845 078 7560. (Lines are open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm).
How do I renew my Home Insurance policy?
You will receive your renewal invite in the three to four weeks before your renewal date. It will contain details of your cover and how much it will cost for the coming year.
Can I cancel my policy at any time?
Yes - just give us a call on 0845 078 7560. Our policy terms and conditions give a full explanation of how to cancel a policy.
Did we answer your question? If you’re still unsure or would like to ask us a question not listed here, please contact us.
We have carefully selected Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc to underwrite John Lewis Premier, Plus and Essential Home Insurance.
Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility acceptance criteria apply.
John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.