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All of us strive to look after our homes, after all, for many of us, they are the biggest purchase we will ever make. Therefore, it is important to make sure that our homes are covered in the correct way through buildings and contents insurance but what happens when damage is caused accidentally and what constitutes accidental damage?

Accidental Damage – What is it?

When it comes to home insurance policies, accidental damage pretty much means the same thing across them all and it relates to when damage occurs instantly, unexpected and not deliberately.

Essentially, it relates to a one-off incident that results in damage to your property. However, at this point, it is worth noting that general wear and tear is not included and damage that takes place over a period of time and mechanical failure is also not included. As an example, if your laptop stopped working you would be unable to make a claim, however, if you dropped it accidentally, you would be able to make a claim.

Claims for Damage Caused by Children

It is quite surprising just how many claims are made as a result of accidents and damage caused by children. Whether you have your own children or you have children who visit your home with guests, accidents are always a possibility when children are around. Children can cause damage to televisions, where they are toppled and so, this is often covered under the standard contents insurance policies. However, the amount of cover you have depends on the policy that you have and how much you pay. This means that should a toddler spill their drink over your carpet or draw all over your sofa, you still could make a claim.

However, often excluded from home insurance policies are things such as portable electrical equipment and clothing, so it is wise to do all that you can to keep children away from these items.

Accidents Caused by Animals

Unfortunately, many home insurance providers will not include damage caused by chewing, scratching or fouling by animals. This is a common theme across many different insurance policies and there are not many insurance policies that will provide cover for damage caused by pets.

So, this is something that you should always keep in mind when you decide to let pets into your home while it is important to know that damage caused by insects, vermin or infestation is not covered in many cases.

Damage Caused by DIY

Prior to carrying out any kind of DIY work, you should check your policy to determine what you are covered for. This might require protection under both buildings and contents policies but this depends on the job you are undertaking. At this point, it is important to understand that there is a difference between buildings and contents insurance.

If you are thinking of undertaking plumbing or electrical work then there is a chance that it will not be covered if it is not carried out by a professional. Despite this, if you burst a water pipe with a nail while putting up a picture frame then a claim would more than likely be accepted. If you choose to clean up the mess that you make following any damage, you must also be aware that you won’t be able to make a claim for any damage that you might cause during the clean-up process.

As you can see, accidental damage is not consistent across all home insurance providers and that is why it is important that you familiarise yourself with your policy and the cover that you need. Damage can happen at any time and so, to ensure that you have the right cover you should always carry out a comparison before choosing your cover.