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Ask your locksmith to check your Home Insurance requirements

Did you really check all the small print when you renewed your home insurance policy?

Many of us when we renew our household insurance policy’s tick all the boxes and aim to get the cheapest quote! After all, most of us never put in a claim and only take out the insurance because we are forced to by our mortgage provider.

After we have spent time looking through the online comparison websites and find what we think is a fantastic deal, we click on the buy now button, enter our card details and we are insured for another year. We come away from the task with a warm glow, feeling that we got the best deal, that the time we spent online was worth it and that the insurers did not beat us this time.

But think again!

The insurance companies are profit driven businesses and have many tricks up their sleeve, or in their case, the schedule, that you receive when you take out or renew your home insurance policy.

How many of us actually read it? I don’t mean a flip through. I mean sit down, read and understand it?

My own policy schedule is only two double-sided pages long but does request I read it in conjunction with my policy booklet. The policy booklet is basically 22 pages of small print which needs to be read in conjunction with the policy wording (32 pages) and if not complied with could result and I quote,

“We may reassess your cover and premiums when we are told about changes in circumstances. If you do not tell us about changes or give us incorrect information, the wrong terms may be quoted, we may be entitled to reject payment of a claim or a payment could be reduced. In certain circumstances your policy might be invalid, and you may not be entitled to a refund of premium.”

I underlined the words “incorrect information” as those are the two words that this whole piece is about. Those are the words that would be quoted if you had to make a claim and the insurers noticed that you had not complied, to the letter (or in this case, policy booklet) everything that you agreed to when you clicked that buy now button.

I have heard of stories where insurers have indeed reduced the payout due to a lock not conforming to the minimum BS 3621: 1997 standard or for not having the BSI kite mark.

No one wants this to happen to them so what should we do?

Basically, spend a little time reading your policy details. Don’t be put off by all the small print. If after reading a section your not sure if you comply, give your insurer a call. They are happy to help and make things clear. I called to ask a question about my own policy and the locks I have fitted. The lady on the phone was very helpful. She confirmed my locks are fine and agreed to put what she had said in writing to me.

The following information is taken from my own 2015 policy-wording booklet and is probably similar to your own. But please do check your own as insurers do rely on customers apathy and would, without flinching, reduce or even refuse an insurance claim if any detail was not complied with.

Points of entry

  1. The final exit door must be secured by either a deadlock conforming to British standard 3621 or with a minimum of five leavers, or by a multipoint locking system that includes a lever or cylinder deadlock.
  2. Upper floor opening windows, including skylights which are accessible from adjoining roofs, walls, downpipes, balconies or external stairs, must be fitted with key operated window locks.
  3. Any Louvre windows must be fitted into their brackets with adjustable adhesive.
  4. Ground floor and basement opening windows, or any other ground floor openings measuring more than 23cm x 23cm (9”x9”), must be fitted with key operated locks.
  5. All other external doors must be secured with either a deadlock with a minimum of five leavers or conforming to BS 3621, by a multipoint locking system that incorporates a lever or cylinder deadlock, or by key operated horizontal security bolts fitted internally top and bottom.
  6. Patio or French doors or windows must be secured by a multipoint locking system with a lever or deadlock. As an alternative, hinged type doors can be fitted with key operated vertical security bolts fitted internally top and bottom. Sliding type doors or windows can have key operated bolts fitted top and bottom also.

If you would like a locksmith to take a look at your locks please do contact me. I would check that your locks comply with your basic insurance requirements. At the same time I would check that any euro locks you may have are anti snap or not. I do not charge for this service.

My details are as follows:
Duane Jackson
Scarborough Locks and Keys

07866 543211
01723 543211