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Home Insurance

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is reassuring people that its home insurance members are offering enhanced help and support to all their customers who may be affected by the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This means that if you are an office-based worker and are working from home as a result of the pandemic, your home insurance cover will not be affected.

You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

ABI motor and home insurers have pledged to:

  1. Support those who need to make a claim. Insurers have implemented business continuity plans and work closely with service providers to do everything possible in these challenging circumstances to continue to handle claims and support their customers. We recognise there will be many customers who will need additional support and insurers will prioritise those in vulnerable circumstances.
  2. Support those who are working from home. If you are an office-based worker and are working from home as a result of the pandemic, your home insurance cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.
  3. Support those who cannot work from home. If you have to drive to your workplace because of the impact of Covid-19, your insurance policy will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.
  4. Support those who use their cars to help their communities. If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover. This applies to all categories of NHS Volunteer Responders, including transporting patients, equipment, or other essential supplies.
  5. Support our key workers. If your work is critical to the national response to Covid-19 and you need to use your own car to drive to different locations for work purposes because of the impact of Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

These pledges will be reviewed and updated on 31 October 2020.

For more information you can read our commonly asked questions here:

Will my home insurance policy be affected if I have not told my insurer that I'm working from home?

If you are an office-based worker and are working from home as a result of the pandemic, your home insurance cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

If you are able to return to work, but are choosing to work from home more often, then you may need to inform your insurer that your pattern of work has changed. Check your policy documents or insurer’s website in case you need to inform your insurer, and if you are still unsure then check with your insurer.

If you will be receiving visitors to your home on business matters, you should check with your insurer. In some cases, there may be some restrictions in cover, such as loss of money and theft being excluded, unless there is evidence of forcible and violent entry to the property. 

Business equipment used (e.g. laptop) is likely not to be covered. However, in most cases the employer would be liable for ensuring their equipment is insured away from the office.

I am renewing my home insurance, and plan to work from home on a more regular basis from now on. Do I need to inform my insurer?

Insurers waived the need to inform them of working from home during lockdown, but if you are planning to work from home on a more regular basis such as once a week, you may need to inform your insurer. Check your policy documents or insurer’s website in case you need to inform your insurer, and if you are still unsure then check with your insurer.

My property has suffered damage (from a fire, flood or other named peril) and it’s uninhabitable. I am self-isolating, so will my insurer help me find alternative accommodation?

Insurers’ priority is the safety of their customers and the wider community. Insurers will continue to provide cover for customers as promised in the policy - including funding the cost of alternative accommodation - whilst acting in accordance with the UK Government’s advice at that time.

It is vitally important that you contact your insurer to discuss your claim further, as each one will be managed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that customer interests are best protected.

Do I need to continue to make regular visits to my unoccupied home?

Changes to government advice means you may be able to travel to your second or unoccupied home to undertake necessary checks. Restrictions will differ between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and you should check you are adhering to the law and guidance of the relevant administration.

If you are unable to visit your unoccupied home, due to government advice, insurers have waived the requirement for individuals to check on a property regularly, as long as the property is suitably secure.

If you are stuck abroad and are unable to return home, despite making every effort to do so, insurers will look to be flexible with the timescales set out in your policy. However, individuals should contact their insurer to obtain advice on this issue.

A friend or relative is staying with me during the lockdown period. Will this affect my home insurance?

Insurers will take a pragmatic approach to additional visitors that may be staying with you during the lockdown period, as specified by Government. Insurers understand that some individuals may require additional care and help during these unprecedented times and will not require you to contact them to advise that you have additional long-stay guests. This advice is subject to change depending on the length of time that Government require the current social distancing requirements.

Remember it may be that some claims for theft will only be accepted if there is evidence of a break-in, so make sure you fully trust the person you’re allowing to stay in your home for free. Keep your home protected by showing your house guest how to ensure the property is secure, where the stopcock is, and any other information that they may need to know.

I have a guest staying with me during Coronavirus lockdown, will their possessions be covered while they stay with me?

If your guest has their own home insurance policy, this may cover their possessions away from home while they are temporarily staying with you. There may be a limit to the cover provided, so they should check their policy wording. If your home insurance policy includes ‘Visitor cover’ this will often cover your guests' possessions, up to a limit, while they are staying with you.

Will home insurance cover the cost of a deep clean to my property should it become contaminated by COVID-19?

Most standard home insurance policies do not provide cover for the costs of cleaning a property.