Most Brits ignoring insurance T&Cs

Insurance form

More than half of Britons fail to read the terms and conditions on their home insurance policy, while almost half have had a claim rejected, a leading insurer has warned.

Research by holiday home insurance firm Schofields found policyholders were ignoring or failing to understand their policies, then having claims rejected for not meeting the requirements of the insurer.

Only 43% of respondents had read the terms and conditions on their policy, and of them, only 26% said they were confident about how they were covered.

Of the 47% who had had a claim rejected or entered into a dispute with their insurer, the reasons behind their insurance troubles included a lack of receipts for lost items, a failure to describe the locks accurately and a failure to inform the insurer of items worth more than the single item claim limit.

Increased disputes

Phil Schofield, spokesman for Schofields, said: "Unfortunately, we have seen an increasing number of disputes in recent months where insurers have refused to pay claims on the basis of alleged non-disclosure, arguing that the consumer had not declared relevant facts.

"This can be a huge problem for consumers, as quite often the questions asked by insurance companies are not very clear."

However, research by consumer watchdog Which? has found more than half of customers are happy with the service they receive from their insurers. NFU Mutual topped the table with an 86% satisfaction score, while Hiscox and LV= were not far behind.

In November 2012, Which? warned that consumers are unable to make sense of banking small print even when given unlimited time to try to understand it. It found that HSBC had the longest current account T&Cs, running to nearly 30,000 words – which would take the average reader more than an hour-and-a-half to read.


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I, like many people who have posted, found out that you only know how good your policy is when you have to claim.
One of the biggest cons of recent years is the "trace and repair" problem with leaking pipes.
I had a leak under my shower tray and while the insurance company would pay for replacing a few tiles and a bit of paintwork, i.e the damage caused by the leak, they would not pay for the removal (and subsequent replacement) of the shower tray to fix the leak.
I took this to the Insurance Ombudsman as this is the sort of thing that is likely to happen in a house. I will take the risk of not being insured for an aeroplane hitting my house or an earthquake destroying it but I want to be covered for the things that are likely to happen e.g burgulary, accidental fire or burst pipes.
Trace and repair was not mentioned in my policy as an exclusion or as an extra so how was I to tell that I was not covered.
If there is a fire in my house, will the insurance company claim that I was to blame for having flammable materials in my property? I  won't know until I have to claim which hopefully will never happen.