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Can anyone advise on home insurance?

(7 Posts)
Woodlands Mon 29-Oct-12 11:19:45

The blinking cat knocked my glass of wine over the other night and some of it went over my laptop keyboard. I switched it off right away and took the battery out - I then left it upside down with some kitchen paper below the keys for 36 hours. However I think it's buggered - when I put the battery in and plug the charger in the screen just flashes.

Assuming it is dead, I can't decide whether to claim on the house insurance. We do have accidental damage cover, with an excess of £100. I paid £250 for the laptop (a netbook) about two years ago. I'd like to replace it with a tablet of some sort. I'm guessing the insurers would give me a voucher of £150 for PC World or something? Or isn't that how it works? Would they insist on me replacing it with something identical even though the technology has moved on? Plus, would claiming mean that my premiums go through the roof? It might be that for such a relatively small amount it's not worth claiming. But then why bother having accidental damage cover... And does anyone know if it's like car insurance in that if I call them and tell them about it, my premiums will go up whether or not I make a claim?

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Mon 29-Oct-12 11:23:59

It depends on your cover. If you have 'new for old' then they may replace it if it can't be repaired. Premiums do increase, but if you have a no claims bonus they will remove that instead. If you call them and ask, they will register it as a 'loss', even if you don't claim for it. (Legal and General do this) If you can afford to replace it, then don't call them. You can get your data transferred to a new laptop, so don't worry about that.

Woodlands Mon 29-Oct-12 11:29:37

Hmm - not sure whether the cover is new for old. It's so frustrating, isn't it - what's the point of having accidental damage cover if not for something like this!

Luckily there's not much data on it - I really used it just as a web browser (hence why I'd like a tablet now).

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Mon 29-Oct-12 11:33:20

Check your policy.

MrsMiniversCharlady Mon 29-Oct-12 19:13:55

Cover will almost certainly be new for old - there aren't many policies that don't offer this as standard now.

When I had something similar happen I claimed and it didn't make much difference to our premiums, although we hadn't had home insurance for very long anyway, so not much no claims to lose.

InsuranceDad Tue 30-Oct-12 08:45:32


Right, firstly please check your documentation, this should let you know all you need to know about what cover you have.
Secondly please take LadyMaryCreepyCrawley's advice as a fact... if you tell your insurer about the incident they will consider it a loss and treat as an insurable incident.
Please look at your quote/policy details to see what no claims bonus you have and see if over a 3 year period that the £150 that you would get if the claim was successful would give you an actual fiscal loss... i.e. you end up paying move over a 3 year period due to the claim than the items was worth.

Hear is the math...
Claim value =£150 Premium=£250 including a 25% no claims bonus

Over 3 years NCB= £62.50 x 3 = 187.50 would incur a net loss of £17.50

This is an example only as I do not know the detail of your policy and the methods of your insurer but I hope that this makes the implications with regards to a small claim against your home insurance.

There are also a few other issues that can occur, name items is one of these... some insurers do no cover portable devices unless they are name in the policy as additional cover items, even when the goods are in the home. Also as a quick note when you are reading your policy please make sure you have accidental coverage on your home contents.

Hope this helped

Woodlands Tue 30-Oct-12 09:00:36

Thanks InsuranceDad. We definitely have cover as we took it out especially to cover our mobile phones (cheaper than phone insurance elsewhere), but chose the amounts to cover our laptops as well. The potential penalty for making a claim didn't actually occur to me when I took out the policy - maybe we would be better off with separate mobile phone insurance.

What's a bit odd is that our policy states that we have 0 years no claims bonus, even though this is our third year with the same company, with no claims (and no claims for some years before that). Though having said that... it's just occurred to me that when my husband's iPhone went through the washing machine last year, we did call the insurers to check about making a claim, though we didn't in the end as the Apple Store replaced it for him for £100. I bet that's why we now have no no-claims bonus. Grr. I guess if I claim now then we still won't have any no claims next year, plus the premiums will rise.

Still can't decide! My DH thinks I should definitely claim, or why bother having insurance. He's probably got a point - maybe we'll cancel the accidental damage element next year. I just thought it might be useful with a toddler in the house (I had visions of him wrecking the flat screen TV with a magnet or something).

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