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Which Insurers Are Most Likely to Reject a Buildings & Contents Claim?

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If yours is one of the 2 million home insurance claims submitted in the UK this year, your biggest question is probably—will my claim be accepted or will it be denied? To give you some perspective, around 90% of home insurance claims are successful. This number has been on the rise as consumers become better at understanding what they are covered for, thereby reducing the number of declined claims.

Picture of a leaking pipe and broken wall

In order to understand how claims data varies by insurer, we gathered data from the Financial Conduct Authority's most recent study on General Insurance value measures. While you may want to keep this information in mind when it comes time to purchase a new insurance policy or renew, you should also consider other factors such as plan features & benefits, prices, excess, complaints volumes, etc.

Average Buildings and Contents Claims Data

According to FCA data, the average successful buildings & contents claim was in the range of £3,000 to £3,500. These numbers reflect both pay-outs direct to policy beneficiaries and costs incurred by insurers (e.g., when the insurer pays a tradesman directly to resolve a home emergency issue). These are average numbers only—in actual fact, individual claims can fall anywhere from hundreds of pounds up to tens of thousands of pounds, or more.

Around 93% of buildings & contents claims are accepted on average, but this statistic varies from insurer to insurer. Axis, Great Lakes, Legal and General, Ageas and Amtrust have some of the worst rates of the group, with less than 90% of claims accepted. On the other hand, The Salvation Army, Royal & Sun Alliance, Liberty, Acromas and Zurich accept the highest proportion of claims, with the first four accepting 99% of buildings & contents claims on average.

FirmClaims acceptance rates
lowhighmid
5 Worst Claims Acceptance RatesAxis Capital/ Novae Syndicates Limited85%87%86%
Great Lakes Insurance SE (FRN 769884)85%87%86%
Legal and General Insurance Limited85%87%86%
Ageas Insurance Limited88%90%89%
Amtrust Europe Limited88%90%89%
5 Best Claims Acceptance RatesZurich Insurance PLC95%97%96%
Acromas Insurance Company Ltd98%100%99%
Liberty Insurance Limited98%100%99%
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc98%100%99%
The Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation Ltd98%100%99%

Why Are Home Insurance Claims Rejected?

Homeowners can take steps to increase the odds that their claims are not rejected by understanding some of the common exclusions. One of the biggest reasons for denied claims is when damage is caused by wear and tear or a lack of maintenance. Examples of your claim being denied due to wear and tear or lack of maintenance include the following conditions (most of which can result in water entering the structure during a storm):

  • Age and condition of a flat (e.g., felt) roof
  • Blocked gutters
  • Damaged rendering
  • Slipped roof tiles
  • Damaged cement around chimneys

To help ensure that you can successfully claim on any damage to your home, be sure to keep your home well maintained, with gutters cleaned regularly. Also, if you have specified certain home security devices on your policy, such as a burglar alarm, extra locks or smoke detectors, be sure these are functioning properly and in active use or certain claims (e.g., theft due to burglary) may be rejected.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), 72% of households have some form of contents insurance, with the median expenditure approximately £128 per year; 56% of households bought combined buildings and contents insurance, spending approximately £300 in premiums. Whichever kind of cover you've purchased, make the most out of it by reading through your terms and conditions to find any exclusions, such as those mentioned above, which may render a claim invalid.

Methodology

We gathered the most recently available FCA General Insurance value measures data, published January 2017. We pulled out data for buildings and contents cover, and removed data points for firms that primarily deal in specialist or high worth business, as these values tend to skew the results for the "average" household. From there, we averaged the low and high ends of the data bands to calculate an average, or mid point, across claims frequencies, claims acceptance rates and claim pay outs. See the table below for data on all firms in the FCA study.

FCA General Insurance Value Measures Data

FirmAverage Claims FrequencyAverage Claims Acceptance RateAverage Claim Pay Out
Axis Capital/ Novae Syndicates Limited3.7%86%£1,250
Great Lakes Insurance SE (FRN 769884)8.7%86%£2,250
Legal and General Insurance Limited3.7%86%£2,250
Ageas Insurance Limited6.2%89%£3,250
Amtrust Europe Limited3.7%89%£1,750
Canopius Managing Agents Limited3.7%89%£3,250
Zenith Insurance plc6.2%89%£3,750
Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited3.7%91%£2,750
Allianz Insurance plc6.2%91%£3,750
AXA Insurance Uk Plc3.7%91%£3,750
CIS General Insurance Limited6.2%91%£2,750
Covea Insurance plc3.7%91%£3,750
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc8.7%91%£6,250
MS Amlin Underwriting Limited6.2%91%£3,250
Tesco Underwriting Limited3.7%91%£1,750
esure Insurance Limited3.7%94%£3,250
Gresham Insurance Company Limited6.2%94%£3,750
Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited6.2%94%£4,250
Lloyds Bank General Insurance Limited6.2%94%£3,250
St Andrew's Insurance Plc3.7%94%£6,750
XL Catlin Services SE3.7%94%£1,750
Aviva Insurance Limited3.7%96%£4,250
Cornish Mutual Assurance Company Limited8.7%96%£2,750
UK Insurance Ltd (UKI)6.2%96%£2,750
The National Farmers' Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited6.2%96%£6,750
Zurich Insurance PLC3.7%96%£3,750
Acromas Insurance Company Ltd1.2%99%£2,250
Liberty Insurance Limited6.2%99%£3,750
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc3.7%99%£1,250
The Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation Ltd6.2%99%£2,250
Average5.1%93%£3,283

To figure out which firm is the underwriter behind your insurance provider, find your provider's name in the following table. Once you identify the underwriting firm, you can use the table above to find their claim statistics.

Distributors/BrandsFirm
A J GallagherChubb/ Ace European Group Limited
AACIS General Insurance Limited
AACovea Insurance plc
AAAcromas Insurance Company Ltd (AICL)
AC InsuranceThe Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation Ltd
Age UKAgeas Insurance Limited
Alan Boswell GroupEcclesiastical Insurance Office Plc
AONAviva Insurance Limited
AonMS Amlin Underwriting Limited
AplanZenith Insurance plc (Markerstudy Group)
A-Plan InsuranceLiverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited
Assurant Intermediary LtdGreat Lakes Insurance SE (FRN 769884)
Aston Scott LtdEcclesiastical Insurance Office Plc
AvantiaAXA Insurance UK Plc
AXA InsuranceAXA Insurance UK Plc
Bank of ScotlandLloyds Bank General Insurance Limited
Bank of ScotlandSt Andrew's Insurance Plc
BarclaysGresham
BewiserZenith Insurance plc (Markerstudy Group)
BGLCovea Insurance plc
BluefinChubb/ Ace European Group Limited
BlueshieldThe Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation Ltd
brands underwritten by ABC Insurance are SwintonLiverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited
Caravanwise LtdLiverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited
ChurchillUK Insurance Ltd (UKI)
ClearchoiceRoyal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc
Coast Underwriting LtdXL Catlin Services SE
ConnellsAgeas Insurance Limited
Cornhill DirectAllianz Insurance plc
CountrywideAXA Insurance UK Plc
Deeside Insurance Brokers LtdGreat Lakes Insurance SE (FRN 769884)
DirectLegal and General Insurance Limited
Direct Group LtdGreat Lakes Insurance SE (FRN 769884)
EndsleighZurich Insurance PLC
EndsleighAllianz Insurance plc
Gallagher EUWAgeas Insurance Limited
Go CompareLegal and General Insurance Limited
HalifaxLloyds Bank General Insurance Limited
Harrison BeaumontThe Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation Ltd
Horizon (UW) LtdCanopius Managing Agents Limited
HSBCAviva Insurance Limited
Inet 3- MagnetaAxis Capital/ Novae Syndicates Limited
Insurance Factory LtdZenith Insurance plc (Markerstudy Group)
Insure4RetirementLiverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited
John LewisCovea Insurance plc
John LewisRoyal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc
KGM Underwriting Services LtdCanopius Managing Agents Limited
Lark GroupChubb/ Ace European Group Limited
LarksMS Amlin Underwriting Limited
MarkhamMS Amlin Underwriting Limited
Marks & SpencerAXA Insurance UK Plc
MarshChubb/ Ace European Group Limited
Money SupermarketCIS General Insurance Limited
Money SupermarketLegal and General Insurance Limited
NationwideUK Insurance Ltd (UKI)
NatWestUK Insurance Ltd (UKI)
NW Brown Group LtdEcclesiastical Insurance Office Plc
OakRoyal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc
PaymentshieldRoyal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc
PaymentShieldZurich Insurance PLC
PearlLloyds Bank General Insurance Limited
Pen AffinityAgeas Insurance Limited
PG Insurance Services LtdEcclesiastical Insurance Office Plc
Plum Underwriting LtdCanopius Managing Agents Limited
Post OfficeCIS General Insurance Limited
PrivilegeUK Insurance Ltd (UKI)
Quoteline DirectZenith Insurance plc (Markerstudy Group)
RGA Underwriting LtdXL Catlin Services SE
SagaCIS General Insurance Limited
SagaLloyds Bank General Insurance Limited
Saga Services LtdCovea Insurance plc
SainsburysSt Andrew's Insurance Plc
SainsburysAllianz Insurance plc
SantanderAviva Insurance Limited
Schofields LtdAxis Capital/ Novae Syndicates Limited
SharrocksThe Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation Ltd
Sheilas' Wheelsesure Insurance Limited
Source Insurance LtdGreat Lakes Insurance SE (FRN 769884)
Stackhouse PolandMS Amlin Underwriting Limited
SwintonAllianz Insurance plc
SwintonLegal and General Insurance Limited
Tansar Holdings LtdXL Catlin Services SE
Thistle Insurance t/as CompassXL Catlin Services SE
Towergate Underwriting Group LtdCanopius Managing Agents Limited
TSBAviva Insurance Limited
Vasek Insurance ServicesAxis Capital/ Novae Syndicates Limited
WessexZurich Insurance PLC
Zurich Private ClientsZurich Insurance PLC
AvivaAviva Insurance Limited
AXA DirectAXA Insurance UK Plc
Bluefin Insurance Services LtdCanopius Managing Agents Limited
Broker DirectZurich Insurance PLC
Bruford & Vallance Insurance Services LtdEcclesiastical Insurance Office Plc
Compare the MarketLegal and General Insurance Limited
DirectCIS General Insurance Limited
Direct homeHiscox Insurance Company Limited
Direct LineUK Insurance Ltd (UKI)
Direct SagicThe Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation Ltd
esureesure Insurance Limited
EUI LtdAdmiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited
Finer WoolwichGresham
Fresh InsuranceZenith Insurance plc (Markerstudy Group)
HalifaxSt Andrew's Insurance Plc
Home & LegacyAllianz Insurance plc
LarkHiscox Syndicates Limited
LifesureMS Amlin Underwriting Limited
LloydsLloyds Bank General Insurance Limited
LV= DirectLiverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited
Millennium Insurance Brokers LtdGreat Lakes Insurance SE (FRN 769884)
More Th>nRoyal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc
NFU MutualThe National Farmers' Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited
NI Hughes Home Buildings & ContentsLiberty Insurance Limited
RIASAgeas Insurance Limited
Ryan Direct Group UinsureAxis Capital/ Novae Syndicates Limited
SagaAcromas Insurance Company Ltd (AICL)
Stackhouse PolandChubb/ Ace European Group Limited
SwintonCovea Insurance plc
Tesco BankTesco Underwriting Limited
Thistle Insurance t/as CompassXL Catlin Services SE

Cheap Home Insurance in Your Area

Quickly compare over 3 dozen UK insurance providers. Only one form to fill out.

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