Home Insurance

Home insurers reject almost half of all claims - best and worst providers named

Almost half of home insurance claims are rejected by some providers according to new figures.

Nearly one in four home insurance claims (23%) are thrown out on average according to data from the Financial Conduct Authority.

The worst providers, according to the figures, were Ageas, QIC and Qmeric which accept 55-60% of claims.

Meanwhile UK Insurance - which owns Direct Line, Churchill and Green Flag - Hiscox, Haven and Greenwood accept 95-100% of claims.

Some insurers dispute the figures and say the way rejection levels are calculated mean the real numbers of thrown out claims will actually be lower.

Claims are listed as 'rejected' even when a customer calls a provider to check if something is covered but doesn't actually follow through with a case. This is called a 'claims walkout'.

Either way, some experts say this worrying number suggests many do not know what they are signing up for.

Home insurance is split into two parts: buildings insurance, covering fixed parts of the building, including fitted furniture, and contents insurance, covering the items inside the building.

People in rented accommodation do not need buildings insurance as this is covered by the landlord, but they may want to take out contents insurance to protect their belongings.

In addition, leaseholders (often those who own flats) largely do not require building insurance as this is usually covered by the freeholder. However, this is not always the case and if unsure, these property owners should check their legal documents and contact the freeholder to check who is responsible for buildings cover.

The AA, which was shown to accept 60-65% of claims, said it will always pay claims where a customer is covered and added: “We do not believe that these figures provide a meaningful comparison for claims acceptance for several reasons, but predominantly because insurers appear to interpret the FCA definitions for claims acceptance differently.”

Ageas said its data including claims walkouts and people who called in error. A spokesperson added: "While this means our claims acceptance rates look low, we’re pleased to see that our ratio of complaints is at the lower end when compared to the market."

Lloyds also disputed the figure, saying the FCA's figures included claims walkouts, and in 2021 only about 10 percent of claims were declined.

A Qmetric spokesperson told the Daily Mail its satisfaction and renewal rates "compare well" to industry averages.

How to ensure you have the best home insurance policy

The Association of British Insurers also reports about one in five claims are unsuccessful "because people are not fully aware of what they are covered for".

The trade body has tips to ensure customers get the most out of their home insurance:

Read your policy - you can read policies of most insurers before you buy to compare which is the best home insurance for you.

Work out whether you need buildings, contents or both. As explained above, buildings covers anything fixed to your home such as walls and the roof but also fences and fitted kitchens. Contents is just the possessions inside. Unsure which is which? If you could reasonably move it to a new property it falls under contents insurance. You may not need both if you're in a leasehold or rented accommodation.

Have the right amount of buildings cover. Buildings insurance should cover the rebuild cost of a property if it was destroyed. Ensure you have the right calculation. Mortgage providers usually demand borrowers have buildings insurance. This also applies to contents, if you have valuable items such as jewellery. Fine art may require a separate policy.

Decide if you need additional cover - That includes accidental damage, public liability, legal expenses, emergency, and cover for loss of belongings which occurs outside the property.

Understand your excess – this is how much a policy holder must pay before the insurers will fork out. A higher excess may bring premiums down, but it means the policy holder will have to pay more themselves before an insurer will start funding works.

Is your home a flood risk? If so it’s worth looking into Flood Re which helps those in flood risk areas secure affordable home insurance.

Understand what isn't covered - things like wear and tear, damage due to negligence, and cover when a property is left empty for long periods of time. Insurers may offer an add-on for when homes are going to be vacant for a long period of time.

Running an at-home business? You may need extra insurance, you may not. Either way it's best to inform your insurer or risk invalidating a claim if equipment, stock or your customers’ property is lost, damaged or stolen, or customers visit the property and are injured.


Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.