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Beach selfies, job changes and the other unexpected ways to make insurance worthless

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Having a friend stay for more than a month, keeping quiet about a new job, and posting holiday photos on social media are among the surprise ways people can unknowingly leave themselves uninsured, research has found.

More than a quarter (27%) of people said they had left windows open while they were out but were unaware it could lead to having a home insurance claim turned down, according to MoneySuperMarket.

Posting a selfie on social media while on holiday, which 16% of people surveyed said they done without being aware it could invalidate their cover, could also alert burglars to a home being empty, the website added.

Many people have carried out home renovations such as extensions during the coronavirus lockdowns.

But 16% said they had not declared renovations to their insurer and did not realise they needed to.

Many people were also unaware that having a friend to stay for a long period could also potentially have an impact on their policy.

Looking at car insurance, 16% of drivers were not aware that changing jobs or job titles without informing their insurer could potentially void their policy and so had kept quiet about it, the survey of 2,000 people across the UK in June found.

As the terms and conditions of insurance policies vary, people should make sure they read the small print.

Praksha Patel-Shah, an insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “If you haven’t read your policies for a while, re-read them to familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions to ensure that you’ve got the right cover for your needs.”

Top five car insurance fails

1. Changed jobs/job title but not informed your provider, 16%

2. Driven with a pet on the seat unrestrained, 15%

3. Had an accident that damaged your car but did not inform the insurer, 11%

=4. Failed to update your main address, 7%

=4. Provided your insurer with incorrect information about the overnight location for your car, 7%

Five leading causes for home insurance rejections

1. Left a window open when leaving the house/flat, 27%

=2. Posted a picture on social media while on holiday, 16%

=2. Renovated your house/flat without notifying the insurer, 16%

4. Left a door unlocked when leaving a house, 12%

5. Had a friend to stay for over a month, 10%

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