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Key to the door: How to avoid invalidating your home insurance

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Key to the door: How to avoid invalidating your home insurance

It’s a risky business, insurance. For example, did you know that if you give your house keys out to someone else, it could invalidate your insurance policy?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) are on record as saying that if items are stolen during a break in there must be signs of forced entry.  So if someone uses a key you have provided to gain entry to your property then your insurance claim may be denied.

So who have you given keys out to?  Neighbours?  The kids?  An ex-partner?

The ABI also note that policies often exclude theft by members of the family, neighbours or ex-partners. 

It is also notable that if you have given a key to someone with a criminal record that could also invalidate the insurance policy. You may remember being asked when you took out the policy if anyone in your household had a criminal record.  If you don’t declare a key holder’s record you could be in difficulty.

While it is quite common for home owners to leave a spare key with friends or neighbours, in these circumstances, we would always advise the following:

  • Make sure you know how many house keys you have and who has them. If there is someone with a key who shouldn’t have one, endeavour to get it back
  • Be cautious who you leave keys with. Make sure they are trustworthy
  • NEVER leave a key outside for someone to pick up – it’s far too risky
  • Make sure you discuss security with any children who have a set of keys
  • If any keys get lost, or you are worried about key holders, it may be time to change the locks
  • Make sure those locks are the type your insurers specify in your policy – they want your house to be secure, and so do you!

If you find yourself in dispute with your insurers, speak to Stephensons’ specialist dispute resolution solicitors on 01616 966 229.