Insurer cancels home insurance policy and refuses claim for fire damage

Buildings insurance Insurance

Tilly complains about her insurer’s decision to “void” (cancel) her home insurance policy.

What happened

Tilly bought a home insurance policy. She was asked if she had any claims in the last five years and she said she had one following a storm a year ago. 

After Tilly renewed her policy and made a new claim, her insurer cancelled her policy. It found that she made another small claim five years ago for escape of water and hadn’t mentioned this to the insurer. It said if it knew about the second claim, it wouldn’t offer her any cover.  

Tilly felt her insurer acted unfairly. She thought her second claim was more than five years ago and that it wouldn’t affect her new policy, so she complained. Unhappy with the insurer’s response, she referred her complaint to us. 

What we said

We checked and discovered that when Tilly renewed her policy, and the claim she made for escape of water was still live. We also found she’d been given a copy of the information she’d provided when she took the policy out, and asked to let the insurer know if anything was wrong or had changed. She hadn’t contacted them. The information said she only had the storm damage claim.

We agreed with the insurer that Tilly hadn’t taken reasonable care not to misrepresent. She’d not checked her records when took out the policy, or when she renewed it, and just assumed the escape of water claim was more than five years ago.

The insurer also showed us it wouldn’t have offered cover had it known about Tilly’s second claim. So we thought it was acting in line with the Consumer Insurance Disclosure and Representations (CIDRA) Act 2012 when it cancelled her policy.