maintaining a home

How home maintenance can help reduce the risk of insurance claims being denied

23 June 2023

Home insurance can help you cover damage-related costs after a wide range of insured events – like storms, fires, burglaries and more.

But damage caused by wear and tear or gradual deterioration will often not be covered by your home insurance policy. The presence of such damage can often cause a claim to be knocked back, or any payouts resulting from the claim to be reduced.

The good news is, a few simple checks around the home can help you spot minor issues before they become major ones. And once they’re identified, you can start taking care of them – either yourself or with the help of a pro, depending on the circumstances.

Of course, claims can be declined, or settlements reduced, for reasons other than lack of maintenance. Checks like the ones listed below won’t address all those reasons, but they can help reduce the odds of damage that can’t be claimed for.

Checks you can perform around the home

Below are a few checks that could be helpful for homeowners. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list – every home will have its own areas of potential risk that you should keep an eye on. 

Roof condition

A home insurance claim for damage caused by a storm can be pretty straightforward – but if there is existing damage, that can make things more complex. For example, if you have worn and broken roof tiles, they may have allowed more water to enter the roof cavity than otherwise would have. In that case, your claim might be reduced or declined.

Consider having a roofing pro inspect your roof from time to time, to check for any potential issues that could expose your home to damage during a storm.

If your roof isn’t tiled – for example, if it’s a tin, metal or Colourbond roof – check for rust and other signs of damage.

Clogged gutters

If your gutters are filled with debris, that can mean that water doesn’t drain away from your roof as easily as it should. If a sudden build-up of water occurs – for example, after a big storm – the excess water has nowhere to go. It can drain into your ceiling, potentially causing internal damage.

Suncorp Home Insurance policies don’t cover damage related to blocked gutters, as mentioned in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Check your gutters regularly and take steps to keep them clear. Gutter guards can help you keep gutters tidy and reduce the build-up of debris.

Overgrown gardens

If garden beds grow out of control and get too close to the building, you run the risk of moisture seeping into the building. Mould can be encouraged to grow if the plants block external vents.

We don’t cover damage related to mould, or damage related to plant matter growing into the home – including gutters. So keeping your gardens tidy can reduce the risk of incidents for which you can’t claim.

Trim back tree branches that are closer to your roof, or hanging over your home. Debris from these can easily fall into your gutter.

To learn more about what is and isn’t covered by Suncorp Home Insurance policies, refer to the policy documents, or read more at our Home Insurance info page.

Suncorp Home Insurance

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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. AAI Insurance shall not be held liable for any loss or damage caused by any reliance on or use of the contents of this article. 

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.

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