What is accidental damage cover?

5 minutes

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We all have those things in life we cherish, from our prized electronic devices that keep us connected to the world around us, to treasured little trinkets that have been gifted to us by loved ones.

And while we try our best to look after those things, accidents can happen, and belongings can get damaged along the way.

Accidental damage cover is there to protect the things you love in your home when those accidents occur. It’s designed to cover you for things your standard contents insurance doesn’t, like if you were to drop an ornament and break it, or spill a cup of tea over your new laptop. 

When your possessions get damaged, it can be a real headache, especially when it’s expensive to replace or repair the item. In this guide, we’ll take a look at how accidental damage contents insurance can help relieve this problem by giving you cover for your prized possessions when things go wrong. We’ll also look at what is and isn’t covered, and explore who needs accidental damage cover. 

What is accidental damage?

Accidental damage is defined as ‘damage caused suddenly by external means which is not expected and not deliberate’

Examples of accidental damage could include knocking a glass of wine over your new cream rug during dinner, or the kids kicking a football through the kitchen window while playing outside. Other types of damage, like wear and tear or electrical breakdown are not considered accidental damage. So, if the cushions on your sofa become very creased over time, or if your old laptop finally stops working, you wouldn’t be able to claim it as accidental damage.

What is accidental damage cover for home insurance?

Many people wrongly assume that just by having contents insurance for their home and belongings, they’re covered for all kinds of damage. If you were to accidentally knock your TV over while dusting, for example, most people would assume they’d be able to claim for a replacement. But the reality is that not all contents insurance policies offer accidental damage cover as standard, with many insurers offering it as an optional extra.

Accidental damage cover enhances your contents insurance policy by giving you that extra layer of security. It means that if the kids accidentally break something, for example, you’re covered. Like most other types of contents insurance, having an accidental damage policy in place means the cost of repair or replacement of your items is met if the worst should happen. So you won’t be left out of pocket and you’ll have that added peace of mind. Remember that an excess will be payable with any claim, see your policy document for details. 

Accidental damage cover can usually be purchased for the building itself, its contents, or both. Flow doesn’t offer buildings cover because our renters insurance was designed specifically for renters to protect their possessions, not the building itself. The landlord is responsible for insuring the building. 

What does accidental damage insurance cover?

Accidental damage cover on your contents insurance gives you cover for damage to your possessions at home. 

On the other hand, contents insurance accidental damage cover will cover you for accidents that happen in the home including: 

  • Dropping your phone down the stairs and cracking the screen
  • Knocking a drink over the sofa
  • Dropping an electrical item while cleaning
  • An expensive ornament falling off a shelf

What does accidental damage not cover?

While accidental damage for house insurance does cover a wide range of accidents and incidents, every policy will come with its own exclusions, so it’s always worth checking the terms and conditions in your insurance documents. But, generally speaking, types of damage not covered by accidental damage cover will include: 

  • Wear and tear, such as a sofa developing a hole over time
  • Damage caused by a pet chewing furniture or fittings
  • Damage caused by poor workmanship or DIY attempts
  • An electrical item not working

Dedicated gadget policies can cover individual items like phones both in and away from the home. Be sure to check your policy details to see if you need to purchase this extra protection.

Do I need accidental damage cover as a tenant?

Accidental damage renter’s insurance is not a requirement as a tenant, but it can give you a little extra peace of mind, as your belongings will not be covered by your landlord’s home insurance. Replacing your possessions when they’re broken can be stressful, costly, and time consuming, so having a policy in place that helps make the process easier and more affordable can take a weight off your shoulders. As well as protecting your own possessions, accidental damage cover can also  help if the tenant accidentally damages the landlord’s fixtures and fittings. 

When choosing the right cover for you, remember you may have to purchase accidental damage as an additional extra to your renters’ insurance. Many insurance policies for tenants don’t include it by default, including Flow renters insurance. Standard home contents insurance would mean your belongings were protected in the event of a fire, flood, or theft, but not necessarily from an accident in the home, like something being dropped, spilled, or knocked over.

For great deals on adding accidental damage cover to your contents insurance, check out our Flow Monthly contents insurance subscription.