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11-07-2014

Insurance claims and neighbours

We all spend more time in our gardens in the summer, which makes us more aware than usual of the people next door. You’re very lucky if you have good neighbours: bad ones can have a significant impact on your quality of life. And this is illustrated by some recent research by MoneySuperMarket.

Apparently, one in 10 British homeowners have claimed, or will need to claim, on their home insurance because of their neighbour’s behaviour. The most common reasons for this are unruly gardens and overgrown trees, as well as ‘lack of upkeep’ of the property, including blocked gutters and loose roof tiles.

Perhaps more serious are claims caused by neighbour’s gas leaks or burst pipes. Shared walls and fences also lead to problems.

But what is extraordinary is when you do the maths: according to the comparison website, with claims adding £50 to home insurance premiums, this means that homeowners who claim because of their neighbours would add £157 million to the cost of insurance in the UK.

This of course doesn’t take into account the impact on the value of a house if it’s next door to a badly-kept property.

It’s all very disconcerting but there’s not a lot you can do except hope your neighbours behave themselves!

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