Find out what accidental damage covers
No-one likes to think that any of their household contents could end up damaged beyond repair, but it pays to think about how you would cope financially if an accident did happen.
Many house insurance policies don't automatically include accidental damage as standard - often you have to pay an additional premium if you want to be covered for one-off incidents such as a dropped laptop, or a television being knocked off its stand and breaking.
Here, we look at the sort of events accidental damage cover will pay out for, as well as what isn't covered, so you can decide whether or not it is worth the extra cost...
What is accidental damage?
As its name suggests, accidental damage happens when a one-off incident causes damage to your household contents. So, for example, someone accidentally knocking a bottle of red wine onto your cream-coloured carpet would be likely to qualify as accidental damage.
However, wear and tear isn't included, which means if your carpet developed a hole in it thanks to repeated traffic, you wouldn't be eligible to claim.
Many house insurance policies don't automatically include accidental damage as standard
Accidents caused by children are included, so if your toddler manages to push over the telly and crack the screen, your insurer should pay out for a new one.
Bear in mind, however, that most accidental cover won't pay out if damage is caused by a pet. That means if your puppy has taken a liking to chewing the sofa, you won't be able to replace it by making a claim on your contents insurance.
You can get accidental cover added to your buildings policy as well as your contents policy. This would cover things such as a ball being kicked through your sitting room window, accidentally plunging through the ceiling when you are up in the attic, and banging a nail through a water pipe when trying to hang a picture.
It won't cover wear and tear, or bad workmanship, so if an electrician wires a socket wrongly, you'd have to pay to get the problem fixed yourself.
This cover is quite often abused by people making false claims. However, honesty is the best policy when it comes to making a claim, as if you do get caught out, it will invalidate your cover and you may find it difficult to get insurance in the future.
How much does it cost?
Adding accidental damage cover to your home insurance will typically add between £20 and £100 a year to your premiums, bumping up the cost of your insurance by around 20%.
However, many mainstream insurers include accidental damage to electrical items - such as televisions, DVD players and computers - as standard, so always check your policy documents before buying additional cover.
If you have young children, then you may well consider paying extra for accidental cover a price worth paying, as the chances of your home or its contents being damaged accidentally will be relatively high.
However, if you don't have children, and have few visitors to your home, you may not want to pay an additional premium for this kind of cover. But think carefully whether you would be able to afford to replace more expensive items if they were damaged.