Accidental damage cover

Accidental damage cover gives you an extra layer of protection for your home and contents. Here's how it works.

What is accidental damage home insurance?

People often choose accidental damage cover with their home insurance policy for extra protection. And like its name suggests, it covers you for accidental damage to your home, its contents – or both.

It’s rarely included in standard buildings or contents cover, but you can usually upgrade – for an extra charge.

What does accidental damage cover?

You can add accidental damage cover to your buildings insurance and your contents cover. If you’re a homeowner you might want to think about both.

Custom cover for tenants

If you’re renting, you only need to consider accidental cover for your contents. Though if you’re worried about accidental damage to your landlord’s fixtures and fittings, tenants’ liability insurance can help protect you against losing your deposit.

Accidental damage cover for buildings

Standard home buildings insurance covers your home for damage caused by flooding, fire or extreme weather.

Accidental damage cover can protect you against things like:

  • a broken window
  • damage to your bathroom fittings
  • cracked tiles on the wall or floor
  • damage to a fitted kitchen
  • an accidental hole in the wall
  • nailing through a pipe or cable

Wear and tear is excluded

You can’t claim for gradual deterioration over time, and most policies won’t cover accidents if your home is left unoccupied for more than a couple of weeks. Always check your policy to see what is and isn’t included.

Accidental damage cover for contents

People often wonder if home contents insurance covers accidental damage as standard. And the answer is usually no, except for the most comprehensive policies. But it's one of the most popular add-ons to contents insurance, for those prepared to pay a little more for extra peace of mind.

Accidental damage cover can help when you:

  • Drop your laptop or tablet
  • Tip over your TV (a toddler's favourite)
  • Spill red wine on your carpet or sofa

It doesn't typically cover your pets or accidents to sports equipment (incl. bikes) when you're using them. And clothes and computer viruses usually aren't covered either – so always check before you buy.

Do I need accidental damage cover on home insurance?

Adding accidental damage cover to your home insurance policy means you’re better protected. But it’s almost certain to increase the cost.

Get protection from yourself

If an accident happens, you may find standard buildings or contents insurance doesn’t cover you. That’s because they’re designed to protect your home and possessions from things like natural disasters and burglary – not from you and your family!

Simple mistakes can be costly

Say you put a nail through a pipe when you’re hanging a picture. There could be quite a bit of damage even if you turn the water off quickly. If you’ve got accidental damage cover you should be protected. But always check your policy before you start any major DIY projects. And remember, plumbing and electrical work is much better done by a professional.

Kids’ accidents can raise premiums

If you have children, accidental damage cover for contents could be invaluable. It’s very easy for a small person to drop a laptop on the tiled kitchen floor or create some ‘biro art’ on your beautiful new sofa. Their accidents are usually covered but remember that frequent claims could push up your renewal price.

Always check the small print

Take a look at your buildings and contents insurance and you may be surprised what isn’t actually covered. And then think about adding accidental damage cover next time you renew. You might decide it’s worth it for the extra peace of mind.

Types of accidental damage complaints

There are all sorts of accidental damage claims. From drilling into a gas pipe to knocking over the iron and burning the carpet.

Some are simple mishaps – so easy when you’re moving furniture around. Many of them involve children knocking over the TV or dropping phones and tablets onto hard floors. Or down the toilet.

Even a falling Christmas tree can knock over a candle or tip a glass of red wine onto the carpet.

Remember your excess

Keeping policies affordable means accepting an excess. So think carefully whether the claims you’re likely to make will be under or over that amount. Many accidents only cause small amounts of damage, so you wouldn’t be able to claim for them.

On the other hand, if a little one knocks over a £600 TV, you’d be glad you had accidental damage cover.

British Gas Home Insurance. Looking for insurance?

All our buildings and contents policies come with optional Accidental Damage Cover and are Five Star rated by Moneyfacts. Plus, we're backed by one of the UK's leading insurers. Want to see what you'd pay?

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Additional information

  1. Terms and Conditions apply. Home Insurance is arranged and administered by British Gas and is underwritten by a carefully selected insurer. Your policy documents will show who your insurer is. British Gas is a trading name of British Gas Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England & Wales (Registered No.03141243). Registered office: Millstream, Maidenhead Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 5GD.