Allied Claims House Fire

Make Sure Saving on Electrical Items Doesn’t Ruin Your Life

A recent case where a London family lost both their home and their beloved pets has highlighted the danger of buying untested and unregulated electrical items online. Not only is there no guarantee they’ll perform up to standard — there’s also no guarantee they aren’t death-traps.

In this particular case, the equipment was a battery power pack and charger for a camera, which had been bought online from a seller in Hong Kong. The buyer had plugged it in to charge overnight and woke up just in time for the family to escape the resulting fire.

The best advice is only to buy electrical equipment from reputable sources. Although there’s no 100% guarantee that there won’t be a fault, it’s substantially less likely, and regulation of such suppliers will make it far easier to claim compensation.

Even then, and certainly if you do buy from a less reliable source, what this case underlines is not to leave equipment running while you’re asleep or out — at least not till you’re absolutely sure that it’s safe. Otherwise, besides the risk of losing your home, the insurer’s loss adjuster could consider you’ve been negligent and turn down your insurance claim.

Make Sure Your Insurance Policy Is Up to Date

And that brings us to another disturbing aspect of the case. The family’s insurance policy was out of date, so they received nothing towards rebuilding their home or replacing their lost possessions.

They’d forgotten to renew the policy when it had run out and, while insurance companies won’t cheat you out of what’s due to you, they’re not in the business of making payments they don’t have to. The loss adjuster isn’t going to hand out charity money.

Your insurance policy is a one-year contract, renewable at the end of the period, and it’s entirely your responsibility as the policyholder to ensure that it’s renewed on time. If you miss a monthly or annual payment, even by a day, the insurance company has no obligation to pay out on an insurance claim — however long you’ve been a customer.

The family in this case have been reduced to trying to sue the seller, but this isn’t a good option for most people. It’s not only a highly expensive process, but an extremely lengthy one, too. Unless you have considerable reserves, it could leave you without a home.

So Allied Claims would strongly advise you to make sure all insurance policy renewals and payments are made in good time, as well as taking the utmost care with electrical equipment. Then, if the worst should happen, we can fight to ensure you get what’s due to you.

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