How you can reduce the risk of a home insurance claim being declined

At GIO, we’ll always try to process claims quickly and without fuss. But in some cases a claim can be declined, or the potential settlement amount reduced. This is often because the damage being claimed for is the result of wear and tear, or gradual deterioration – and so not covered by many home insurance policies. But performing a few simple checks around the home can help you identify issues early. Once identified, you can take steps to address them – either yourself or with the help of a pro, depending on the circumstances – and reduce the risk of them becoming a lot more significant.

Please note that claims can be declined, or settlements reduced, for reasons other than lack of maintenance. Performing the checks below doesn’t guarantee that all of those reasons can be avoided. But they’ll certainly reduce the odds of your home sustaining significant damage that you may not be able to claim for.

Checks you can perform around the home

These aren't the only things worth checking; just a few common ones. 

Is your roof in good condition?

If you have roof tiles that were broken before an event, this might affect a claim for storm damage. Broken tiles can allow heavy weather to cause significant damage, where otherwise your home would have remained structurally intact. It’s a good idea to have a professional periodically inspect your roofing to check for any potential issues/weaknesses that could cause issues during a storm and you are on top of any gradual wear and tear or existing damage.
Ignoring damage or allowing it to worsen before lodging a claimIf your roof isn’t tiled – for example, if it’s a tin, metal or Colourbond roof – check for rust and other signs of damage.

Are your gutters clogged with debris?

Clogged gutters can prevent water from draining away easily. If a sudden build-up occurs, perhaps after a big storm, the excess water is left with nowhere to go and can drain into your ceiling. For properties in areas at risk of fire, debris in your gutters can be a major concern with floating embers.

GIO Home Insurance policies don’t cover damage related to blocked gutters, as mentioned in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Keep your gutters clear to avoid them contributing to major damage to your home. Gutter guards can help you maintain tidy gutters and reduce debris build-up.

Are your gardens overgrown?

Overgrown garden beds, if they’re close to your house, can cause moisture to seep in. They can also block external vents, encouraging mould growth. Ensure they’re kept neatly trimmed, and remove any plants that are blocking vents.

Also consider trimming trees that are closer to your roof, or hanging over your home. They can cause debris to fall into your gutter.

We don’t cover damage related to mould, nor do we cover damage related to plant matter growing into the home – including gutters. So keeping your gardens tidy can reduce the risk of incidents arising for which you can’t claim. 

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To learn more about what is and isn’t covered by GIO Home Insurance, refer to the policy documents, or read more at our Home Insurance info page.

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* No bushfire, storm or flood cover in the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. Actions or movements of the sea and storm surge are not covered (unless the storm surge damage occurs at the same time as damage caused by storm). Limits and exclusions apply.

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.