-

Coronavirus and home insurance

The coronavirus outbreak means we’re all spending more time at home, and you might be wondering if this has any implications for your home insurance policy.

The majority of our home insurance policies will be unaffected and you don’t need to do anything, though you might find our FAQs helpful.

The Association of British Insurers has some information to help insurance customers that you might find useful.

Barclays Home Insurance

Does my home insurance cover me for working from home?

If you have contents insurance, you’re covered for doing office work from home. You won’t be covered if you’re running your entire business from home or keeping stock there. 

Do I need to let you know if I’m now working from home?

We recognise that a lot of people are now having to temporarily work from home. You don’t need to tell us about this, as it won’t affect your policy or the cover you currently have in place.

Is my home office equipment covered by my policy?

Home office equipment is covered if you have contents cover. Some starter contents policies will include this – check your policy documents.

Office equipment includes office furniture, computers and other keyboard-based office equipment, printers, photocopiers, telephones and answerphones used for business and professional purposes.

Is the food in my freezer covered under my home insurance?

Yes, if you have contents cover. It’s not covered if you have starter contents.

Am I covered for accidental damage with the children being at home more?

Yes, but only if you’ve selected accidental damage as an add on to your buildings or contents cover. You can add this cover whenever you want with no admin fee, although your premium might change.

I’m stranded overseas and my UK home’s currently unoccupied, what can I do?

You don’t need to worry. We’ve temporarily extended cover so UK homes can now remain unoccupied for up to 90 days. There’s no extra charge for this cover and we’ll continue to review as the coronavirus situation develops.

My mortgage is taking longer to complete, am I covered?

If you’re moving and have taken out our home insurance, you’d normally have cover for 90 days between exchange and completion. Because many mortgages are taking longer to complete at the moment, we’ve extended this cover to 180 days, at no extra cost.

I’m worried about affording my home insurance payments, what can I do?

We know coronavirus has affected many people’s jobs and livelihoods. If you’re looking at your budget you could

  • Review your cover – we won’t charge you an admin fee if you make changes
  • Talk to us about moving to monthly payments if you usually pay annually and are coming up to renewal
  • Be eligible to defer a monthly payment, which we’ll then spread evenly over the remaining months of your policy 

How do I defer a monthly payment?

Before you decide to defer, please check you’re eligible and read the important information below.

Deferring your monthly insurance payments could help you manage your financial commitments in the short term, if you’ve been affected financially by the coronavirus situation. If you defer a payment, it’ll be spread over the remaining months of your policy. Before you apply, please make sure this is the right thing for you to do, as it will increase the cost of your remaining monthly payments. All other terms of your insurance policy will continue to apply.

To be eligible

Your policy must be active and you’ll need to have made at least one monthly payment

You and or your spouse/partner must

  • Have been made unemployed at any point after 1 March 2020, or
  • Be self-employed and unable to work or trade because of the coronavirus situation, or
  • Have been furloughed and not yet received the 80% government-backed payment from your employer. Once you’ve received a furlough payment you won’t be eligible to defer any monthly home insurance payments

Important information

  • You can only request to defer one payment at a time. If you need help for future payments, you’ll need to apply again. You can defer up to three monthly payments in total
  • If you have multiple policies with us, you’ll need to make separate applications for each
  • If you pay for your policy using a credit agreement, your total amount payable and APR as shown in your credit agreement won’t increase and all other terms of your credit agreement still apply. Deferring a payment deferral won’t affect your credit score
  • Don’t cancel any future payments. We’ll update these automatically to reflect your increased payment amount and we’ll continue taking them on the same date each month using your current payment method
  • We’ll use the information you provide to determine your eligibility for payment deferral. Deferring a payment won’t affect the cost of any future home insurance policies
  • If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria, we won’t be able to offer you a payment deferral
  • If you do meet these criteria, we’ll send you confirmation of your revised future payments when we’ve processed your request. Once in place, you can’t reverse a payment deferral

How do payment deferrals work?

Here are two examples of what your payments could look like with a deferral.

Example 1 – what your payments could look like if you’re paying £40 per month and decide to defer your next monthly payment, near the beginning of your policy.

Length of home insurance policy

12 months

Annual premium (12 months)

£480.00

Monthly premium (1/12th of annual premium)

£40.00

Amount you’ve paid after 3 months

£120.00

Amount left to pay over the remaining 9 months

£360.00

1 month payment deferral in 4th month of policy

£40.00

Amount left to pay over the remaining 8 months

£360.00

Monthly premium for 8 months (1/8th of remaining amount)

£45.00

Total amount you’ve paid over 12 months

£480.00

Example 2 –  what your payments could look like if you decided to defer two payments in consecutive months towards the end of your policy. Remember you’ll need to apply separately for each payment you want to defer.

Length of policy

12 months

Annual premium (12 months)

£480.00

Monthly premium (1/12th of annual premium)

£40.00

Amount you’ve paid after 8 months

£320.00

Amount left to pay over the remaining 4 months

£160.00

1 payment month deferral in 9th month of policy

£40.00

Amount left to pay over the remaining 3 months

£160.00

Monthly premium for 3 months (1/3rd of remaining amount)

£53.33

2nd payment deferral in 10th month of policy

£53.33

Amount left to pay over the remaining 2 months

£160.00

Monthly premium for the final two months

£80.00

Total amount you’ve paid over 12 months

£480.00

Complete our form to ask for a payment deferral.

I'm up to date on my payments – can I defer my next payment if it’s due in 10 days or less?

If a payment is due to come out of your account within the next 10 days, we might not be able to stop the process in time. If we can stop the payment process, we’ll defer this payment.

If we can’t stop the payment process in time and there isn’t enough in the account to collect it, we’ll defer the missed payment.

If we can’t stop the payment process in time and we do collect the payment, we’ll defer your next month’s payment.

I’m up to date on my payments – can I defer my next payment if it’s due in 11 days or more?

Yes – your request will cover your next payment only. If you need help for future payments, you’ll need to apply again.  You can defer up to a maximum of three months' payments.

I’ve already missed one payment for my home insurance – can I still defer a payment?

This request will cover your missed payment. If you need help for future payments, you’ll need to apply again. You can do this for a maximum of three months, which includes this missed payment

I’ve now missed two payments – can I still defer a payment?

If you’ve already missed two payments, you won’t be eligible for payment deferral. We might still be able to help though – please get in touch to chat through your options.

Where can I find out more about my home insurance policy?

Our phone lines are currently very busy, and you might have a long wait to speak to someone. If your policy begins with MHO or MPH, you might be able to view your documents and renew your policy, check what you’re covered for or make changes to your policy in ‘MyPolicy’.

Where do I find MyPolicy?

If you have a bank account with us, you can access MyPolicy from your accounts home page in Online Banking. Or you can register.

What if I have Premium Home Insurance from Hiscox?

Check out our separate FAQs about premium home insurance.