Co-op Home Insurance coronavirus information

Last updated at 2pm on Thursday 4 June 2020

Due to government advice around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we’re reducing our opening hours. This is to protect the safety of our colleagues but still remain available to our customers.

Our new opening hours are 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm on Saturdays and 10am to 2pm on Sundays.

You can make a new claim 24 hours a day online or by phone, however for existing claims our opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

If you’re struggling financially and are worried about your insurance, then please contact us. We have a variety of options available to help you during this time.

So that we can support customers in difficulty, for all other calls please only contact us if it’s absolutely necessary.

Many questions can be answered by searching our general FAQs, reading our coronavirus FAQs below or checking your policy documents. You can also buy a new policy online.

We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your help as we find the best ways to assist customers and colleagues in these unprecedented times.

Coronavirus frequently asked questions

Payment and renewals

I’m worried about how I will pay for my insurance, what options do I have? Will you still cover me if I miss a payment?

Yes, we’re here to help. We understand that there may be a financial impact on our customers due to coronavirus. If you think you may be unable to maintain your regular policy payments, please contact us as soon as possible on 03457 46 46 46^.

We have specialists on hand who can discuss your individual circumstances and agree how we can help with your financial situation.

There are several ways we may be able to help including:

  • moving your payment dates
  • agreeing partial payments or payment holidays in the short term
  • removing some fees applied to your policy.

Don’t wait until you miss a payment as we can help you in advance.

We ask that you don’t cancel your payments or direct debits as this can result in your policy being cancelled and we don’t want you to be left uninsured. Please get in touch with us in the first instance.

I can't get through to someone on the phone. How do I make sure my policy doesn't renew?

If you pay annually, and you don't want to renew, you don't need to contact us. Your policy won't renew if we don't receive payment. If your policy is on direct debit then please cancel your direct debit at your bank.

I usually pay by GIRO but can't get to the bank, what do I do?

If you call us on 03457 46 46 46^ one our advisers will talk you through what options we have available to help.

I have an All Risks (AR) policy and you have written to tell me it won't renew. Will this still be the case?

Yes, your All Risks (AR) policy will still come to an end on the date we have confirmed on your letter.

Please refer to this letter, as the information we have sent you about your AR policy remains the same.

If you need help finding another provider you can visit The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) website.

Can I still contact you by post?

Yes. We are still able to receive post, but this is dependent on postal services and their timescales.

The quickest way to get an answer remains our contact centre, as well as our coronavirus FAQs.

Will I still get my documents from you through the post?

Yes. We are still sending out documents in the post as normal. When you can expect to get your documents will depend on postal services and their timescales.

Claims

I am struggling to pay my premium, will this affect my claim?

We understand that there may be a financial impact on our customers due to coronavirus.

If you are struggling financially and are worried about the impact this may have on a new or existing claim, please call us on 0345 999 8888^ and speak to one of our advisers.

I have coronavirus. I have a tradesperson coming to my house as part of a claim. Do I need to let them know?

Yes. You must let them know if you or a member of your household has coronavirus. Our suppliers are following UK Government guidelines and will discuss with you the best way of dealing with your claim.

I'm self-isolating but I have a tradesperson coming to my house as part of a claim. Do I need to let them know?

Yes. Our suppliers are following all UK Government guidelines and will discuss with you the best way of dealing with your claim.

Can you reassure me that your suppliers who are visiting my house don't have coronavirus?

Given the limited availability of testing we're unable to give that guarantee. However, we can assure you that our suppliers are closely monitoring the health of their workforce and comply with UK Government guidelines. 

Can I delay the visit from a supplier if I have the virus, I'm self-isolating or worried about the risk of catching the virus?

Yes. Your claim won't be affected if you want to delay any visit due to the current coronavirus crisis.

Our supplier will discuss with you the best way of handling your claim and offer practical advice on action you can take to reduce any risk of further damage.

Is there currently any effect on the time it will take to speak to someone, if I have an emergency?

No, calls are being answered by the team, as they would be normally.

Will I still be able to make a claim?

Yes, you can still make a claim on your policy. Please visit our make a claim section.

Will my existing claim be affected by coronavirus?

We'll do all we can to progress your claim as quickly as possible. You may experience some delay as our suppliers may have reduced staffing levels.

Given the disruptions to international transport and manufacturing because of coronavirus, it may also take longer to get any necessary parts or materials.

We'll keep you informed of any changes and do our best to minimise any inconvenience.

I've reported a claim on your website. What happens next?

We will contact you as soon as possible to discuss next steps with you. This will usually be within 48 hours of you reporting the claim.

Will it take longer for our home emergency to be seen to?

No, there is currently no impact on the usual timescales for our contractors to attend.

My claim is on hold due to not being 'essential' repairs. When will I be given an update on when this can progress?

We’ll contact you to discuss the best way to progress your claim and will try to keep any delay to a minimum.

Your cover

I'm temporarily unemployed due to coronavirus and I'm unable to pay rent to my landlord. Does my home insurance cover this?

No, this isn't something that's covered by your home insurance. 

The UK Government has issued guidance for landlords and tenants during the coronavirus crisis.  Please visit this page for the most up to date information and advice. 

I have been advised to work from home. Will my home insurance policy be affected if I don't tell you that I'm working from home?

If you need to work from home to do clerical/admin duties because of UK Government advice or because you need to self-isolate, your home insurance cover will not be affected.

If you are normally out during the day, you don't need to let us now that this has now changed. You do not need to contact us to update your documents or extend your cover.

I have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks, and I am going to stay with someone else for this time, leaving my home unoccupied. Am I still covered?

Your policy covers 60 days unoccupied as standard. If UK Government advice says you need to self-isolate for more than 60 days, you will still be covered.

I am doing some voluntary work to help out my community. Do I need to let you know?

Any unpaid voluntary work will be covered under the legal liability of your contents insurance, if you have this cover on your policy.

My employer has allowed me to work from home, is my office equipment covered?

Yes, in most instances your employer will cover the costs of the equipment once it leaves the office and whilst inside your home.

If your employer has made you legally responsible for the equipment this will be covered under the terms and conditions of your home insurance policy up to a maximum limit of £5,000. You don't need to contact us to update your documents or extend your cover.

I am unable to get home due to coronavirus (e.g. hotel/cruise ship/country lockdown/delayed flights)? Do I need to tell you if my home will be unoccupied for longer than expected?

No. Your policy covers 60 days unoccupied as standard. If UK Government advice says you cannot return to your property for more than 60 days, you will still be covered.

You don't need to contact us to update your documents or extend your cover.

I am an Executor of a home insurance policy. Due to coronavirus, I’m unable to visit the property and it will be unoccupied longer than expected. Am I still covered?

Yes. Your policy covers 60 days unoccupied as standard.

If your home policy states that your property is considered unoccupied if it is not lived in for more than 60 consecutive days, but UK government advice prevents you from doing this, you will still be covered.

Do I need to tell you if I have a live-in carer because I'm suffering from coronavirus?

No. Your cover will operate as normal and the normal terms and conditions apply.

Live in carers will be classed as domestic employees and if you have contents insurance this will cover your legal liabilities towards them up to a limit of £2M.

You don't need to contact us to update your documents or extend your cover.

I'm now going to be home in the day time (due to working from home/isolation) but I told you I was only here in the evening. Do I need to let you know this has changed?

No. If you are normally out during the day, you don't need to let us now that this has now changed.

You do not need to contact us to update your documents or extend your cover.

I've been asked to send you a copy of a valuation for my high value item but I’m self-isolating/unable to get a valuation due to coronavirus. What should I do? 

Don't worry, you must follow the movement/self isolation guidelines set out by the UK Government. Just send us a copy of the valuation when it is safe to do so.

Your high value item(s) will still be covered under the terms and conditions of your home insurance policy. You don't need to contact us to update your documents or extend your cover.

A friend or relative is staying with me during the lockdown period. They aren't paying rent. Will this affect my home insurance?

We understand that some people may require additional care and help during this time.

You don't need to contact us to tell us about any additional long-stay guests. This advice is subject to change depending on the length of time that UK Government require the current social distancing requirements.

Some claims for theft will only be accepted if there's evidence of a break-in, so make sure you fully trust the person you’re allowing to stay in your home for free.

We recommend that you keep your home protected by showing your house guest how to make sure the property is secure, where the stopcock is, and any other information that they may need to know.

My house needs a deep clean after a coronavirus (COVID -19) contamination. Would my policy cover this?

No. Accidental Damage means physical damage that's caused suddenly by an external event and that's unexpected and not deliberate. So the need to deep clean doesn't fall within this definition.

Complaints

Is it likely that the response to my complaint will be delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak?

It is possible that you may experience a delay in receiving a response to your complaint. However, we want to reassure you that we’re doing everything possible to help you during this difficult situation.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be working very hard to prioritise complaints, ensuring that we support customers most in need during this period. This may mean that it will take longer to respond to your complaint.

What we're doing to help

As part of our membership of the Association of British Insurers, we've made a pledge to support people affected by the impact of coronavirus.

Our pledge

1. We'll support you if you need to make a claim.

There are plans in place to continue to handle claims calls in these challenging circumstances.

2. We'll support you if you're working from home.

If you have a clerical (office) job and need to work from home due to government advice or to self-isolate, your insurance policy is still valid. You don't need to tell us about this.

3. We'll support you if you can't work from home.

If you need to drive to work instead of getting public transport because of the impact of coronavirus, your insurance policy will still be valid. You don't need to tell us about this.

4. We'll support you if use your car to help your community.

You can use your car for voluntary purposes in any capacity as an NHS volunteer to support people affected by coronavirus. Your cover is not affected and you don't need to tell us about this.

5. We'll support our keyworkers.

If you’re a keyworker and need to drive your own car to different places of work because of the impact of coronavirus, your cover is not affected. You don't need to tell us about this.