Am I covered by my home insurance if I spill something on the carpet?

Am I covered by my home insurance if I spill something on the carpet?

Carpets are often the most expensive items in the home, with even those of average quality costing thousands to have fitted in larger rooms.

So knocking over a pot of paint or spilling a large amount of wine can potentially cost you a small fortune if it means the carpet needs replacing due to the resulting damage.

Are you protected?

Fortunately help is at hand. Many of the better home insurance policies include what’s known as ‘accidental damage’ cover, designed to financially protect you from the various common accidents that occur around the home.

Such accidents include the type of things which can ruin a carpet; from cigarette burns and wine stains, to scorching from an iron and nail varnish damage.

Check the small print of your policy if you’re not sure if it includes accidental damage, or call your insurer or insurance broker.

Will the insurer definitely pay out?

If the carpet stains, markings and damage can’t be treated so that their impact becomes unnoticeable, your insurer should cover the cost of replacing the carpet.

As most policies which include accidental damage as standard are usually a little more expensive, the carpet replacement will probably be on a new for old basis.

You should take pictures of the damage, note down the make of carpet, original cost and material it’s constructed from, and also find equivalent comparison quotes to send to the insurer if you can no longer buy the exact version.

Beware: Not all policies will protect you

A great many standard policies will not include accidental damage in their terms however.

Many people simply go for the cheapest deal they can find, and it’s unlikely the policy terms will include cover for the sort of incidents which lead to a carpet being damaged accidentally.

The option to buy cover as an ‘add on’

Most insurers will include accidental damage as an ‘add on’ which you can pay for at any time simply by picking up the phone and instructing it to be included in your policy.

The premium won’t be exorbitant and should only cost you in the region of £30 or £40 more a year.  It doesn’t just cover damage to carpets but other furnishings and furniture, white goods, clothing and technology as well.

Claims for damage caused by children

Of course, children are highly likely to cause accidental damage. This will be covered in your policy (assuming you have accidental damage cover included), but if you have any new arrivals, you must tell your insurer so that their names are added to those already living in the property.

Building work

Builders are another common source of accidental damage, and you need to let your insurer know if you’re going to be having building work done; an insurer might want to know about what sort of building work and more about the building company before agreeing that it will be covered as it stands.

Carpet damage and your policy excess

If you’re replacing a carpet which is cheap, or only covers a small area such as a utility room, it probably isn’t going to cost much more than your policy excess (the first part of any claim which you have to pay), so may not be worth claiming for.

Policy Expert

We’re dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. And we’re driven by a desire to help you find the best value and the right insurance for your individual needs. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 11 November 2017