While many customers might welcome the greater flexibility offered by in-home delivery services, there are also potential risk implications.
• Accidental damage to property
• Malicious/criminal damage
• Injury to a delivery driver (e.g. a trip or slip), which could lead to a personal injury claim
Theft could be a particularly grey area. In order to reassure customers, some companies make their drivers wear chest-mounted cameras to record video footage of each home visit – footage which customers can access on request. However, experts have suggested this system is not fool proof.In a
recent article, Brian Brown, head of insight at research firm Defaqto, said: “I can see lots of potential issues. What’s to stop the driver letting an accomplice into the property, as chest cameras only show a forward view? What if the driver doesn’t close the door properly? What if the driver picks up a key from inside the house which is later used to commit a burglary?”
How could ‘while you’re out’ deliveries affect home insurance?
Customers will understandably want to know how their insurer might respond to a claim made in circumstances such as those outlined above.The short answer is that most insurers will treat incidents on a case by case basis.
While in-home delivery services are relatively new, there are other circumstances in which a homeowner might give a key to somebody other than a friend or family member – a cleaner, builder, decorator or house-sitter, for example.
While allowing unsupervised access to a home would not necessarily result in a subsequent claim being rejected, insurers will want to know what reasonable precautions were taken to prevent the loss occurring.
Such precautions could include:
• Only allowing access to reputable firms and checking their credentials, e.g. through online reviews
•Wherever possible, keeping high-value items out of view, or preferably locked in a safe
• Identifying and remedying potential trip/slip hazards, e.g. loose carpet or items left on stairs
There could be further issues for customers to consider before granting retailers unsupervised access to their home using smart lock technology. For example:
• If video footage of the visit is available, how long is it kept for? This could be an important consideration if, for example, valuables are discovered missing several days later
• Do you understand how the temporary access codes work? For example, how are they time-limited? Could a driver leave a property and return later that day without their camera, or give the code to an accomplice?
• How safe/reliable is the smart lock you are using? What are its security credentials?
While in-home delivery is still in its infancy, it is important that customers are fully aware of the implications of using such services, and that they speak to their insurer if they have any concerns about the potential impact on their home insurance policies.
Article provided by Zurich Insurance Company
If you have any concerns or questions regarding your home insurance then do not hesitate to contact us on 01245 449060.