Covea came about in 2012 from a merger between Provident and Norman Insurance, two long-standing UK insurers that had been around since the 50s. Covea currently provides both car and home insurance products through a network of local insurance brokers unlike other competitors like Axa who sell their policies directly online.
Reviews - Is Covea home insurance any good?
Covea does not sell insurance directly to residential customers, opting instead for insurance brokers to act as their intermediaries. They have two types of insurance catering for both a homeowner who is looking for comprehensive cover and for those who would like to customise things a bit more.
- Profile insurance policy is designed to be flexible so that you can add the extra cover options your household needs. These include options like legal cover and online protection.
- Home insurance policy is a sum-insured product that aims to provide comprehensive coverage for the most commons claims that your household may face. This means you will get both building and contents protection.
What does “sum-insured” mean?While some insurance companies will cover the full cost of rebuilding your home, most policies will have a maximum amount that the insurer will pay out. If the compensation does not fully cover the rebuilding costs, you will be on the hook for the remaining costs.
When looking closely at the cover limits for things like lost keys or trace and access, we find noticeable discrepancies in how much is covered.
Their Profile home insurance gets a full 5-star rating from Defaqto, the independent insurance rating body. However, the same cannot be said about the creatively named “Home” insurance policy which only rakes in a decidedly average 3-star rating from the same agency.
1. Covea and Accidental damage claims
It is disappointing to see that Covea follows in LV and Aviva's footsteps by making accidental damage cover optional across the board. This widens the scope of excuses an insurer has to not pay out certain claims borne out of accidents and non-malicious acts.
For example, Covea will wash its hands of any insurance claim relating to damage caused by pets or DIY gone horribly wrong. In their Profile policy, they even go as far as excluding laptops, tablets and cameras from their contents cover which seems particularly churlish.
2. Is Covea good value for money?
Covea is one of the few major players in the home insurance market to sell their policies the old-fashioned way - through insurance brokers. This means that you can’t just call up the company to get an idea of current insurance rates or enter your details online to insure your home. You must talk to a local broker if you want to find out how their policies are priced, which brings its own set of issues:
|Insurance brokers can help you compare between insurance providers.||Insurance brokers are middlemen and you are paying for their cut.|
|Brokers can help you tailor your insurance policy to your needs.||Brokers might sell you a policy that makes them more commission but isn’t necessarily better for you.|
|They can help you narrow down the extra cover options that are relevant to you.||They may only have a small range of insurance companies and policies to choose from.|
|They can help you appraise the value of your belongings.||If they are incompetent, they can seriously mess up your cover.|
|They can help you with paperwork and claims.||For urgent claims, you need to contact the insurer directly no matter what.|
Does Covea have an online login?
Covea only has an online claims form available for their policyholders which means that it is currently impossible to manage your account online.
To access policy or claims documents, you will have to invariably contact Covea customer support or the broker who sold you the insurance in the first place. The same goes for making changes to your insurance cover, requesting a policy renewal or updating your mailing preferences.
Why automatic renewal is a bad idea for home insurance coverageHome insurance companies tend to have harsh cancellation policies and auto-renewal is turned on by default. This means that before you can do anything about it, your policy will renew. Beyond the 14-day cancellation period, you have to pay an exit fee if you want to switch. Therefore, you should cancel automatic renewals. With Covea, you must ensure your insurance broker does not sneak automatic renewal in when signing you up to the policy.
Covea has a flat rate £24 cancellation fee on both policies which excludes the insurance premium tax if you cancel outside of the 14 days after signing up or renewing your policy with them.
What kinds of home insurance policy does Covea offer?
Covea’s policies can cover building, content and tenant insurance. It is worth noting that they do lack a 24-hour home emergency helpline. Interestingly, Covea seems to have some fairly extensive coverage when it comes to extras that really help to extend your insurance cover.
This encompasses things that you wouldn’t initially think you would need but that could end up really getting you out of a pinch. Here are some examples:
- The cost of getting back into your house after losing your keys
- Increased cover for weddings, anniversaries and religious occasions
- If your freezer packs it in, you can rest assured that the contents are insured
Additionally, there are some options that can be quite valuable for a wide range of customers:
- Personal belongings can be insured up to £10,000 wherever you are in the world.
- Bicycles are covered up to £1,500 per bike.
- Legal protection goes up to £50,000 to cover legal costs but can also help with proceedings through the 24-hour helpline available to Covea customers.
1. Building Insurance
Building-only cover is all about insuring the house you own. If your home is covered correctly, all rebuild expenses will be handled by the insurance company. Of course, this applies if your home is obliterated in a way that is itemised in the small print of your policy.
If you have a home and are in the process of paying it off, your bank or mortgage lender will require you to have buildings insurance. You should also be cognisant that the cost of rebuilding your home is not identical to its sales valuation at any given time. This is due to the fact that a home’s sale price will account for the value of the land it is built on. On the other hand, if you are rebuilding a home after a calamity, you won’t need to repurchase the land under it. The insured amount should account for that.
At Selectra, we encourage anyone looking at buildings insurance to use the BCIS home value calculator in order to get an accurate rebuild cost to base their insurance cover on.
Mortgaged homes are, in fact, owned by the bank while the loan is being paid. Covea’s building insurance is index-linked to keep up with changing housing costs. This protects both the customer and the money lender in case of damage to the construction.
Another feature of Covea home insurance is that they will back you up in case there is a leak or electrical fault in your home by covering trace and access costs to the tune of up to £5,000.
If you are unsure as to why you should bother with building insurance, keep in mind that a house is much more than just a shelter or dwelling but also a home. Building cover provides a measure of peace of mind because it’s hard to predict what life will throw at you: extreme weather like storms, a flood or even vandalism or an earthquake.
2. Contents cover
If your home is burgled, buildings insurance would deal with damage to windows and doors but it would be no good when it came to the belongings that were actually stolen.
To make sure that all your valuables and possessions are protected you need to make sure that your home insurance has both contents and building cover under the same policy.
If you don’t own your home, you only need to get contents insurance since your landlord will be handling the building protection. Unfortunately, that means that you won’t be able to benefit from the discount you get by bundling both kinds of insurance.
At least on paper, Covea does a lot things right with contents insurance. Their personal possessions provisions are some of the most impressive we have seen because of their specialty and worldwide coverage.
Home insurance generally means that you are protected both for building damage and anything to do with contents. By combining both kinds of insurance with Covea, you do get a discounted overall rate on your home insurance quote.
When it comes to exclusions and excess all insurance companies have them, Covea’s are in line with insurance industry averages. For example, their Profile policy will not exclude any claim if no one has been at home over 30 days while their Home policy extends that to 60 days.
Complaints about Covéa
Covea is very clear to every policyholder that when a complaint arises, they strive to respond to each one as quickly as possible. They have complaint procedure information near the start of their policy documents.
They commonly answer within a week of having received your complaint details. However, more in-depth issues are often pushed back by as much as 45 days.
- If the complaint is about legal issues then Covea asks that the legal representative gets involved in right from the start.
- If the complaint is about unsatisfactory claims handling then calling the contact number contained in the policy documents is by far the best way to go. Alternatively, you could try these contact numbers.
Going Further - the Financial Ombudsman
If Covéa’s response is insufficient, reaching out to the Financial Ombudsman should be the next step.
You should contact to the financial ombudsman after getting a reply from Covea but not more than six months after hearing from them, otherwise this organisation will not be able to help.
Contact the Ombudsman:
Financial Ombudsman Service
By phone: 0800 023 4567
Data and information correct as of December 2018.
All material on this page and the selectra.co.uk website is for information purposes only and does not constitute any form of financial advice. Selectra.co.uk is not responsible for any consequences that might arise from your use of the information provided.
Other providers are available and the best deal for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Please do your own research and seek professional advice if necessary (moneyadviceservice.org.uk offers free, independent advice on all financial issues).