Making your claim

Please have your policy number available and call 0800 051 02 16 to register your claim. The lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and on Saturdays 9am-5pm. Otherwise, outside of office hours, an emergency helpline consultant will take the details of your claim. 

Before making a claim, check the cover that you have taken with Nationwide. Your policy schedule will show whether you have chosen Buildings cover, Contents cover or both.

Buildings insurance covers the fabric of your home such as its walls, floors, doors and roof. It also covers fixtures and fittings such as fitted kitchens and bathroom suites. Your buildings insurance policy will help you repair or rebuild your home following any insured damage.

Contents insurance covers your household items that are not part of the building. This includes your furniture and furnishings, other household goods and your personal belongings such as clothes and jewellery. There are some items that are excluded, for example motor vehicles and accessories, so check your policy document to be sure. Your contents insurance policy will help you replace or repair your lost or damaged belongings following any insured incident.

If you have only taken out buildings cover and your claim relates to contents you should redirect your claim to your contents insurer. Similarly, if you have only taken out contents cover and your claim relates to buildings you should redirect your claim to your buildings insurer.

Your excess is shown on your policy documents. This is the part of any claim that you have to pay. For example, you may have to pay the first £100 and then the insurer will pay the remaining amount up to the limit of your cover.

Your Contents Insurance schedule will confirm whether you have chosen this cover and what limit (s) apply. 

"Personal Possessions" covers the personal items that you normally carry with you away from home, for example clothing, jewellery, bicycle, camera equipment and mobile phones. Cover is for an unlimited duration within the British Isles and is for up to 60 days while temporarily outside the British Isles in any one period of insurance and while your personal items are in your custody and control.

Exclusions apply which can be found in your policy booklet

Yes - your contents insurance policy gives "New for Old" cover. This means that if repair is not possible all items will be replaced with the new equivalent. For example, if you have damaged a 5-year-old television, we will replace it with the latest available equivalent model.

Wear and tear is not applicable to clothing if you have an Essentials policy.

Check your policy schedule and booklet to confirm whether this cover applies.

Home Emergency insurance - what's covered?

Separate from our Buildings and Contents Home Insurance products, Home Emergency Cover provides 24 hour assistance if a home emergency occurs and you need a tradesman to make your home safe, secure and prevent further damage. This cover will help with problems such as

  • Roof damage
  • Plumbing and drainage problems
  • Main heating system failure
  • Domestic power supply failure
  • Toilet unit damage or failure
  • Damage to doors and windows
  • Loss of keys
  • Vermin infestation

Cover is up to £500 (incl. VAT) in total for call out charges, labour, parts and materials.

You should report an incident as soon as is reasonably possible (normally within 48 hours of the emergency happening). This is not a maintenance contract and cover is provided for emergencies to the home only. For more information about the limits and exclusions, please read the policy documents.

What is not covered?

  • any claim if the incident happened before the start date of your cover
  • any claim which is covered under any other insurance, including other sections of this Home Insurance policy
  • if your home is being rented out or let, you are only covered if you are the owner occupier of the home
  • any costs you incur before you have notified the insurer of a home emergency
  • any normal day to day maintenance, as this is not classed as an emergency.

To contact the 24-hour Home Emergency Helpline call: 0800 464 30 25.

For more information about what's covered please read the full policy document and the policy summary document.

You are insured for "Accidental Damage" to your Buildings and/or Contents if you have bought our Home Insurance or if you have chosen to take this additional cover with our Home Essentials. Your policy schedule will show if you are covered for Accidental Damage

"Accidental Damage" means something that has happened suddenly and unexpectedly causing damage to your home or its contents. If you experience this type of damage, let us know as soon as possible.

For spillages, particularly of paint, mop up the liquid but don't try and clean any staining. Using the wrong equipment or technique may cause more or worse damage. We have access to specialist contractors who may be able to clean up as part of your claim.

Things that generally aren't covered:

  • Wear and tear (items wearing out)
  • Mechanical or electrical breakdown (electrical equipment that just stops working)
  • Damage that happens gradually over a period of time
  • Damage caused by vermin
  • Damage caused through cleaning or restoration
  • Accidental Damage caused by household pets unless you have bought Home Insurance, in which case you will be covered

Home Insurance

Full policy document

Policy summary document

Home Insurance Essentials

Full policy document

Policy summary document

If you have purchased or renewed a policy bought prior to the 24th November 2013, please refer to your policy document.

We might ask you to confirm: 

  • What has been lost or damaged?
  • When did the loss or damage happen?
  • How did the loss or damage happen?
  • What actions have you taken since the loss or damage happened?
  • What is the approximate cost of repair or replacement?

You may not know the answers to all these questions straight away, but don't worry, these can be answered later.

We can deal with your query much faster if you have the following details available your: 

  • name and address
  • claim number
  • policy/account number
  • daytime contact telephone number (that we can reach you during office hours)

It is helpful if you keep receipts, guarantees, instruction manuals, valuations or photographs for your most valuable items in a safe place as these may help to support your claim. By valuable items, we mean jewellery, watches, paintings, collectors' items and any items/sets of gold or silver.

You may be asked to provide estimates or invoices for claims involving repair or replacement of items.

If the claim involves a building repair, normally two estimates are requested for comparison purposes.

If the incident involves theft or criminal damage, or if any property has been lost outside of the home, you should inform the police immediately and make a note of the police incident number.

We have national panels of approved specialists and suppliers who we may appoint to inspect damage and repair or replace goods on your insurer's behalf. Full details of the specialist or supplier and the next steps will be discussed with you when you call.

What to do in the event of:

Finding that somebody has broken into your home is a devastating experience. 

  • Call the police. If you suspect that a burglar is still in your home, do not enter it
  • Do not touch anything as this could affect any forensic evidence the police may need
  • Once the police are finished in your home, make a list of everything that you think is missing or has been damaged
  • Inform your bank immediately if any credit, debit cards or cheque books are missing
  • If your passport has been stolen advise Passport Office
  • If your driving licence has been stolen advise DVLA
  • As soon as possible call us on 0800 051 02 16
  • The police will give you a crime report number. Please keep a note of this for when you contact us
  • You may need to secure your home if any windows or doors have been damaged and you should contact your buildings insurer who will assist with this if this is not us

A fire can have a traumatic effect on you and your home. Your Buildings and Contents insurance can help reduce the stress after the event during any rebuilding of your home and the repair or replacement of its damaged contents.

Points to remember:

  • The building may not be safe so do not re-enter your home until the fire brigade tell you it is safe to do so
  • Do not attempt to clean up the mess as if you use the wrong equipment, you could end up causing more damage. We have access to specialist contractors who can deal with this for you
  • As soon as possible call us on 0800 051 02 16

  • Storm damage to fences, gates and hedges is excluded from cover. But damage caused by falling trees or other objects may be covered
  • Arrange for any necessary emergency repair to avoid further damage and keep photos of all damage and receipts for all repairs
  • As soon as you can call us on 0800 051 02 16
  • You will be asked to confirm the exact date when the damage happened
  • We may send a representative to assess the damage

Flooding can have a serious effect on both your buildings and contents. As well as causing damage, it can also result in significant risk to health. Bearing that in mind, here are some points to consider:

Before entering a flood-damaged building:

  • Remember that buildings that have been under water could have suffered structural damage
  • Check for structural damage before entering a building. Do not go in if there is any chance that the building or any parts of it could collapse. If you see damage, have an expert check the building
  • Assume that all floors, stairs and roofs are unsafe until they are inspected

Once you enter a flood-damaged building:

  • Arrange for the electricity to be turned off and do not turn it back on until electrical equipment has been checked by a qualified electrician
  • Enter the building carefully. Leave immediately if shifting or unusual noises signal a possible collapse
  • If there is any smell of gas, leave the premises immediately and contact the gas company
  • Shut off the water
  • Never touch electrical equipment if the ground is wet, unless you are absolutely certain that the power is off
  • Be aware that flood water is likely to be contaminated

What to do when you have a frozen pipe emergency (if pipe is frozen but not burst).

A frozen pipe needs urgent attention as this may burst when it thaws. The following steps should be taken as soon as you discover a frozen pipe:

1. Turn off the water supply

  • Turn off the main stop tap. You should find this under the kitchen sink or where the service pipe enters your home
  • Turn off the stopcock in your cold water tank if you have one, it's usually found in the attic or loft

2. Beat the burst

  • Protect or remove everything near the frozen pipe to avoid damage should the pipe burst

3. Thawing out

  • Open the tap nearest the frozen pipe to allow water to flow once the pipe is thawed
  • Thaw the pipe gently with a hot water bottle or hair dryer (taking care to keep any electrical cables protected from any possible water leak as the pipe thaws). Begin from the tap end of the blockage and work back towards the supply. Never use a heat gun or blow torch

What to do when you have a burst pipe emergency.

A burst pipe can cause serious damage to your home's structure and electrical wiring. The following steps describe what you should do as soon as you discover a burst pipe.

Act immediately – the sooner you can stop the water, this will reduce the risk of further extensive damage.

1. Turn off the water supply

  • Turn off the main stop tap – turn it fully clockwise
  • You should find this under the kitchen sink or where the service pipe enters your home
  • Drain the system - turn on all your cold taps
  • If water has been leaking through for some time and the ceilings are bulging - be careful, rooms may not be safe to enter. If safe, carefully punch a hole to let the water escape, and catch the water in buckets placed underneath. Again be careful in case the ceiling collapses. If in doubt do not touch the ceiling

2. Turn off water heating systems

  • Switch off the central heating, immersion heater and any other water heating systems
  • If the central heating uses solid fuel, let this die out
  • Once water heating has shut down, turn on the hot taps to help drain the system

3. Turn off the electrics

  • If water leaks near electrical wiring or appliances, switch off the whole system at the fuse box and seek advice from an electrician. Do not touch the fuse box if it is wet

4. Call a professional to repair the damage

  • Electrical wiring damaged by water can be very dangerous - you will need to call in a professional if this happens
  • Contact a reliable plumber to repair the burst or frozen pipe(s)

  • As soon as you can, contact us by calling 0800 051 02 16
  • Check for any structural damage in case ceilings have collapsed and ask an expert if you are concerned about entering the building
  • Retain any damaged items as we may want to inspect these
  • You may also want to take photos of the damage as this can speed up the process of your claim
  • Do not attempt to clean up the mess as if you use the wrong equipment, you could end up causing more damage. We have access to specialist contractors who can deal with this for you

A burst pipe can lead to extensive damage to your home and its contents. The pipe itself can prove difficult to locate and fix, resulting in additional damage just to trace the leak. Preventing pipes freezing can avoid all of the disruption and inconvenience caused by a leak, so try following these tips:

  • Insulate your loft and the sides of your water tanks
  • Insulate all your pipes
  • Open the loft trap door on very cold days to let heat into the loft space
  • If you're going away, ensure your water and heating systems are turned off at the mains and drained down. Alternatively leave your central heating system on to keep your home constantly heated to 12°C (55F). Also ask a friend or neighbour to check on your home to make sure pipes haven't burst or frozen
  • Fix any dripping taps as they are more likely to freeze. (This will also save you money on your water bill as it can save up to a litre a day)
  • Make sure you know where your stop tap is and check that you can turn it off easily in an emergency. Label it if it's not obvious and make sure anyone checking the house knows where it is