Sofa insurance

Often sold as furniture protection, sofa insurance and accidental damage cover can protect your furniture if it gets stained or damaged.

Eve Powell
Eve Powell
Updated 21 December 2021  | 3 mins read
Reviewed by Ryan Fulthorpe

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Can I claim for my sofa on my home insurance?

This will depend on your policy and what cover is included.

If your sofa or furniture has been damaged by an unexpected event, like a fire, flood, or burglary it will usually be covered.

However, if your sofa was damaged by an accident or spill then you’d need accidental damage cover before you can make a claim on your home insurance.

Key points

  • Your home insurance won’t protect you against spills and sudden damage to your sofa
  • With furniture cover, unexpected and non-deliberate damage will be included, but there’ll be exclusions
  • Taking out accidental damage cover will protect more of your possessions than just your sofa
  • Clean spills quickly but don’t use cleaning products which may invalidate your claim

What is accidental damage to a sofa?

Accidents are unexpected non-deliberate acts that can happen at any time.

And when it comes to mishaps happening to your sofas, some of the most common accidents include food and drink stains, or marks caused by children getting artistic with biros and felt tip pens.

Rips, tears or scratches in the leather or fabric upholstery would also count as accidental damage. But not if they’re made by pets.

Why do I need protection for my furniture?

Kitting your home out with furniture can start to add up quickly, so consider whether you would want the option to repair or replace any items that become damaged.

For instance, if you’ve saved up to get yourself a fancy sofa that perfectly matches the décor of your living room, the right insurance can give you peace of mind that it’s covered when your accident-prone aunt sits down with a full glass of red wine.

Taking out accidental damage or furniture protection cover can help pay for specialist cleaning, repairs or even replacements if you suddenly find yourself with damaged furniture.

Should I take out insurance for my sofa?

Firstly, are there a lot of accidents in your home? Do you have small children?

Think about any items that have been broken or damaged in the past, and if you’d have enough money to replace your sofa if you didn’t have insurance.

Then weigh up the cost of the premium with how much you’d need to pay if you had to repair or replace your furniture.

How do I buy insurance for my sofa?

When you’re buying a sofa you might be offered furniture protection as an optional extra.

But be wary, as this won’t protect your other possessions, like TVs or carpets, that would be covered if you took out accidental damage insurance.

Accidental damage isn’t usually included as standard in home insurance policies but you should be able to buy it as a policy add-on.

Be sure to read the exclusions - you might not be covered for every situation. Before you buy, check the extra cover is worth paying for and that you’re not already covered.

What is usually covered?

Accidental damage insurance for furniture typically covers things like:

  • Accidental staining - for example, tea and coffee, and foods like curry and chocolate
  • Accidents caused by children - like damaging the sofa frame by jumping on it
  • Damage to furniture - for example, rips, tears, or burns to fabric or leather upholstery
  • Damage caused by a professional removing company when moving home

What is not covered?

This will vary between policies, but exclusions for most policies usually include:

  1. Pet damage

    If your cat scratches your sofa, or your dog chews or rips the upholstery, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim for pet damage

  2. General wear and tear

    Damage that has happened slowly over time won’t be covered. For example, the colour fading on your settee

  3. Deliberate damage

    if your sofa or furniture has been damaged on purpose, perhaps in the hope that insurance will pay out for a new one, it won’t be covered

  4. Damage caused by cleaning

    You won’t be able to claim if you’ve used cleaning agents to clean your sofa which then damages or stains the sofa

  5. Not using dust sheets

    If you’ve spilt paint but didn’t use dust sheets to protect your furniture and carpets, it’s likely your claim won’t be valid

What are the limitations?

When you’re taking out accidental damage cover, you’ll need to check the wording of the policy.

You’ll usually only be covered up to a certain value for a single item, for example £1,500. If the sofa is above the single item value limit, you won’t be able to claim for more than this.

And remember that any payouts will be minus your excess.

Plus, if your sofa is part of a set or three piece suite, your insurance may only pay to repair or replace the damaged item. This could mean you end up with mis-matched furniture.

What should I do if there’s a spill or damage to my sofa?

  1. If it’s a spill you need to act quickly. Soak up the worst of it with a towel using a blot and dabbing motion. Don’t use cleaning products, as this could make the stain worse
  2. Video and take pictures of the stain or damage. Find any receipts you have and note down the make of the sofa, the cost when you bought it and the material it’s made from
  3. Take down the time and date of the mishap and notes on how it happened. This will help your insurer assess the damage and learn as much as they can about it
  4. Let your insurer know as soon as possible, usually this should be within 48 hours of the accident happening

What if my sofa can’t be fixed?

Your insurer will see if it can be repaired first. If they decide it can’t be fixed, you’ll be given a payout, up to the limit set on your policy, to replace the sofa.

How do I keep my sofa protected?

There are several things you can do to care for your sofa and keep it looking great:

  • Keep it out of direct sunlight and away from direct sources of heat
  • Avoid using detergents and abrasive cleaners
  • Vacuum or brush it weekly to stop dirt wearing the upholstery and dulling the colour
  • Regularly plump the cushions to stop them sagging
  • Cover it with a blanket before pets sit or lie on it
  • Turn and rotate the seat and back cushions to get even wear
  • Take out accidental damage cover if you want extra protection

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