Does home insurance cover carpets?

Carpets can cost a fortune to replace, so find out if your home insurance covers serious damage and mishaps like spillages

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 3 April 2023  | 3 mins read
Reviewed by Jasmine Hembury

Key points

  • Carpets are usually covered under home contents insurance
  • To claim for things like spillages, you need to add accidental damage cover to your policy
  • Not many policies include cover for a pet damaging your carpet
  • Home insurance won’t replace your carpet because of general wear and tear or fading

Does home insurance cover carpets?

Home insurance can pay for the repair or replacement of your carpets if they’re damaged in an event like a flood or fire, or if they’re ruined because of water escaping from a washing machine or dishwasher (provided they were properly maintained).

You’ll also be covered for things like leaks of water or oil from your heating system, plus malicious damage and vandalism, theft and attempted theft.

Are carpets covered by buildings or contents insurance?

Buildings insurance covers the fabric of your home - anything that’s fixed or fitted. So that includes walls, ceilings, roofs, floors and windows, plus permanent fixtures and fittings like your bathroom suites and fitted kitchen units.

Contents insurance covers your household goods, furniture and personal possessions. In short, anything you’d take with you when moving house.

With that in mind, you may think carpets would be covered by buildings insurance because they’re described as ‘fitted’ and you’re unlikely to take your carpets when you move home.

However, as carpets can fairly easily be taken up and laid elsewhere, they’re not considered a permanent fixture and so are normally included in the contents section of home insurance.

Other types of flooring, like laminate or vinyl that’s glued or nailed down, are much harder to remove without damage and are usually covered by buildings insurance.

Are carpets covered if I spill something on them?

Spilling a glass of red wine on your carpet, dropping a hot iron on the floor or being careless with a curry takeaway are examples of accidental damage, which isn’t typically included as standard on home insurance. You’ll usually need to buy it as an optional extra.

Without it, if you accidentally stained, burned or tore your carpet and it couldn’t be saved, you’d need to fork out to get it replaced yourself.

Are my carpets covered for damage by pets?

Pets can cause all sorts of damage to a carpet like tearing, scratching, chewing, or even doing their business on it!

Most insurance providers won’t cover pet damage, even if you have accidental damage cover on your policy. There are a handful that do, though. So if you have pets and that kind of cover’s important to you, search out a policy which includes it. Always read the terms and conditions carefully for exclusions. It’s not just pets that can damage your carpet, pests can too. It’s worth noting that most insurers won’t cover carpet damage caused by a pest infestation.

Are my carpets covered for damage by DIY and building work?

Any disasters you have while doing DIY - such as spilling a pot of paint over the carpet - should be covered by the accidental damage section of a home contents policy, but only if you took reasonable steps to protect the carpets before doing the work. So, if you were negligent and failed to put down protective dust sheets, your insurer may refuse your claim.

If you’re having building work done, check whether your builder has liability insurance. This type of insurance is designed to pay for any mistakes or damage they cause to your home and belongings. So if they damage your carpet, their insurance should pay for it to be repaired or replaced.

Remember that you should tell your insurance provider if you’re having any building or renovation work done on your home. They’ll ask questions about the size and details of the project. You may have to pay an additional fee while the work is underway because of the extra risks building work poses to your property.

Carpet damage and your excess

If you make a claim for carpet damage, you’ll need to pay an excess.

Depending on your excess amount, you can decide whether it’s worth making a claim.

For example, if you have a substantial excess to pay and you’re claiming for carpet in a small room, it might not be cost-effective to make a claim.

Making a claim (no matter how small) on your home insurance will typically cause your premium to rise when you renew your policy. You’d also lose any no-claims bonus you have too.

However, if you need to replace an expensive carpet in a large room which would cost far more than the excess, it could be well worth making the claim.

What types of carpet are covered by contents insurance?

All fitted carpets, as long as they aren’t glued in place, should be included in your contents insurance. Moveable rugs and mats are also covered.

Flooring that’s glued or nailed down is usually covered by buildings insurance as it’s considered part of the fabric of the building.

Are landlords responsible for carpets?

As a tenant, if you accidentally stain, rip, tear or burn your landlord’s carpet, it’s your responsibility to put things right.

If you have a tenants contents insurance policy, it’ll usually include tenants’ liability cover which will pay out for accidental damage to your landlord’s things. So it should cover the cost of repairing or replacing the carpet.

If you don’t repair or replace the carpet you’ve damaged, your landlord can make a deduction from your security deposit.

It’s your landlord’s responsibility to replace a carpet in your rented property that’s damaged by something like damp or mould, or by an infestation of fleas, not least because it’s a health hazard.

Can I claim for old carpets?

Home insurance doesn’t cover contents for wear and tear or damage that happens over time.

You can’t claim on home insurance for a new carpet just because the old one’s looking threadbare, dirty and worn, or it’s faded in the sunlight.

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