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Dangerous appliances: Are you covered if something goes wrong?

Thousands of tumble dryers are a huge fire risk in your home and now insurers are EXCLUDING any damage that occurs as a result

Dangerous tumble dryers remain a hot topic, and if your machine does burst into flames, you could also be burnt by your insurer.

This is because many home insurance policies have a clause in the terms and conditions excluding cover for appliances suspected to be a potential risk.

Last week, I detailed a problem with certain Indesit, Creda and Hotpoint tumble dryers where the filter can fall against the heating element and catch fire.

Since then thousands of owners have complained of facing long waits for an engineer to view their machine or for a replacement.

However, in all the commotion the issue of home insurance has been overlooked.

A reader called Desmond, from Leicester, wrote to me after seeing me on ITV’s This Morning. I was talking about the tumble dryer saga and home insurance came up.

The discussion prompted Desmond to call his insurer to check he would be covered if his Hotpoint tumble dryer caught fire. To his alarm, he wasn’t.

Desmond was in a dilemma. Should keep using the machine and hope for the best, or get rid of it before he risked another load?

If you own one of these dryers you should assume you’re not covered. Insurance is all about “unforeseen risks” and the potential for one of these machines to catch fire is anything but “unforeseen”.

The risk has been plastered all over the media and official agencies have publicly advised that the machines should not be used. This gives an insurer a perfect excuse to refuse to payout.

There is also another potential “out” for the insurers.

Most of the terms and conditions clearly state that you will not be insured if you “fail to follow manufacturers’ instructions”. Whirlpool, which owns Indesit, Creda and Hotpoint, has advised the filter should be cleaned daily and the machine not used unattended.

If you ignore these directions and fire breaks out, it is highly likely you will not be insured.

Ask your insurer to confirm in writing that you will be covered if your tumble dryer catches fire before it is modified or replaced.

Also, get them to confirm in writing that your machine will be covered once it is modified.

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