'Better safe than sorry' might be a cliché but when it comes to protecting your home from accidental damage, it's perhaps one worth living by. 

They happen to the best of us - unhappy accidents like knocking the TV over or kicking a football into a window but they can come with a hefty price tag.

Many Brits add the likes of accidental damage cover to their contents or building insurance policies as a way of limiting the hassle caused by these kinds of hiccups. 

Here's everything you need to know about accidental damage cover from what it is to the benefits as well as the all-important information about how to claim.

What is accidental damage cover?

"Accidental damage is caused suddenly and unexpectedly by an outside force. It’s different from damage caused by wear and tear or a breakdown," according to a spokesperson from insurance provider Aviva.

The insurer added:" You can add accidental damage cover to either your contents insurance or to your buildings insurance. Or even both".

Aviva has warned Brits that if they are considering taking out a policy, they should be aware that can vary depending on what level of cover you pick.

The experts recommend reading the detail of any policy to see exactly what is and isn’t included.

For instance, Aviva suggested that adding accidental cover to your building insurance policy could protect you from when something falls off a shelf and cracks your bathroom sink. Or if a football smashes your window.

Meanwhile, if you've added it to your contents insurance, you should be covered for accidents like cracking your glass coffee table.

However, damage from animals isn't usually covered by accidental damage policies.

Often, portable electronics and clothes are also excluded from contents insurance accidental damage policies.

The way accidental damage cover typically works is that you can only claim for damage to your house or garden, as part of your buildings insurance or items inside your house or garden, as part of your contents insurance, according to Aviva.

What are the benefits of accidental damage insurance?

Aviva says that "accidental damage cover gives you more comprehensive insurance, it offers peace of mind".

The insurer does not that the increased protection will mean the overall cost of your home premium will increase.

It added:"The price you pay will depend on your particular circumstances and the level of cover you choose". 

Aviva went on to explain"Making a claim under your policy will also reduce your No Claim Discount when you renew. But the reverse is also true.

"If you don’t make a claim your No Claim Discount will increase until you reach the maximum number of years allowed under your policy. With us that’s five years. 

"You also need to consider the policy excess, which is the amount you pay on any claim. If your excess is £300, for example, you’ll have to pay the first £300 towards any replacement costs".

However, when answering the question - 'do you need accidental damage cover?', Aviva simply explains that "it's up to you."

It's an oppositional extra that you can add to the policies that you have in place already.

You might want to cover the costs upfront yourself but if you can't, it's an option for you.

How to make an accidental damage claim

You can make an accidental damage claim form through your insurer often through an online form or account.

Your provider will often have an emergency number that can be open 24 hours a day.

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When making a claim, you should explain what happened, when the accident took place as well as any details of what you;re claiming for.

You should also provide photos of damage or receipts for the lost items since these can be particularly helpful to your insurer.

It's important to reiterate that accidental damage claim policies vary between providers so contact your insurer for the most up to date information.