Fire alarms: Leading insurer AXA says home insurance won't be invalidated if Scots haven't installed fire alarms in time for legislation

A leading insurance company has guaranteed Scots that home insurance claims will not be invalidated if they haven’t installed their fire alarms in time for the new law being enforced.

Friday, 21st January 2022, 9:51 pm

AXA’s assurance is in response to concerns that not complying with the legislation due to come into force on February 1 would invalidate insurance claims.

Dougie Barnett, Customer Risk Management Director, said: “As an insurer, our core purpose is protection and with this in mind, we support the installation of interlinked alarms to help people evacuate their homes safely if required.

“This is an important change for everyone to make, including developers of new build properties.

“We encourage installation as soon as possible however AXA will not invalidate a home insurance claim for existing customers who haven’t yet complied with the new law in Scotland.”

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The legislation requires homes to be fitted with interlinked fire alarms, with a smoke alarm in the living room – or the room you use most, a smoke alarm in every hallway or landing, and a heat alarm in the kitchen.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Labour’s housing spokesperson Mark Griffin said his party welcomed the legislation, but raised the concerns around insurance, calling for a formal delay.

Fire alarms: Leading insurer AXA says home insurance won't be invalidated if Scots haven't installed fire alarms in time for legislation

He said: "Does the Cabinet secretary accept that insurers will have every right to interpret the legal enforcement date and the standards as the one in law, and relying on them, maybe not being likely to ask questions, doesn't give homeowners the assurance they deserve?

"Letting that happen when so many homeowners can’t get access to alarms is bad policy.”

The housing secretary Shona Robinson said the law would not be delayed again and claimed the alarms were available for purchase and delivery for Scots who still need to install the devices.

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