5 iconic movie characters who’d get home insurance claims rejected

Film clapperboard on a pink background with spilled movie theatre popcorn servings around it.

No place like home, hey? Movie houses can be iconic parts of cinema magic, from the cosy crush of Full House to the spooky nostalgia of Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Childhood memories abound of wacky hijinks and just so. Much. Property damage!

But since we’re adults now, we’ve got to be wondering: there’s no way their home insurance policy covered all those antics, right? 

While underinsurance can be a problem, it’s important to know what exclusions may apply to your policy – and these movie characters definitely didn’t read the PDS.

So let’s grab the moving boxes and unpack why these 5 iconic characters likely wouldn’t receive a home insurance payout. 

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Home Alone (1990): Illegal activities in your house

Christmas decorations outside a house. Night.
Photo by James Wheeler.

While Kevin McCallister valiantly defended his home from those buffoons, there’s no way his parents’ home insurance policy covered the damage caused by his booby-traps.

As a rule of thumb, insurance providers won’t reimburse claims where you were found to be at fault, especially if the incident was illegal. This is their way of mitigating risk and ensuring everything is above room & board (yep, two housing puns for ya).

Aside from not abandoning their child home alone on Christmas, the McCallisters would be better off taking preventative measures instead, which not only lower their premiums but reduce the risk of having to file an insurance claim at all. 

After all, “This is my house. I have to defend it!”

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The Castle (1997): Damage caused by renovations

A construction worker balances on a wooden beam.
Photo by Josh Olalde.

A man’s home is his castle, and it’s natural that you’d want to upgrade your premises. However, if you’re thinkin’ about putting in a patio, maybe hold off until you’ve sorted out the insurance situation first. 

This classic Aussie comedy is actually brilliant at illustrating the difference between home & contents insurance and construction insurance. While home and contents policies usually only cover your existing home and belongings, construction insurance is specifically geared towards builders and renovators.

Next time Dale digs a hole, just make sure he does it through a licensed and insured construction contractor. That way, if he accidentally damages 3 Highview Crescent in the process, the Kerrigans’ claim has a good chance of succeeding. 

Otherwise – “tell him he’s dreamin’!”

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Up (2009): Pet damage

Grumpy pug wrapped in fuzzy blanket.
Photo by Matthew Henry.

When Carl Fredricksen first jet-set in his balloon-ified home for South America, he likely didn’t expect to bring home with him a lovable talking dog, Dug. 

However, now that he has a furchild, he’ll need to keep in mind that for any future home and contents insurance policies, he probably won’t receive a claim payout if Dug damages his home. Accidental damage isn’t usually covered in home insurance policies at all; it needs to be purchased as an optional extra. However, it is possible for him to find a policy that suits his needs, it’s just a matter of comparing what’s on the market and reading the product disclosure statement.

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Terminator (1984): Nuclear catastrophes

Cartoon nuclear explosion.

A classic of the 1980s, James Cameron’s Terminator gives us a horrifying vision of 2029 as a robot-dominated, nuclear hellscape. Too bad none of those rubble houses would be covered!

It’s one of those “truth is stranger than fiction” facts, but most home insurance policies (even pet insurance policies) have an exclusion specifically for damage sustained to your home and belongings due to catastrophes such as nuclear explosions, war, rebellion, and riots. We like to think John Connor and the resistance would have other problems at that point, though.

RELATED: Does home and contents insurance cover flood/storm damage?

The Addams Family (1991): Pre-existing damage

A dark model house lit with Halloween lights and ghostly decorations.
Photo by Charlie Wollborg.

While the macabre aesthetic definitely suits Morticia and Gomez Addams, their insurance provider may not vibe with the pre-existing state of their creepy mansion.

Like with pre-existing conditions for travel insurance, pre-existing damage has widely variable coverage under home and contents insurance policies – usually, it won’t be covered at all.

Good thing the Addams love their creaky stairs and leaky roof!

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