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The right insurance gives homeowners peace of mind in the event of damage from fire, flood, storms, subsidence, and the escape of oil and water. With rising building costs, it’s easy to find your insurance coverage is no longer sufficient for your needs.

STEP 1 Calculate how much it would cost to rebuild your home

In the event of catastrophic damage to your home, you need peace of mind that your insurance policy would pay out enough to cover the cost of rebuilding. The insured sum is different to the market value of your house – it’s the amount of money you’ll need to rebuild your home from scratch.

The rebuild cost of your property is affected by a variety of aspects such as:

  • You area
  • The type of house that was originally built
  • Size
  • Materials used
  • The number of rooms
  • Construction features such as the wall and roof type

It’s also important to remember additional spaces such as garages, sheds, outbuildings and boundary walls on your property, and factor in the rebuild costs of these accordingly.

A great tool to help you work out how much this would all cost is Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland’s rebuilding calculator. Simply fill out the details online, and it suggests a construction cost that reflects today’s market. Be sure to make allowances for any high-end finishes such as walk-in wardrobes, premium countertops and hardwood floors. Also factor in the cost of labour and how much it would cost to clear the site.

STEP 2 Assess the value of your Home Contents

It’s easy to underestimate the value of all the belongings you have collected in your home. Replacing these would be an expensive process and it’s tricky to figure out what level of cover is adequate. Your insured sum for contents is the total value of all the belongings in your home – as a rule of thumb, ‘contents’ are all the items you take with you when you move home.

Take an inventory of your possessions, not forgetting:

  • Furniture
  • Electrical appliances such as laptops, TVs, phones
  • White goods such as fridges, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves
  • Soft furnishings such as curtains, blinds, bed linen, rugs
  • Clothes, including handbags and shoes
  • Personal belongings including jewellery
  • Outdoor equipment such as patio furniture, bbqs, greenhouses, bicycles

Any particularly high-value items such as jewellery should be noted individually on the policy.

STEP 3 Secure the right coverage at the right price

Using a broker is a great way to nail down exactly what coverage is right for you. An experienced home insurance consultant can help you figure out the appropriate sum to insure your home and contents for. As experts in the market they know what is available and can secure a home insurance policy that offers the best coverage for the best value for money. They can also help you customise your policy for additional benefits such as: 

  • Accidental damage cover – such as putting your foot through the attic floor or spilling paint on the carpet
  • Fire brigade cover – this option will help cover charges made by the fire brigade to the policy holder
  • New-for-old cover – this allows you to replace goods that are damaged, lost or stolen with items of equivalent value
  • Cost of alternative accommodation – covers rent you might may if your home is uninhabitable
  • Credit card cover – for unauthorised use of of your credit card, and can be extended to debit cards, bank cash cards, cheques etc
  • Personal accident cover – for you, your partner and children up to the age of 18.
  • Personal belongings cover – for loss of items you typically bring outside of your home such as laptops, cameras and watches