When you look at your biggest asset in life it tends to be your home. Home insurance although not compulsory is without a doubt a necessity. Whether you just purchased a new home, own one for years or are renting a property; home insurance can cater to your specific needs.
The minimum cover required by a mortgage provider is buildings cover which provides cover for rebuilding costs in the event that your home is destroyed. This protects yours and the providers stake in your property but imagine having to rebuild, repurchase or in the event of a partial claim refurbish; costs spiral and your insurance is the only saving grace, but it may not cover everything you would expect. The most vital question to be asked when purchasing home insurance is WHAT IS COVERED?
Know What is Covered
This might sound simple, but a lot of people don’t know what their policy actually covers. For instance, did you know you can include jewellery and personal goods for all risks cover outside of the home? There is usually a standard limit covered under your policy but if the article exceeds this you need to specify it to your insurers.
Home insurance cover can vary greatly in relation to protection, understand what your cover offers in different instances for example a burst pipe. Does your policy have trace and access cover to search for the leak? Does your policy have a higher escape of water excess? Most standard policies cover the basic necessities such as flood, fire, theft etc but when you get down to the nitty gritty and costs associated to an insured peril most policies differ and spending an extra twenty or thirty euro on your insurance could in the event of an incident save you hundreds and thousands.
The first step to take if you are unsure is to contact Britton Insurance or your insurance provider or broker directly with any questions you might have. One of the benefits of using a broker is advice and it’s our job to ensure your getting the best cover for the right price.
Know Your Rebuild Cost
When purchasing your home insurance, we rely on you to supply the sums insured so get them right. When giving a buildings figure consider calculating the cost of rebuilding your home and furnishing it with all of the contents (fixtures and fittings) you currently have. Remember fixed fittings ie. Kitchen and sanitary ware are to be included in your Buildings sum insured figure.
If it’s a new home recently mortgaged, your lender will have carried out a valuation right after you filled out the mortgage application form. This valuation estimates the rebuilding cost of the house and the minimum amount you should have insurance cover for.
Also consider demolition and clearing the site costs, these also need to be included in your building sum insured.
Know Your Excesses
Every home insurance policy has several different excesses. An excess is the amount of the claim you will have to pay before your insurer makes their contribution. The standard excess is clear for all to see and is usually a small figure that varies from approx. €150-€350 however every policy has specific excesses you need to review such as subsidence, heave and landslip or escape of water as these tend to be substantial excesses in comparison to the standard.
Look for a policy that limits your excess while providing the maximum compensation.
Know What’s Excluded
There are several exclusions in every policy that you must take note of to ensure you are in full compliance with the insurer’s terms and conditions. Any type of renovation work should be declared immediately to your insurer as additional forms and cover could be required.
Check your policy in relation to its conditions when the property is unoccupied. If you don’t adhere to their clause whether it be in relation to the heating system, security features etc they will not pay out in the event of a claim during the policy and if your house is unoccupied for over 30 days continuously, your house insurance policy might not be valid. Read the policy document and be sure to inform your insurer.
Notification of claim is another one that every insurer specifies a time period in which you must report a claim. Make sure you take note of all conditions on your policy if in doubt check with us.
Home insurance is not another document you sign and file away. Take the time to understand your policy before you purchase it. At Britton Insurance, we take the hassle out of buying home insurance in Ireland. We will research and compare the different policies available to find the best value policy at the best price for you and your home. Contact us today for a quote.