For most of us, the most valuable asset we own during our lifetimes tends to be our home. As that investment needs protecting, insurance – while not compulsory – is definitely necessary. Here is what you need to know.
Your mortgage provider will require you take out Buildings Cover, which pays out in the event you need to rebuild or repair your home. This protects their stake in your property, and also your investment. In the event of partial damage or even complete destruction, costs can spiral and it’s essential to know what your insurance policy will cover.
What is covered?
Home insurance protections can vary greatly. Take 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 and theft, but looking in detail at the insured peril most policies differ and spending an extra €20-30 on your annual policy could save you thousands in the event of an incident. There are several exclusions in every policy to make note of, and any renovations should be declared to your insurer as additional forms and cover could be required.
What is the rebuild cost?
As a first time buyer, it’s likely that your mortgage is recent so your lender will have carried out a valuation on the property.This valuation estimates the rebuilding cost of the house and the minimum amount you should have insurance cover for. It should also include the cost of furnishing it with all the fixtures and fittings you currently have, such as the kitchen and bathroom sanitary ware. And while it’s the last thing you want to think about in relation to your valued new home, also factor in demolition and site-clearing costs.
This is cover for the damage to or loss of your cherished belongings, such as electronics, jewellery, clothing, antiques, furniture, valuables, instruments and more. Non-standard items ie those of particular value will need to be noted on your policy.
What is covered?
In some instances 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 item exceeds this you need to tell your insurers. Check your policy in relation to conditions when the property is unoccupied – it might not be valid if your house is empty for 30 days continuously.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Every 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 stated explicitly and is usually a small sum from around €150-350. However every policy has specific excesses such as subsidence that you will need to review. Look for a policy that limits your excess while providing the maximum compensation. Insurers will also specify a time period within which you must report a claim. Take the time to understand your policy before you purchase it, and make sure you take note of all conditions on your policy.
THE BENEFITS OF A BROKER
If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! The first step to take if you are unsure is to contact a broker with any questions you may have. One of the benefits of using a broker is access to expert advice and it’s the broker’s job to ensure you are getting the best cover at the right price. With so many costs associated with house buying, it’s tempting to go for the cheapest insurance option, but this isn’t a good idea. A broker will be able to weigh up all your options and get you the best value for money. At Britton Insurance, we take the hassle out of buying home insurance in Ireland – contact us today for a quote.