Insurance exists to offer peace of mind should the worst happen, and the last thing you want is to find that you got your sums wrong and don’t have enough money to put things right. Here are a few simple ways to check you have the coverage you need.

Calculate the rebuild cost

Rebuilding or repairing the structure of your home is not cheap. Buildings insurance covers the cost of reinstating your home after loss or damage due to fire, flood, subsidence, storms, and damage caused by the escape of water or oil. Firstly, the sum insured should cover the reinstatement cost of the property and not the market value. It’s worth regularly checking the level of coverage you have, particularly as inflation and the increased costs of labour and materials take effect. Fixed elements such as fitted kitchens and bathrooms are also included under buildings insurance so ensure you have allowed for those, too.

A good way to get an understanding of how much it might cost to rebuild your house, and therefore the minimum sum you should insure it for, is the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (www.scsi.ie) online tool called the Insurance Rebuild Calculator. You’ll need to input the floor area, location, house type, and any extras such as outbuildings or high-end fittings, and the calculator will offer a rebuild cost. If you would like a more accurate amount, use the services of an independent surveyor. 

Rebuild costs, as well as including materials and labour, might also include the services of a solicitor or architect, so factor those in if appropriate. There may also be costs associated with the clearing of the site. 

Assess the contents

Some items in your home are pretty run-of-the-mill, while others are more valuable, so it’s good to know what to include when calculating your contents insurance. In the event of damage, you’ll need to know you have the budget to replace the everyday items as well as the pricey ones. Create an inventory room-by-room, listing furniture, personal items, electrical items and even soft furnishings. Outdoor furniture, garden equipment, bikes and mowers can all be included, but plants cannot. And don’t forget to list any valuable items you may have stored in the loft. Make a special note of high value items such as jewellery, antiques, designer items and electronic devices separately on the policy. Carpets and curtains add significantly to the cost of a claim, so make sure they are factored into your calculations.

Once you have your inventory, work out the value of your possessions and estimate how much it would cost to replace them. Most insurance is intended to leave you in essentially the same position after the repairs to the damage as before. However some policies make deductions for wear and tear, making it hard to replace items like-for-like and leaving you out of pocket. Therefore look for a policy that includes cover for full reinstatement, or ‘new for old’.

Secure the right coverage

Talking to an expert is the best way to get the right coverage for your situation. It might be tempting to underinsure your property, either to save money on premiums or because you don’t fully appreciate how much all your property and belongings are worth. A broker knows the process and will think of issues that may not have occurred to you. It’s worth reviewing your coverage every year and updating to reflect any changes. Britton Insurance has fifty years’ experience of providing house insurance, comparing a range of policies to get the right coverage for every customer at the right price. If you are looking for an affordable house insurance policy without sacrificing the level of cover, get in touch with Britton Insurance today. Request a quote to see how much you can save on your house insurance policy.