Buying a property is a huge investment, which is why you’ll want to give it the best protection possible. It’s important to fully understand exactly what your home insurance covers and, more importantly, what it doesn’t. Homeowners are sometimes left bitterly disappointed when a claim is rejected and they’re suddenly left out of pocket.
Don’t get caught out! With a little know-how, you can help ensure that you have the right level of cover and understand the ins and outs of your policy.
Here are some pointers to help you avoid the common pitfalls:
The Right Cover Level
Firstly, make sure you have the right amount of cover in place. If you under-insure your property and its contents, you might not have sufficient insurance to cover a claim. Equally, over-insuring could mean you’re paying for cover that you don’t actually need.
Check that your buildings insurance is based on an accurate rebuild cost. This is how much your property would cost to rebuild from scratch. It can usually be found on your home buyer’s report/survey. It shouldn’t be confused with the property’s market value, which is usually a higher amount
Check any excess amounts that are attached to your home insurance. This is what you’d have to pay out of your own pocket in the event of claim. Be aware, there may be several different excess amounts attached to your policy – so make sure you’re comfortable with all of them.
The level of excess can affect the premium price – meaning a cheap policy may carry a large excess.
Home and away
Remember that your personal possessions don’t always stay inside the home. Items that leave your property regularly, like a laptop or engagement ring, may require additional cover for when they’re away from home.
Be aware that some contents policies will have a single item limit. For example, valuable items worth over £2000 may need to be specified and listed individually on your contents insurance policy to ensure they’re covered.
Don’t Forget The Garden
Items kept in garden sheds or outbuildings may not be automatically covered under your policy so may need additional insurance. Also, if you’ve invested a lot of time and money into your garden – you might also want to consider some plant cover.
Accidents Can Happen
Spillages, breakages and dodgy DIY can cost a small fortune to rectify. If you don’t have accidental damage cover, mishaps like this may not be covered by your home or house insurance. Accidental damage cover is often offered as an optional extra at an additional cost.
Read, Report & Be Honest
Always read through any policy documentation carefully to understand the full terms and conditions of the policy and any exclusions that apply. If in any doubt, always talk to your provider directly.
In addition, make sure you report any relevant changes in your circumstances. The information you have given to your provider is important and will have been used to price your policy.
If your personal details or information about your home’s security are not kept up to date – you could risk invalidating your policy. Always be honest and keep your insurer well informed