Nine things to consider when purchasing your home insurance

Things to consider when purchasing your home insurance

Things to consider when purchasing your home insurance

Price isn't the only factor to consider when purchasing home insurance. There are many areas where certain levels of coverage may be important to you.

Whether you are moving home or simply want to renew your policy, there is a lot to consider when it comes to protecting your home and property.

1. Building and Reconstruction

If you own a home, you will need to build insurance. It is there to give you some financial protection in case something terrible happens to your home, like a fire or a fall of a tree.

When you choose to insure your buildings, you will need to estimate the cost of rebuilding your home, which can be easy to overestimate.

The remodeling cost is only for the physical house (brick and mortar), not the land on which it is located which you would have paid well for when purchasing your home in addition to the cost of the house.

2. The contents of your home

You will need to start by determining how much home contents insurance you need.

The best way to estimate the value of your content is to take an inventory, room by room.

Ensure that you do not underestimate the value of your property as you could end up in your pocket if you need to file a claim.

For example, you might estimate that your holdings are worth £ 30,000 but the total is £ 40,000.

If you then file a claim for £ 4,000 in stolen property - one-tenth of the amount you should be insured - the insurance company is only entitled to pay £ 3,000 - which is one-tenth of the amount you were already insured.

3. Accidental damage

You are usually covered for accidental damage to buildings under the basic policy if for example, someone smashes a car in your home, or if the drains or pipes around your property are damaged.

The same goes for any accidental damage to your glass and bathroom fixtures.

If that wasn't enough, you can always pay an extra amount to get a higher level of accidental damage coverage on your policy.

You're usually covered under basic policies for accidental content damage as well, including home entertainment equipment, computers, mirrors, and glass.

Watch out for exceptions although damage during cleaning, maintenance, or repair is often ruled out.

However, some insurance companies do not cover accidental damage as standard, in which case you may need to add this to your policy as an additional measure.

4. Valuable items

If you have specific valuables like watches, cameras, jewelry, sports equipment, etc., make sure the cap for valuables is high enough to cover all of that.

You should be able to individually list it in your insurance by its name, its value, and whether it will be covered only indoors, or also when you are away (like an engagement ring).

Also, make sure the maximum of 1 item will cover your most valuable asset, such as an expensive piece of jewelry. Individual item limits often stop at £ 1,500 unless specified otherwise.

Be sure to include musical instruments when preparing the cover for your valuables. If the order is of special value, it may need special evaluation.

5. Excess

In general, a higher insurance surplus can throw off the pound's premium. This is useful if you do not need to claim low amounts, as this will likely increase the cost of your insurance in the future.

Escaping from the water is a common claim, but the increase is not always the same in the main section of your document. So double-check and make sure your surplus is on hand.

6. Keep away from home cover

Covering away from home can be useful if you take personal belongings outside the home.

It usually comes as an add-on to your content policy and will protect your valuables like phone, laptop, tablets, and even watches and jewelry when you are outside.

If your children are away from the university or college, some insurance companies may allow you to add their property to your policy instead of having separate insurance for student contents.

7. Keys, gardens, and frozen food

You may want to check if you are covered by lost or stolen keys and the cost of replacing locks. Also, check to see if the insurance company has a limit on how much you can claim for it.

Building insurance usually covers outdoor buildings and garages, but don't forget to check how much content coverage you have for the things you keep in them.

If you store large quantities of food in your refrigerator or freezer and cannot easily replace it, it is worth making sure that you have the contents of the freezer in place.

Not many companies will cover you, but some offer it as standard.

8. New versus old

Many insurance companies will offer new coverage for an old one, but not all of them. To take advantage of it, make sure the overall content limit reflects the cost of acquiring new items.

Most policies should increase the content cover for weddings and Christmas, due to the gifts at home at these times. Check with your insurance company to make sure the cover is high enough to meet your needs.

If you work from home, you will also need to verify that the work equipment cap is high enough. For things like this, new for old can be a really important feature.

9. Alternative housing and legal cover

Most insurance companies offer alternative housing if your building becomes uninhabitable after damage.

It's worth checking the small print to ensure that your insurance company will cover a reasonable amount of alternative accommodation if you are unable to return to your home for a while.

Legal cover is also something that is often overlooked, but very important.

It is there to protect you financially if something terrible happens in your home. For example, if any of the items in your home cause injury to someone, or even the building itself (fallen roof tiles, loose step, tripping hazard, etc.)

Without legal cover, you will be responsible for paying them any compensation and possibly their court costs (in addition to your costs).

Also, if you have frequent staying guests or your home is listed on sites like Airbnb, make sure your policy covers you.

If you own a bike, be sure to check that your policy covers it, as bike cover can vary widely. Check that you have enough cover for your bikes at home and away from home.

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