“Why home insurance?” I hear you ask “do I need it? Do I need to pay for year after year into a home cover scheme that I will never claim on?” Well my friend you will be one very lucky person if you never have need to claim on your home policy. Your home, together with all your possessions within it are probably the biggest financial commitment that you make so you need to protect your investment, for real peace of mind and protection how can you not have the best home & buildings insurance that you can afford?
One of the joyous moments in life is that after some calamity or catastrophe you find that your insurance policy will resolve your current problem and you can carry on with your everyday life without any more stress. Trust me you only need this feeling once in your life to understand the true value of home insurance deals.
So what do you need to know about home & buildings insurance before you buy it? Firstly as it sounds it is two separate insurance policies, one that covers the buildings and one that covers the contents and possessions. These can be purchased separately from different companies if you wish as well as together from one company in the form of one combined single policy.
Home Cover Buildings Insurance
As it sounds this insurance covers the building, the actual structure of your home, and all the fixed elements within it, the roof, walls, doors, windows, floors, in fact anything that is a permanent part of your home, a good rule of thumb is if you sold the property today would it have to stay there as part of the sale, for example you wouldn’t take your bath with you would you? So it is covered under the building policy. Actual details of what individual policies cover need to be verified before you purchase the insurance. Always check the policy with regards to outbuildings, garages, greenhouses, fences, perimeter walls, gates etc it may be that they need to be listed on the policy or added as an extension to the policy to ensure their cover.
The actual sum insured on this policy does not usually relate to the actual house value but the cost of clearing the land and rebuilding the house if needed, this is normally less than the actual value of the house.
One further point on building insurance is simply that you do need to own the building to insure it if you are renting the property it is the owner’s responsibility to insure to insure it; they may pass on a share of the premium for you to pay but they should be purchasing the building insurance.
Home Cover Contents insurance
Again for clarity, as the name implies this policy covers the contents of your home, your possessions. This usually is all of the items, which you would take with you, if and when you sold the house. Your furniture, clothing, books, tools, utensils, children’s toys, DVD’s etc; everything not fixed to the house.
Often some cheap contents home insurance policies are sold with a fixed maximum value such as ten or twenty thousand pounds or similar, the only real way to be sure if you have enough cover is to actually list the value all of your contents before you buy the insurance.
Other thing to be aware of is to be sure you are insured for the replacement value of your contents, most modern policies are in this form, older types of contents insurance made adjustments for ‘wear and tear’ of the insured items; so instead of getting new replacement items after a claim, you would receive a payment that took into account the age of the item concerned, thereby your remuneration from the policy may not quite replace the item at today’s prices!
Other points to check on your home insurance policy document and be clear before you buy. Are you are covered for accidental damage to items as well as fire and flood etc; so that if someone accidently drops something heavy onto your glass table you can make a claim on the home insurance policy. Are the contents of your freezer covered by the policy? The same applies to computers and laptops etc. Often these are extensions to the policy or have to be listed on the policy always check before you buy.
All Risk Cover
One more addition to the home insurance policy is often what is called an all risk section this can be watches, cameras, bicycles, jewellery and some expensive clothing items. These can be items that you want insuring within your home policy but when you actually use them, they can be taken outside the home, for example the camera, you will use it inside your home but often it’s taken with you on day’s out, holidays or family functions this can still be insured on your home insurance policy under it’s all risk section. High value items will need to be listed within your policy for your own peace of mind so there is no doubt that they are insured.
The Best Insurance
The best insurance policy for you (this includes the best UK home insurance) is the one that you actually have, not the one that you are going to buy tomorrow. My home insurance advice is to have it in place now, today!
Who knows what is going to happen in the next few moments? We obviously don’t but I do know if you have your home and building insurance in place that is one of the best ways to protect your home from whatever may happen.
Don’t be the person that will get round to buying insurance one day, be the person that can lift the phone and ask for a claim form in the event of something happening; not be the person realising “I want insurance” at precisely the wrong time.