Re­view your home insurance to make sure you are cov­ered

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Vicky Wat­son

BUY­ING home insurance, if we are hon­est, isn’t the most ex­cit­ing task is it?

It’s right down there with book­ing a den­tal ap­point­ment on most peo­ple’s to-do list. We know it’s im­por­tant, but it’s not some­thing we look for­ward to.

That’s why most peo­ple just look online for the cheap­est price they can find, with­out re­ally con­sid­er­ing what’s ac­tu­ally cov­ered. This is a false econ­omy, be­cause ev­ery home insurance pol­icy is dif­fer­ent, and ev­ery home­owner is dif­fer­ent, with dif­fer­ent needs that need to be con­sid­ered.

Spend­ing a lit­tle time com­par­ing the fea­tures and ben­e­fits of home insurance cover, and not just look­ing for the cheap­est quote, can help avoid a nasty shock when it comes to mak­ing a claim.

So what should peo­ple con­sider when shop­ping around? That re­ally de­pends on a per­son’s cir­cum­stances and life­style, so here’s a check­list:

Re­view your home insurance an­nu­ally to en­sure you still have all the cover you need, and none that you don’t.

If any per­sonal cir­cum­stances change – your kids fly the nest or you take in a lodger, con­sider how this might im­pact on your pol­icy. Ask your in­surer for ad­vice if you are not sure.

Com­pare poli­cies as they can vary enor­mously in terms of what is and isn’t in­cluded. A cheaper pol­icy could prove a false econ­omy if it doesn’t of­fer the pro­tec­tion you need.

Con­sider your life­style when de­cid­ing what cover to pur­chase. For ex­am­ple, do you or any­one else in the home own a bi­cy­cle, and if so does your home insurance cover it?

En­sure any items of par­tic­u­larly high value are itemised on the pol­icy and keep a re­ceipt or val­u­a­tion cer­tifi­cate in case you need to claim.

Valu­able heir­looms such as an­tique jew­ellery should be val­ued by a rep­utable jew­eller ev­ery two years and a val­u­a­tion cer­tifi­cate ob­tained.

If you are plan­ning any changes to the home such as an ex­ten­sion, loft con­ver­sion or con­ser­va­tory, let your in­surer know be­fore work starts.

When un­der­tak­ing a DIY project, en­sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. For more spe­cial­ist jobs, such as those in­volv­ing gas, elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing or struc­tural work, it’s al­ways best to call in the qual­i­fied ex­perts or you risk in­val­i­dat­ing your home insurance pol­icy if things go awry.

Ad­di­tional cover – what’s avail­able and who is it for? Those with small chil­dren may want to opt for ac­ci­den­tal dam­age cover to pro­tect the home from spilt food, muddy lit­tle feet and cre­ative cray­on­ing on walls. The same goes for those that like to party and are at risk of red wine stains on the car­pet or ac­ci­den­tal break­ages

Cover for con­tents out­side the home is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant as tech­nol­ogy de­vel­ops and shrinks in size, mean­ing many peo­ple carry around hun­dreds of pounds worth of valu­able gad­gets

Fash­ion­istas may also need cover for con­tents out­side the home as ac­ces­sories in­clud­ing ex­pen­sive make-up, per­fume and de­signer sun­glasses add up (not to men­tion the price of the bag it­self, which could run into hun­dreds of pounds)

Think care­fully be­fore ex­clud­ing cover – you never know when an is­sue such as a neigh­bour dis­pute might arise which may re­quire le­gal in­ter­ven­tion. This is where le­gal ex­penses cover can help.

Think you don’t need home insurance?

Re­mem­ber it doesn’t just cover in­ci­dents such as bur­glar­ies, it pro­tects the most ex­pen­sive as­set most of us own.

If an unin­sured home was burned to the ground not only would the owner be home­less, they’d still owe any out­stand­ing mort­gage on the prop­erty.

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