Review your home insurance to make sure you are covered
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.