Whether you live in a one-bedroom flat or a five-bedroom detached house, you will have worked hard to be able to afford your home so it’s important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place should something go wrong.
What if there was a fire or the roof was damaged in a storm? Would you be able to pay for the repairs? And where would you live if your house was uninhabitable? Your home also contains some of your most valuable possessions. Could you afford to replace your flat screen TV or your jewellery collection if you were the target of burglars?
Every home insurance policy will have limitations and exclusions, so it’s vital that you know what’s included. For example, some insurers don’t cover maintenance, wear or tear or damage that happens gradually over a period of time, such as damp or rot. And there could also be an excess on each claim.
That’s why we believe our customers deserve advice and help in choosing the right home insurance for their needs.
Covers the structure of your home, the roof, walls and windows.
It also includes the permanent fixtures, such as the kitchen units and the bathroom suite. Not all Buildings Insurance policies are the same, but they typically insure your home in case of fire, storm, flood, subsidence, burst pipes, theft and falling trees.
If you have a mortgage on your property, the lender will almost always insist that you have adequate insurance. When you are buying a home, you should make sure that you have buildings cover in place when you reach the point of exchanging contracts, as you then have a financial interest in the property.
You should always have enough insurance to cover the rebuild cost of your home. In other words, if your property burnt to the ground, the insurance should pay for it to be rebuilt. The rebuild cost should be noted on the mortgage valuation. It is important to work out an accurate rebuild cost, if it is too low, should you need to claim, you could be left with an insurance shortfall – and a big bill.
If you live in an unusual or listed property, the rebuild costs can be more difficult to calculate and you might need to seek professional help from a surveyor.
You don’t just need to insure the structure of your home; you also need to protect its contents against loss or damage caused by theft, fire, storms, lightning, flooding or other water leakage, as well as explosions or earthquakes.
The contents of your home might be more valuable than you think. The average family often under-estimates the true value of their possessions, so it’s important to get the figure right so that your insurance will pay out in the event of a claim.
The best way to make sure you have adequate cover is to walk round your house room by room and make an inventory of your possessions. Jewellery, computers, iPods – they can all add up to quite a sum. And don’t forget the contents of your shed. Contents also include clothes, furniture, carpets and curtains. If you are unsure, it might help if you think of the things you would take with you if you were to move to a new house.
There may also be limits on the pay out for a single item on valuable items such as rings, bicycles or ornaments. You should always let us know the details of any valuable items, to make sure the insurer pays out in the event of a claim.