For the majority of people the largest single investment made in their life time will be the house they buy so naturally you want this protected financially and not lost with a strike of a match. If put in this situation the cost of repair to damage would place a heavy financial burden on our shoulders and for many the price tag would certainly be too great if there was not a home insurance policy in place.
Most mortgage lenders require that you have building insurance some include it automatically in the repayments after-all until you or me have paid for the property this is also their investment. The situation at worst on losing your home in say a fire that did not have adequate building insurance would leave you with no home and to add insult to injury the bank would still want repaying what you owe on the mortgage.
Much discussion of late is in respect to homes that have been flooded with heavy rain. It appears that this event is becoming more frequent and severe with the main culprit global warming to blame. The dilemma here for the insurance companies is that when this occurs it doesn’t just affect 1 or 2 homes but thousands. Also the damage to each home can be that huge in monetary terms that it would cripple and bankrupt some of the insurers if they paid out on this massive scale. Check your policy details on what cover you have for floods. Generally if you live in an area that is not prone to this disaster then floods should be covered, however if the area is a well known flood risk then it’s unlikely you will be covered. Once again the home insurance underwriters have the upper hand by determining the risk and probability of an event happening. In fairness to the insurers, and I don’t say this likely by the way, they didn’t build the houses on known flood hotspots. This is where blame primarily should sit and if there is justice then these construction firms who threw up hundreds of homes should take full responsibility. When we buy our homes is it up to us to make sure a 200 year old mine shaft is not running directly under the foundations as this may result in your house falling in the ground and the insurance company refusing to pay out. These are not our jobs other people get paid for this but to fully protect our prime investment we have to do some research on the area and house. Knock on a few of the neighbours and search the town and city on the web because if by chance you do need to make a claim, make no mistake if the insurance company can find some petty loop hole to save themselves paying out tens of thousands of pounds they certainly will. The emotional strain and financial burden with the added distress of a home that’s not liveable will play no part, not even a thought in their decision whether to pay you or not.
The most popular type of home insurance that we are familiar with is content and this is entirely your choice if you feel it necessary to take out a policy. If you do, try and insure your contents with the same company as your building insurance as this will in most cases work out cheaper.
Contents in general come under items that are not associated with the structure of your home. You can more or less have any item included in your home insurance policy from a piece of clothing to a stuffed chicken in the freezer. You may feel the need to have garden accessories and other items outside the home covered. This does not in any way mean that the items mentioned above are covered so always check your own details. Expensive belongings such as jewellery that’s high in value will usually have a pay out limit in which case you need to take extra cover if you require a full return. Some items are more often than not only insured in the home or in close proximity to it. Glass is one of those items that’s not included in most policies nor is willful damage to any object. One in particular to look out for is anything damaged by a pet. Many policies do not cover this even though it’s obviously an accident from your point of view, they will see it as willful neglect to have an animal that’s not been controlled so check your own details for this. Another is your pedal bike, like many folks this is their main transport to and from work so it makes sense to have this included in your contents. However, and this does catch the vast majority of people off guard. The bike will only be insured while it is on the home premises so if it gets stolen outside of your corner shop or works there is no claim. It’s these small details that come back on bite you on the rear when least expected. Clothing is another example that can leave you flustered. For instance you may have a favourite top that’s 5 years old but still looks new simply because it’s only been worn 3 times. Material items are regarded by most home insurance companies to have a life span and you will struggle to get them to cough up for clothing that is years old.
Numerous considerations are taken in to account when it comes to the price of your premium. Here are a few examples below that are in no particular order.
1. What’s the crime level in your area, especially burglaries, theft and damage to property?
2. How secure is your home like the doors, windows and do you have an adequate alarm system. Additionally, how easily accessible are the grounds to your property especially the rear or which ever provides some cover for the lurking thief.
3. Are items such as jewellery safely locked away in the event of forced entry to your property
4. Do you have close neighbours or do you live somewhere remote.
5. Is there sufficient lighting and even sensors. In addition there maybe CCTV which would provide an extra deterrent.
6. What excess are you willing to pay
7. What fire precautions have you taken? Are smoke alarms installed throughout the property?
It’s all about common sense in making your home as secure as it can possibly be. The vast majority of burglaries or thefts from premises are opportunist’s crimes. Don’t give these awful people any reason to target your home in the first place by been sloppy and leaving a window open. Hypothetically, if this did occur you have also just handed the home insurance company ammunition to start questioning your claim. Phone around and ask as many questions that you think are relevant. Ask them what precautions they like to see in relation to getting a cheaper policy. I would never condone lying but occasionally lets say been economical with the truth regarding quotes from other companies may not be a bad thing especially if they want to try and match a competitor’s price. Besides, insurers are experts in this field.