In most of our lives our home must surely rank as amongst the most important material things. There is certainly unlikely to be anything more worthy of our careful protection. After all we all spend so much time searching for that perfect property and considering so many things, not least that elusive but all important ‘wow’ factor. Our homes almost become part of who we are so the devastation of serious damage can be a tough thing to take. Lessening that blow with a good home insurance policy should therefore be something we don’t take lightly.
Making sure you end up with the right policy to fit your needs and that you feel is cost-effective can be a complicated process though, it would be nice to think you could take the easy route and default on a standard policy but, really, there’s no such thing. You’ll need to check though any prospective insurer’s levels of cover and various exclusions. But let’s start by breaking the subject into the two principal types of cover – Building Insurance and Home Insurance.
Building insurance should cover more than simply the main building and include any outbuildings such as garages as well as gates, patios, sheds and fences. It’s important to give any exclusions or clauses, and there will almost certainly be quite a few, a thorough examination. Make sure you know what’s covered and what isn’t. Don’t over-insure yourself; the sum should be the cost to rebuild rather than what the property is worth. In certain cases the insurer will only pay out the cost to rebuild anyway. A rebuild cost should be pretty cheap and easy to come by so make sure you get it right. Also take into account the likelihood of rebuilding costs increasing over time especially if you make any modifications. And if you’re after a quick money saving tip, think twice about paying with a direct debit, it’s entirely possible you’ll be charged up to 30% interest. Think about paying with a 0% on purchases credit card.
Once again it is important to be certain that you are insured for the right amount. Try compiling a full check list of everything, it may seem long-winded but is definitely worthwhile. It’s quite possible that your insurer will put a limit on individual items, if this is the case and a single item is worth more than an imposed home contents limit try to negotiate an increase or, failing this, you’ll have to insure it separately. Make sure your contents are insured beyond the basic theft and fire cover and encompass other threats like storms or flooding. A decent money saving idea is to look at the possibility of a combined deal that covers both contents and building, this might be offered at a reduced rate and should obviously speed up the process. Don’t just plump for a combined deal for convenience sake though; a good policy for contents could be teamed up with a less impressive deal for the building or vice-versa.
Copyright © 2007 Jay Smith