There are many different options to choose from when it comes to home insurance, making it somewhat difficult to know which policy to go for.
However, if you follow these key tips, you shouldn’t go far wrong.
Make sure all your contents are covered
Most people underestimate the value of their property’s contents by around £25,000, recent estimates suggest. It’s a classic mistake that could cost you dear.
If your possessions are destroyed in a fire or flood and you’re found to have undervalued them by, for example, 20%, then the total sum you claim for could be reduced by 20%, regardless of whether you’re claiming for the full sum insured or not.
Don’t forget that, for insurance purposes, ‘contents’ aren’t just the things you carry around with you, such as jewellery, electronic gadgets and clothes. It also includes the fixtures and fittings, such as carpets, sofas, furniture, white goods and curtains.
So make sure you list all items at their correct value; if you don’t know, or aren’t sure, don’t just make it up, go away and check.
Are you correctly valuing the building?
If you’re including buildings cover, make sure you work out an accurate figure for the cost of rebuilding your home. The total destruction of your home is, of course, a worst case scenario, but it’s ultimately why it’s there.
Also double check the maximum time you’re allowed to be away from your home before the insurance becomes void. Many insurers place a limit of one month on this, so if you spend considerable lengths of time abroad, you should indicate this when getting quotes.
Price isn’t the most important factor
Remember, cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean best. While cost is of great importance, there are plenty of other factors to take into account.
When you’re shopping around, therefore, bear this in mind and once you’ve decided what you need from your cover, compare like-for-like policies.
Watch out for single item limits
If you decide that you need, say, £40,000 worth of contents cover, this doesn’t mean that if you lose a valuable necklace worth £5,000 you will necessarily receive the full amount for it.
Most policies will have a standard, set limit that applies to single items, so if you have certain particularly valuable possessions you might want to ask the insurer if you can pay extra to have the single item limit increased, or in fact insure such items separately altogether.
Consider if you need extra cover or ‘add-ons’
There are a number of extras which don’t come as standard in many policies that you might want to consider including. Think carefully about this as plenty of people make claims only to find their cover doesn’t include what they thought it did.
Would you want accommodation provided if your home is flooded? Do you think including accidental damage cover would be necessary (especially if you have kids!)? Would you like your possessions to be insured when you take them with you outside the home? These are the sorts of questions you need to ask yourself.
If you’re not sure whether the locks and security latches you have on windows and doors meet the standard required, it’s best to check.
If you’re burgled, for example, and the insurer decides that your locks are so poor that you’ve been negligent in protecting your property, it could invalidate your claim.
A bigger excess is not necessarily better
You’re expected to cover the first part of any claim yourself; this cash sum is called the policy ‘excess’. It’s something you can set yourself, with a fixed minimum that the insurer will stipulate. Usually, the greater the excess you choose, the lower your premiums.
However, remember that you might need to be able to stump up the cash quickly in order to replace items you consider vital, or for urgent repairs to your home.
So if you choose an excess of £500, for example, be confident you can access that sort of cash quickly if needed.
Above all, be honest!
Always be honest when applying for cover as you can’t retrospectively say you forgot, or ‘accidentally’ got the information wrong.
If you know that you’re going to be away for a considerable period, double check the period of time your policy states you’re allowed to be away from home.
If you’ve made previous claims state exactly when, and how many.
If you live in an area that’s considered to be at risk of flooding, make sure you indicate this.
Not being wholly truthful means you not only might invalidate future claims, you could also be actually breaking the law!
We’re dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them, at the right price. To speak to one of our experts, call 0203 014 9300 or email email@example.com