10 top home insurance tips

Taking out adequate home contents insurance is vital to provide cover against unforeseen events like theft or damage by fire, flood or storm.
Yet although most homeowners are aware of the need to insure their prized possessions, many consumers feel overwhelmed by the breadth of products and providers on the market.
When it comes to ensuring you find the most appropriate policy to suit your needs, it’s important to remember that the devil’s in the detail.
Insurance policies are full of hidden catches and exclusions that can affect your right to claim and it therefore pays to spend a couple of minutes to read the small print of your policy documents to make sure you are aware of exactly what is and isn’t covered.
Nevertheless, these terms and conditions can often prove a daunting read.
Therefore, before choosing a home contents insurance policy, have a look at our 10 top tips which should help you to navigate through the small print minefield.
Otherwise, you could be in for a nasty shock when you come to make a claim.
Here are our 10 top home insurance tips.
1 Make sure that you are aware of your single item limit
This limit is usually between £1,000 and £1,500 but varies between insurers. The single item limit is the maximum the insurer will pay out up to for one item.
Expensive items valued over this limit will need to be individually named on your policy and you may have to pay a higher premium or take out a separate policy. These options are often worth it to protect your most valuable possessions.
2 Check your accidental damage entitlement
Cover for accidental damage is not always automatically included in buildings and contents insurance policies and is therefore often an optional extra. It is a useful option and should not alter your premium too much.
It provides cover if your possessions are damaged accidentally, for example if put your foot through a floorboard or drill into a pipe while doing some DIY.
3 Take notice of the ‘reasonable care’ clause
Insurers expect you to lock your doors and windows and keep valuables out of sight.
4 Keep your contents insurance up to date
According to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, 70% of households are under-insured. The average value of household contents is rising all the time thanks to the ever increasing trend for expensive gadgets, home entertainment systems and designer clothes.
If you don’t update your home contents policy to reflect such purchases you jeopardise your ability to make a successful claim.
5 Make sure you have the correct security measures in place
Home insurers will usually require mortice deadlock or rimlock conforming to British Standard 3621. You should also install a NACOSS approved burglar alarm and join a neighbourhood watch scheme. Increased security measures can lead to a 5-10% discount on your policy.
6 Inform your insurer if you are away for a long period of time
If you are planning on leaving your home empty for a long period of time, check the number of days your insurers allows you to be away and still be covered. Make sure you inform your provider of long-term travel plans.
7 Always double-check the excess level
A cheaper premium may well carry a huge excess. Be sure that you would be able to pay the excess amount in the event of a claim.
8 Check if your children’s possessions are covered
If you have a child at university, your insurer may cover their possessions when they are away. Check what the requirements are with regard to locks on doors and whether their belongings will be covered during the holidays.
9 If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, inform your insurer.
Living in a flood zone will often mean limited home insurance options. The best advice from the industry is to stay with your current insurer and not to be drawn by the lure of different prices or schemes from other insurers.
10 Know what’s not covered
Home insurance may not cover the following: garden fences, sheds and tools, money, credit cards.

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1 comment:

David Ashley Gilbert said...

Your blog entry was very interesting. I am a realtor specializing in Tampa Bay Florida Real Estate .