Home insurance is there to protect one of the most important assets you own. And when done properly, it will allow you to insure both the structure of your home and the life that is lived within its four walls.

Home insurance can be divided into three sections: Building Insurance, Home Contents Insurance, and Personal Valuables Insurance. The purpose of Building Insurance is to cover only the structure of your property, and Home Contents Insurance covers items such as appliances and furniture that stay within the home, while Personal Valuables Insurance covers the household items that travel with you out of your home, such as cell phones and laptops.

To ensure that your home insurance policy covers you as best as possible, you should understand your cover fully and assess its accuracy over time as your property changes.

Check your liability limit

It’s important that you should be covered realistically, which is why comprehensive coverage is always advisable. When you consider the costs of rebuilding your property or replacing its contents, the numbers can quickly add up, and you need to be sure that you are covered adequately should you need it.

Cover for natural occurrences

While damage caused by natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, is usually covered by insurance policies, other natural occurrences may be excluded. When you live near areas that are prone to natural influences, such as a riverbank or known fault line, you need to find insurance that will cover you should damages arise due to these natural causes.

Update it as you go

Your policy is based on the contents of your home, and should this change, your policy should also be updated accordingly to reflect its latest status. The presence of a piano or original piece of art in your home, for instance, can increase your instalment substantially. So, if you decide to sell an item of substantial financial worth, make sure to update your policy to avoid paying for cover of an item you no longer own. When you add something, on the other hand, updating your policy is just as important, as major items (especially high-value ones) will not be covered if they are not explicitly included in your policy.

Specify your structures

Knowing which structures are covered by your policy can save you a lot of hassle and financial turmoil. Many insurance policies cover only the main dwelling structure, the home itself, and do not cover any damages to, for instance, garages, swimming pools, or lapas. Keeping your policy simple may save on instalments and may be prudent when the other structures on your property are not of high value. But when the additional structures on your property are of high value, it is usually advisable to include them in your policy.

While most home insurance policies are rather comprehensive in their cover scope, there are a few items that are most often not covered by insurers. Coverage is often limited/not granted in the following instances:

  • Most damages caused by pets.
  • Appliances used in B&B-use rooms are not covered by household insurance.
  • Theft due to the homeowner’s negligence, such as leaving a door unlocked.
  • Where damage is the result of poor maintenance.
  • Damage caused by natural occurrences that could be avoided, such as roots and weeds.
  • Any damages of theft occurring when a property has been left unoccupied for a significantly long period of time.

Home insurance may not be something you look forward to utilising, but the old proverb is highly applicable here: it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. If you’re looking for new home insurance or want to update yours to be more comprehensive, make sure to contact us for the advice you need.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)