Do I Really Need Home Insurance
Insurance is one of those subjects that people tend to disagree about, specifically the futility of spending hard-earned dosh ‘lining the insurer’s pockets’ year after year. However, just one bad experience with lost luggage on a long-haul flight to an unfamiliar destination is generally enough to make doubters stop and think.
Then comes the realisation that if only they’d taken out travel insurance all the unexpected out of pocket expenses and the cost of replacement items, such as snorkelling equipment or ski gear, would be covered. Most people understand that life insurance and car insurance are mandatory, so What The Deal Yo with home insurance?
Protecting Your Home – Do I really need home insurance?
A standard buildings and contents home insurance policy does exactly what it says on the tin – it provides recompense for structural damage to your house or apartment as well as theft of or damage to furnishings, assets and valuable items. Permanent internal fixtures that are covered by a buildings policy normally include bathroom and kitchen fittings, plus the roof of the property.
If you have outbuildings such as a garage, greenhouse, garden shed or a fancy summerhouse these will normally be covered by a buildings policy. Note that garden walls, fences and gates are generally not included. Applying for buildings insurance is easy and most insurers offer access to a free calculator to help estimate the entire rebuild cost of a home should the worst happen. That’s comforting, isn’t it?
Protecting Your Belongings – Do I really need home insurance?
Replacing every single thing in a home would be an expensive business. The average property in the UK contains items worth tens of thousands of pounds. Adding up the value of clothing, digital equipment and tech devices, books, home entertainment systems, sports gear, games, jewellery, antiques, artworks and furniture soon amounts to a pretty penny.
Those helpful insurance people can assist with the calculation once again as their websites guide applicants for contents insurance through their own homes, room by room, to estimate the total value of their assets. Think of the insurer as vicariously wearing a virtual reality headset in order to explore every nook and cranny of the property – or maybe not.
Special Policies – Do I really need home insurance?
Being the owner but not the occupier of a property requires a slightly different kind of insurance policy. In addition to buildings cover, landlords usually need insurance to cover loss of rent and (possibly) public liability. The flipside is, if home is a swish apartment in Mayfair (or similar), then the tenant needs only contents insurance, as the property owner is responsible for the building.
Moving on to castles and mansions – it’s important to be aware that listed buildings insurance is more demanding, and generally more expensive, than standard policies. Historical importance and cultural significance together determine the status (Grade I, Grade II* or Grade II) and there are often more restrictions placed on listed buildings that can make repairs more expensive.
This can be difficult and time-consuming to manage, so think hard before agreeing to take over the family estate, complete with stables, pheasants and floating duck house.
High value homes also have insurance restrictions if a standard buildings and contents home insurance policy is taken out, particularly when it comes to single items such as a valuable painting, sculpture or piece of jewellery. It’s better to opt for a tailor-made policy than to find the insurance company won’t pay out the full value of an heirloom or other item that has been stolen or damaged.
Unusual buildings can also encounter difficulties when it comes to getting appropriate insurance cover. Ever-cautious insurers may view self-build homes, those that have a timber frame or have additions such as a thatched roof as at greater risk of catching fire. Seek out a specialist insurer to avoid paying excessive premiums.
Holiday homes are usually covered by policies that take into account long periods during which they are empty and therefore potentially at greater risk of burglary. Look for a company that provides the right kind of insurance for a second home. Then sit back and feel smug because there is a holiday home to insure.
Always Read The Small Print – Do I really need home insurance?
Finally, don’t be afraid to shop around for the best insurance deal available to protect your home as long as it meets personal and specific requirements.
Many comparison websites provide details of many insurance offers and usually they include filters to allow individual customer specifications to be entered. Depending on the property, check limits for personal items taken outside the home and the cap on the allowance for single valuable items.