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House and contents insurance

Your house is probably your biggest asset so house and contents insurance needs to be taken seriously to protect your investment in your home. Here are some pointers on getting the right insurance cover for your home:

  • Insure your house for the right value – if you had to rebuild an equivalent home, how much would it cost? What is the current valuation of the home? Take this information into account when deciding the amount of cover.
  • Allow for increasing house replacement costs over time – most policies will do this automatically, by increasing the amount of cover every year by inflation. But it pays to check from time to time what the amount of cover is and whether this seems right.
  • What events is your house insured for? If you live in a flood prone area, your insurance company may not cover your home against damage caused from flooding. Make sure you know what you are covered for and what you’re not and know what disasters may affect your home.
  • What can you do (if anything) to improve your insurance? You may be able to get reduced premiums for example if you have a home security system.
  • Also know what conditions you need to maintain to keep your insurance valid – if you fail to install or maintain fire-alarms, will this void your insurance? What are the conditions on out-door furniture – can it be covered in your house and contents insurance?
  • Always be honest with your insurance company when making applications and claims for insurance – if you bend the truth or are fraudulent, the insurance company may have the right to reject any claims you make.
  • Keep your house well maintained.
As an ‘add-on’ to your house insurance policy you may also be able to get Public Liability cover to protect you from litigation claims from third party injury/ damages that may occur on your property – but don’t assume you’ve got this coverage. CHECK!!

Contents Insurance

If you’re going to get house insurance, you probably need to consider insuring the contents of the house too! And even if you don’t own the home you’re living in, you should still insure your possessions.

And the value of your contents can really add up – which means it will cost you a lot of money to replace your contents if they are stolen or damaged. So again, take contents insurance seriously. Here are some points:

  • Itemize by room, every significant item you own – furniture, art work, electrical items, jewelry, antiques and so on. Describe the items as best you can – brand, make and model, size, age, condition, etc.
  • For each item, estimate a replacement cost (ie what would it cost you to buy another one if you had to) and the value (ie would could you sell it for if you had to).
  • Add up the replacement cost and value of all your household items - you might be surprised how much this all adds up to! Your contents insurance needs to reflect these values.
  • For items that are unique or valuable, it’s also worth taking a photo of the item and getting a valuation. This can be helpful in making claims for these items if they are lost or damaged.
The above information is useful to work out how much cover you need, and can also be submitted to your insurance company as it helps with making claims – if you do, make sure you up date the list to reflect any major purchases you make.

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We are not certified financial planners or advisors. The information in this website is general information only. Always consult a licensed financial planner before making any finance or investment decision.

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