When you buy a home, you also need to get home insurance. It can be confusing when you are trying to go through all the options, so we thought we would break down the 5 most important things to know, arming you with all the knowledge you need to make the best choice for you and your family.
1. Types of home insurance
There are 2 types of home insurance that you should consider, namely buildings insurance and home contents insurance. The difference between these two is in the name – buildings insurance covers you for damage to the structure of your home while the home contents insurance protects you in case you suffer loss or damage to the contents of your home. Basically, if you took the roof off your house and turned it upside down, everything that fell out would be covered by home contents insurance.
2. What does home insurance cover exactly?
Your buildings insurance policy will cover you for damage or loss that can happen to the physical structure of your house and outbuildings on your property. This includes, but is not limited to, loss or damage caused by:
- fire, lightning, explosions, earthquakes
- burst geysers (should they be specified) or burst pipes, or storms and floods
- malicious intent and by a break-in or theft that negatively affects the building structure
Your home contents insurance, on the other hand, covers loss or damage to personal possessions and household goods. This includes (but is not limited to):
- damage to anything that’s caused by fire, lightning, power surges, explosions, malicious damage, storms, burst or overflowing geyser or pipes, a break-in or theft;
- cover for food that deteriorates because of a power failure or if your freezer breaks down;
- cover for stolen washing and/or garden furniture;
- cover in the event of you and/or your spouse’s death, if caused by fire or a break-in at your home;
- cover for your domestic employees’ or guests’ belongings (if there is proof of damage caused by a break-in);
- liability as a householder;
- tenants liability as a householder;
- liability to a domestic employee, if he/she is injured or dies at your home while working; and so much more.
December is the season for giving (and receiving), so make sure to update your home contents insurance with any valuables you’ve received. You don’t want to come up short and not have your brand-new smart TV covered should anything happen. You don’t want to replace valuable items out of pocket and especially not with a cheap alternative because your budget is now smaller.
3. How well are you covered?
In order to know how well you are covered, in case you need to claim, it’s important to check your policy regularly and make updates when necessary. It’s advisable to keep an inventory of your home contents so that if something happens, for example if you are robbed, you will have a reference to check against.
When buying new items always make sure to update them on your insurance policy to ensure that they are covered. When providing your insurer with the insured value, always remember that the amount provided must be able to replace all your belongings inside your house at their current amount. This means the amount it would cost you to purchase the same possessions at today’s prices should anything happen.
4. Insure your home at market value
Should anything happen to your home that would result in a total loss, your home would need to be insured for the cost to rebuild at the current market value. This would be the cost to rebuild your entire property including demolition costs, professional fees etc.
5. How to make home insurance more affordable
Speak to your insurance company regularly and ensure they are up to date with any changes or security upgrades you have made.
The information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.
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