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Home insurance: everything you need to know

by emily

in Lifestyle

Home is your personal space; where everything and everyone you treasure lives. No matter how many personal safety measures you take to try and protect your home and your personal belongings, there is always something that can go wrong. Be it natural or man-made causes, investing in home insurance will ensure that no matter what happens, you will be protected. Here are the different types of home insurance:

  • Homeowners Building Insurance

Building insurance is a policy that covers any building structure against accidental loss or damage caused by fire, theft or natural disasters like a storm or flood. Usually, this policy covers the basic structure of your home but depending on the amount of cover you choose, it could offer extended cover for add-on items like your garage and swimming pool, as well as internal additions like your entire kitchen, bathroom renovations and so forth. If you sign up for Personal Liability Cover in addition to the building insurance policy, this is specifically to protect property owners from any third party claims. For example, anything that may occur on the property like accidental death, injury or illness. It also offers homeowners financial protection for accidental loss or damage to a third party’s property.

  • Home Contents Insurance

The basic home insurance, as mentioned, only protects your home against loss or damage. If you want to take things further, apply for home contents insurance which will cover everything that’s inside. But not personal belongings. The type of goods you’ll be able to cover are items like furniture, curtains and home appliances. Smaller, more standard items like decor are not generally covered by home contents insurance (unless stated otherwise). All of the above will be able to be claimed for if affected by accidents like theft, burglary, fire, malicious damage, and/or natural disasters.

  • Personal Valuables Insurance

As much as you may think that personal and home contents are the same, they are not. Personal is known to be your own assets. This will cover things like your laptop, clothing, handbag, etc. This policy can include specified items and non-specified items, which means that for specified, you’ll be able to insure things individually and with non-specified, you’ll need to give a list of items or an amount that will cover belongings in general. Many people tend to forget about Personal Valuables Insurance in its entirety because ‘nothing will happen’ but why not save yourself the inconvenience if something does happen?

Do you have to take out home insurance?

For individuals who are looking for a home loan, banks tend to make home insurance compulsory for those people. For example, you will be requested to take out an insurance policy to the value of the home you’re applying for. This is put in place to protect the bank and yourself from any risk that could happen to your home. While standard building insurance is compulsory when applying through a bank, contents and personal insurance isn’t. So, within saying that, it is always a good idea to apply for these policies, in the event that something happens to your home or your personal valuables.

How much insurance coverage do you need?

There are no standard amounts for home building insurance as your home should be covered for the value that your house costs. However, with contents and personal insurance, the amount you choose to spend lies with you. It’s important to review your insurance policy yearly, as this will ensure that as much as the cost of things goes up, your valuables are still covered no matter what. Remember that over the years, items will naturally depreciate, therefore you need to remove these items or lower the amount yearly to avoid spending unnecessary money. It is better to be over-insured than under-insured for things.

Why home insurance is beneficial

  • If something happens to your home, you will be able to get it repaired shortly after without having to wait an extensive period. For example, If you are covered for emergency loss, you will be provided with emergency repair services.
  • If your house is burned down or is flooded due to natural causes, home insurance will cover your temporary living expenses due to mandatory evacuation.
  • Depending on the supplier, some policies allow individuals to re-claim cash after a specified number of premiums paid. That, of course, is if you have a no-claim for a certain time. Also, sometimes you get the option to include unique provisions above the normal coverage.

The final words

Any type of insurance policy requires you to read between the lines. It is important for you to discuss things in-depth with a provider like AUL that specialises in this type of insurance. This will help you feel at ease, knowing that you’ll be getting your money’s worth in claims. They will also help you understand your terms and conditions better to see what the exclusions are.

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