Home insurance can be seen to be tricky and difficult to get right when it comes to acquiring the correct cover for your property at an affordable price. In Ireland you aren’t legally obliged to take out home insurance, but if you have a mortgage, your lender will stipulate that you need home insurance in order to safeguard finances for the rebuild cost of your home should anything happen to it. If you fail to organise a policy for at least fire only cover on the property, your lender will take out a policy on your behalf, and the cost will not be an issue to the lender.
Some people know exactly what cover they need, others have no clue what they need. At simplyinsure.ie one of Ireland’s top insurance brokers, we don’t mind which type of person you are, as we are delighted to assist in any way we can when it comes to getting you the best policy for your money. We deal with 21 insurers with over 50 products available which gives us the upper hand on finding you the best priced policy while offering you the best cover on the market.
There are many sections within house insurance, we will cover only a few here.
- Buildings Insurance
This covers you for damage to any buildings at the risk address
- Contents Insurance
This covers you for loss of or damage to the contents of your home
- Specified or Unspecified All-risks Cover
This covers you for loss or damage to valuables (even when outside your home)
- Liability Insurance
This covers you for injury to persons in or on your land at eh insured address.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to ensure that your home and contents are insured for the correct amount, this is vital should you need to make a claim on your insurance at a later date. Most insurers apply a clause called ‘Average Clause’ which basically is written into the policy to combat underinsurance. If you underinsure your house, when it comes to claim time the insurer may subtract the percentage that you are underinsured by from the settlement of the claim. Not nice to hear, so you must be vigilant when it comes to valuing your house for the correct rebuild cost.
Policies can vary greatly in terms of what they exclude and include and some companies can vary greatly in terms of both the product they are offering and the price they are offering it at. When buying insurance, it’s best to remember that the cheapest is not always the best option and make sure you read through your policy and are aware of what you are exactly being covered for before you sign up.
It is best to include both home and contents on the one policy. Remember you don’t have to stay with the one company for all your insurance policies, make sure you shop around. Even if you don’t have a mortgage and own your own home, it is very wise to have home insurance so you don’t have to pay for repair or replacement anything if there is a burglary, fire, flood, water damage or other damage.
The amount you pay on your home insurance can depend really on three factors.
- 1. The amount you insure you home for and whether you want to include your contents on the policy.
The greater the insured value of your buildings and contents, the higher your premium will be. Remember not to under insure the buildings.
- 2. The location of your home.
Insurance providers may charge more for homes in areas where there is a high rate of burglary or areas prone to flooding or subsidence
- 3. The type of cover and discounts you get.
Insurance providers offer various discounts, which can reduce your premium by a certain amount.
What kind of discounts can you get?
Depending on the insurance provider, you may qualify for a discount.
Most common discounts available are;
- Claims free discounts
- Age Discounts
- The house has an alarm (you may get an extra discount if it is monitored)
- You have a smoke detector installed
- You have security locks fitted on doors and windows
- You have another insurance policy with the same company
Issues to consider
Like with all areas there are something’s that you should be aware of when considering insurance.
Restrictions and exclusions
These are events or situations that are not covered by your insurance policy. While standard exclusions are contained in every policy, specific exclusions and restrictions will vary across insurers – so check the cover before confirming the policy.
The excess is the amount that you will have to pay yourself for any claim. Your insurer will reduce any claim settlement by the amount of the excess stated on your policy. You cannot claim for losses that are less than the excess.
The amount of the excess can depend on the insurer, but normally it is between €100 and €500 for standard claims on a home insurance policy. The excess for subsidence & water damage claims are usually higher. You can often get a discount on your premium if you agree to a higher excess.