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Tips and Traps on Home and Contents Insurance: What to Know

Updated: Jun 8

When it comes to home insurance, the most expensive thing we own, no one wants to find out they're under- or mis-insured. That's why we've pulled together this guide to help you understand all of the ins and outs of home insurance.


Tips and Traps on Home and Contents Insurance: What to Know


Before you get into the nitty-gritty, here are some of the best tips and traps to know when shopping for home and contents insurance.


Tips to Remember


1 - Read through the Policy with Care


You've paid good money, so take your time and make sure you fully understand the policy, cover and conditions. Make a note of any terms and conditions, and keep the document in a safe place. If you need to, ring the insurer or contact your broker to get a breakdown or any areas of question.


2 - Reassess Your Level of Cover Regularly


Insurance cover should be reviewed and updated as your circumstances change. A family's insurance needs to change as their circumstances change. For example, a young family might want added contents cover for their high-tech gadgets, whereas an older family would want to reduce their contents insurance to reflect their home's lower value.


3 - Do the Math


Home insurance costs are based on two factors - Your home's replacement value and what it will cost to rebuild or repair your home if it's damaged or destroyed. You'll need to do some maths and convert your home into a dollar figure (plus contents), so your insurer can see how much you're actually at risk.


Traps to Watch out For


1 - Be Wary of Discounts


Discounts can be very tempting but can be misleading. Some are designed to attract new business and may not be available to exist customers. It's better to pay a fair price for the right level of insurance rather than overpay and have no cover.


2 - Not All Providers Cover Moving House


If you have to move home on short notice, you may not be able to find a replacement cover with your existing provider. Be sure to check your policy and the terms and conditions before removals day. Also, make sure you store possessions properly, as any damage could affect your claim.


3 - Underinsurance Can Hit Your Budget Hard


If the cost of repairing your home exceeds its value, you'll have to cover the shortfall. Make sure you have insurance cover equal to the replacement value of your home.


4 - Watch for Water Damage


Water is the leading cause of home damage, so you need to ensure your policy covers you for it. Most policies have a standard water damage clause, but if you have a swimming pool, water fountain or spa, or you live in a flood-prone area, you may need to extend your cover.


Conclusion


The key thing to remember when writing home and/or contents insurance is that you must fully understand your policy and the cover provided. Home insurance is complex, but it's important for consumers to understand the basics - what is covered and what isn't, and how to protect themselves against losses.


Home and contents insurance is important, and it's not an area to simply choose the cheapest policy available. You should always read the policy, check the exclusions and understand what is included and excluded.


Insurance, by comparison, is a powerful tool that allows consumers to shop around and find the best insurer and the best policy for their needs. If all else fails, speaking to an insurance specialist will help you value your belongings and insure your home to a level that's right.


If you are looking into getting home & contents insurance, come to New Wave Insurance. We help you find the right insurance for your assets, business and vehicles.


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