Many of us work to fund our personal lives – from holidays, family activities and future planning to the roof over our heads. Your home is potentially your most important asset and busy practitioners are often faced with making quick decisions without fully thinking them through when it comes to home insurance.
Don’t make these common home insurance mistakes
Choosing a policy based on price alone – If an insurance premium seems too good to be true, it probably is. Have you checked the excess amount? Have you looked at coverage and exclusions? Are your home details correct? Does the policy give you what you need?
The same token goes for thinking that the most expensive quote must be the best. You are equally at risk of being over insured and wasting money.
Simply accepting the renewal quote – Loyal customers are often penalised in favour or attracting new customers. Research suggests that you could be out of pocket by £160 over five years if you just renew the same policy each year. Auto-renewal might seem like the best option for your busy life, but not only is it likely to cost you more, but it means that you are unlikely to review your requirements and make amends to your policy. You could even end up invalidating your cover.
Not understanding policy language – Properly read the small print. ‘Unlimited cover’ might not mean unlimited and there might be limits within this. There might also be a stipulation on ‘minimum security’ where you have to have a particular type of lock or security system to keep your policy valid.
Not fully understanding your responsibilities – You have to make sure that you keep your insurance valid. Many people even knowingly invalidate their policy – but this could see you unable to make a successful claim in the event of an incident. It could be as simple as flouting an ‘alarm clause’ where you forget to turn your house alarm on when you leave for work. Or you leave windows and doors unlocked. It is important to keep home security top of mind.
Underestimating the building and contents value – If you under calculate the rebuild cost for your home, or undervalue the cost to replace all your possessions, your insurer may not pay out your full claim when needed. Spend time reviewing your white goods, keep receipts for purchases and keep a note of costs. You can also get a quote to rebuild your home as a guide for your insurer.
Overlooking additional benefits – Insurance has to work for your lifestyle. Would you want things like ‘new for old’ – where replacements of things like televisions would see you get the same spec as what you currently have rather than receiving the current value of the used goods? You may also like to consider legal expenses cover in case of disputes with neighbours, and cover of possessions when you are away from home.
Forgetting to declare valuables – Anything considered high value or high risk, usually things like expensive jewellery or perhaps artwork, should be declared along with proof of purchase and ownership. In some cases, you might wish to take out specific specialist insurance for these items.
What are the solutions?
There are many traps you can fall into when choosing home insurance, but as with everything, there are a few things you can do to minimise your risks.
Compare policies – Read the policy details in full and identify what is different between the quotes.
Shop around at each renewal – Don’t just accept your renewal quote. You can save money, and have the chance to review your policy, if you check the market each year.
Read reviews – Read up on your potential insurer, especially around claims handling. You only know how good your insurance and your insurer is when you need to claim.
Let a broker take the strain – To save time and money, speak to a good specialist broker, like All Med Pro. We will help you find the right cover for you – and even talk to you about the things that you have not even considered.
Contact All Med Pro for advice on your home insurance today.