Choosing a Home and Contents Policy

It is definitely worth shopping around when it comes to obtaining your Home and/or Contents insurance. Although the features and benefits offered may be similar across a range of insurers, premiums can vary quite considerably. It is also imperative to read the terms and conditions of any policy very carefully before taking out insurance. Some things you may want to consider are:

  • Earthquake excess – the excess for damage or loss caused by an earthquake is often higher than the standard excess that is applied to most other claims.
  • Most policies do not cover flood. Only a few insurers will cover you for flood damage.
  • Some polices do not offer fusion cover as a standard feature. This is often an additional benefit that you can opt for if you agree to pay extra premium. A significant number of claims result from fusion each year so you should seriously consider opting for this cover if it is not a standard feature.
  • It is also important to be aware of the limits placed on unspecified valuable items such as jewellery, works of art, collectables and furs. Different insurers place different limits on the amount of cover they will provide for such items. If you have particularly valuable items it would be prudent to specify them individually on the policy.
  • If you are a landlord and do not choose a specific Landlord policy, you should check that the standard Building policy covers you for landlord's fixtures and fittings (carpets, curtains and internal blinds).
  • If you compare policies and discover that some are very similar in both features and price, you may want to consider any additional features offered. An interesting but practical feature currently being offered by a number of insurers is pet cover. This covers the cost of veterinary expenses if your pet is injured in a road accident or in some cases even if it falls ill.

It is also worth noting that home insurance policies are either one of two types – a Defined Events policy or an Accidental Damage policy. Accidental Damage policies are more expensive as they provide more comprehensive cover. However, not all insurers offer this type of cover.

There are of course many things to take into account when you are shopping for insurance so ensure that you read the policy documents carefully as well as ring around for quotes or do a few online.