So you’ve splashed out on your dream home and are reaping the rewards of having your own place. But how do you protect your new asset and get the right home insurance in place
An essential product
Home insurance is one of those essential products that we often view as an inconvenience. After all, if you’ve never claimed on it, the product is easily viewed as just another unnecessary cost that goes out of your bank account every month! But home insurance provides peace of mind against the biggest asset that you are ever likely to own – your home and it protects you financially in case that asset should be damaged or even destroyed.
For many buyers, buildings insurance will also be a condition of their mortgage. Why? Because the lender owns your property until you have paid off the loan against it. So you need to protect their interests financially in case of damage. However, you don’t need to take out insurance from the lender and there are hundreds of other insurance providers on the market.
Making a successful application
Home insurance policies tend to cover two distinct areas; the building itself and the contents within it. Both can be well priced if you search the market, perhaps using a price comparison site or specialist broker and if you get the right cover for your needs. The buildings insurance protects the property itself and the contents insurance is your choice and designed to cover any damage, loss or theft of your personal items within the home.
Get your details in order
To make a successful application and receive the best possible price for your insurance, make sure you present yourself as a good customer. Have your address details to hand, employment details and personal finances in order. Ensure that all the information you provide is accurate. Remember, incorrect information will not only invalidate your insurance, but could lead to a fraud prosecution.
Help yourself by lowering your risk profile. Install working smoke alarms, invest in windows and doors with approved locking systems and don’t allow anyone to smoke within the property. If there is a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, then join it. Install a working and maintained burglar alarm too. All of these things will show that you are taking steps to actively protect your home and put less risk onto the shoulders of the insurance provider.
Additionally, take care to maintain and look after your home, as this is a condition of all policies. You won’t be able to claim for damage that arises from failing to take good care of your property. You may also want to accept a higher excess in return for a cheaper policy and avoid making claims to build up your no-claims discount, making you more attractive in the eyes of the provider.
Consider getting a specialist policy if you have a tenant or rent a room to a non-family member, as this will invalidate many regular policies. This will also be the case if you run a business from home that isn’t clerical work. Speak to a specialist advisor if this is the case. Also speak to an advisor if you have had insurance declined in the past, or special conditions applied. This will ensure that you take out a product that is right for your particular circumstances and which will pay out if you do eventually make a claim.