Six alternative things to consider when buying home insurance.

1. Excess.

The term ‘excess’ in Insurance means the defined amount you agree to pay towards any claim you make. When looking at excess, to reduce the value of the monthly premium, people generally look to increase the excess level. Generally, if you are not looking to claim for low-value items, this could be useful but be aware that you will need to pay the excess should you make a claim.

Always check that you can afford the excess before you buy your home insurance policy.

2. The contents of your home.

Whether you’re a homeowner or rent your property, home contents insurance will cover all those possessions you’d like to be replaced.
The best way to ensure your contents insurance is suitable for your possessions is to carry out an inventory. Go through your home room by room with a replacement cost for each item you want to be covered.

Make sure you do not underestimate how much your items are worth as you could end up out of pocket should you need to make a claim. Alternatively, over-estimate, and you will end up paying more in monthly premiums than you need.

3. Customer Service.

Many people see insurance as a necessary evil, one of those things that you have to pay for but hope you never need to use. But, if you need to make a claim, there is nothing more frustrating than poor service and struggling to speak to someone from your insurance provider. Always check the customer service reviews and who underwrites (provides) the insurance policy. Make sure they have a good reputation in dealing with claims and paying out.

4. The building & rebuilding.

If you are the king of your castle and own your home, then you’re going to need buildings insurance. Buildings insurance is one of the most important factors to consider. Building insurance will give you financial protection should the worst happen to your home and you need to rebuild.
Fire, falling trees and flooding can all have a devasting impact on your home. Your mortgage lender may insist on buildings insurance to cover the cost of a rebuild.

When you choose a buildings insurance policy, you will need to estimate the rebuild cost of your home, which can be easy to overestimate and increase the value of your premiums. Also, underestimating could leave you with a substantial bill that you may need to fulfil.

The rebuild cost is to cover the cost of the physical house (bricks & mortar), not the land it sits on.

5. Valuable items.

We all have those precious items we want to make sure we can replace should the worst happen. Whether you have expensive watches, cameras, jewellery, luxury handbags etc. Some home contents policies may only cover up to a specific value on single items (often a maximum of £1,500), so a separate insurance policy may be needed.

A home insurance policy should allow you to list high-value items on your policy. List these items and their value individually, plus whether you want them to be covered just within the home, or when you’re out of the house like a wedding ring or expensive camera.

6. Accidental damage.

You’re normally covered for accidental damage to buildings under a basic policy if for example, someone crashed a car into your home, or if you damaged drains or pipes around your property. The same goes for any damage that is accidentally caused to glass and bathroom fittings.

If that isn’t enough, you can always pay extra to have a greater level of accidental damage cover on your policy.

You’re usually covered under basic policies for accidental damage to contents too, including home entertainment equipment, computers, mirrors and glass. Watch out for the exclusions though as damage caused while cleaning, maintaining or repairing is often excluded.

However, some insurance companies won’t cover accidental damage as standard. If you want accidental damage included, you may need to add this onto your policy as an extra option.

If you are looking for a quote to buy your first home insurance policy or renewal, click here to get a quote online. Alternatively, call 0161 696 5217 and speak with our insurance executives.

Hilltop Finance’s home insurance product is 5-star Defacto rated and underwritten by Royal Sun Alliance.

Important information: Our website offers information about investing and saving, but not personal advice. If you’re not sure which services are right for you, please request advice from Hilltop’s financial advisers. Remember that investments can go up and down in value, so you could get back less than you put in.

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