For most people, by far the largest financial investment made in a lifetime is in the family home. Home insurance is a way of responding to common risks that can impact the security, safety and comfort of this significant investment. Having the backing of a recognised and reputable insurer for your property can help you to address these risks and avoid great personal expense in the event of accident or theft.
So what should be your first consideration when it comes to home insurance?
Cost - You pay one way or another
Some people seek the lowest level of cover available because it’s initially cheaper. However, weaknesses in the policy may mean they will have to personally pay for a significant portion of any future losses or damage. This can end up costing significantly more than a decent insurance policy would have in the first place.
What is covered by an insurance policy, and how it will protect you should be the paramount questions when you’re shopping for insurance, rather than just looking at cost alone.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that if they lack the right level of cover they will not be able to return to the same standard of living they’re used to after a major accident or disaster. They may even have to pay the costs of repairing their home out of their own savings. Inadequate contents insurance can also be a problem. It’s normal to accumulate more belongings over time or to upgrade the ones you have, but your insurance won’t always reflect these new items. It’s a great idea to account for these changes and review your policy regularly.
Know your risks
You should understand your level of risk specific to your geographic area. Council plans and property sale documents will tell you whether your street or suburb is particularly prone to floods or bush fires, for example. And if you’re a renter your insurance needs will be different to someone who owns their own house.
Do you really know how much it would cost you to rebuild or repair your house today if it were damaged by fire or flood? It may be a lot more than a few years ago, especially if building codes have changed, and it may be even more if a natural disaster affects a lot of households in your area.
It can help to use an online calculator to work out how much insurance you might need to adequately protect your home and belongings. As a major, lifelong investment, your home deserves the protection that a quality insurance policy gives.