The Insurance Novice’s Guide to Buying Home Insurance

The Insurance Novice’s Guide to Buying Home Insurance

10 Things You Need to Know

The online process of buying home insurance can be completed in less than 30 minutes, which is incredibly convenient for people leading busy lives. However, in the name of convenience and saving money, have we sacrificed fully safeguarding the biggest purchase most of us will make in our lives and the sentimental and personal belongings that are kept inside?

Here is a ‘good to know’ guide to buying home insurance online:

  1. Building Insurance, what does it cover? Fire damage, floods, storms, fallen trees and branches, vandalism, earthquakes or malicious damage, subsidence or impact from vehicles.
  2. Contents Insurance, what does it cover? Theft, fire damage, flood damage, vandalism. Note: If you want cover for valuables away from home this comes at an additional cost.
  3. Ensure you value your building and content accurately when buying insurance. You’re not alone. No one knows the exact value of all their belongings; it’s always going to be an estimate. If anything, overestimate. It may cost a few more pounds but it would be worth it if you had to replace everything in your house. For the buildings you need to calculate the full rebuilding cost, and that includes the cost of demolition and professional fees.  The value for insurance might be very different from a market valuation.
  4. When you buy contents insurance it is a good idea to create an inventory of your valuables. Why not make a video with your Smartphone. Describe the items whilst filming and roughly how much you paid for them. Include brand names and serial numbers as well as receipts if you have them. Then save the video in the Cloud.
  5. You MUST declare if you are planning to sub-let a room or the whole property when buying home insurance. If you do not inform your insurer it could make your buildings and/or contents policy invalid.
  6. You MUST declare if you are running any sort of business from your home when buying home insurance. Your insurer must be informed if you are running business activities from home and you can get a combined domestic and business insurance. If you are conducting a business that stores goods, welcomes clients or customers or looks after children or pets you will require specific additional insurance.
  7. When buying home or building insurance you MUST know the age of your property. New, old, listed? Part old but mostly new? If you don’t know, find out! If your property is listed it may not be covered by a standard policy.
  8. You MUST read all the exclusions. Know your home insurance policy back to front; you need to know what you’re not covered for, otherwise it is likely you will be caught out when you make a claim.
  9. Insurance for your legal liabilities. The most important liability insurance applies to personal liability (including accidents away from the home) and occupier’s liability.  This is only available if you insure your contents, so think carefully before deciding not to insure your contents.
  10. A small “box room” is still a bedroom. Do you have a small room that can barely fit a single bed in? If so, make sure you declare it on your online form. You don’t want to have a claim disputed because you didn’t.

If you have had an insurance claim disputed or rejected on the grounds of misrepresentation or underinsurance from a policy you bought online and you believe the insurer is in the wrong, get in touch with Flaxman Partners for advice and mediation or by phone 020 3972 6440

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