Home Insurance – FAQ’s

There are many people who do not fully understand what Home Insurance is or what it can offer. Here are a few questions that are typically asked and what answers our trained advisor’s would give you.

What is the difference between buildings and contents cover?

Buildings – Covers the structure of your home against loss or damage caused by fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake, flood, storm, escape of water from fixed water or fixed heating systems, theft or attempted theft, vandalism, riot and civil commotion, subsidence, or impact.

Contents – Covers the contents of your home against all of the above also. This covers everything you would take with you if you moved home. That typically includes furniture, household goods, food and drink, TVs, computers, clothing and valuables, usually up to a stated limit.

How much should I insure my home for?

Your buildings insurance should cover the full rebuilding cost of your home (including garages and outbuildings), and not the market value which could be very different.

Do I pay an excess if I make a claim?

Yes, you will need to pay an excess if you make a claim on your policy. The excess amount will be shown on your certificate of insurance.

What should I do if I need to make a claim?

Every Insurance company will have a claims helpline and their number will be found in the claims section of the policy documents. Call this number in the event of a claim and you will be talked through the appropriate steps to take.

Can I increase the sum covered at a later date?

Once you’ve bought a satisfactory policy it’s essential that your cover remains up to date and adequate. Most insurers automatically index-link your sum insured to take into account changes in rebuilding costs – but double-check that yours does.

Also, if you improve your home – perhaps by installing central heating or building an extension, tell your insurer. The sum insured will probably need to be adjusted upwards.

What does ‘new for old’ mean?

New for old’ is used to indicate that deductions are not made for wear and tear depreciation when you claim on your contents insurance policy.  This means that if you have to claim on your home insurance for theft, fire, flooding or any other unforeseen circumstance, your existing ‘old’ possessions will be replaced with ‘new’ ones, regardless of any wear and tear that may have occurred during the time that you’ve owned them. Most items are covered, with the exceptions of clothing, household linens and carpets that are over 5 years old

Do I need house insurance if I rent my home?

Buildings insurance is your responsibility only if you own the property. If you rent – it’s your landlord’s issue.

However, you may like to cover the contents of the property for your own peace of mind. Your landlord does not arrange this, you will have to arrange it yourself. The policy pays out if any of your home contents are lost or damaged. Claims are usually made after a burglary or a fire, but a policy should also pay if your possessions are damaged or lost as a result of an explosion, leaks or if your home is vandalised.


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