When you’re settled into your home, with your home décor finally the way you want it and all those little DIY jobs finally taken care of, you just know that something is bound to happen to disturb your precious tranquillity.
That something could be anything but if it’s a burst water main, a partially collapsed roof or a small electrical fire, you know you’re going to be saddled with a lot of paperwork to claim your insurance. But what if you don’t have insurance, what if you just never got around to renewing that policy?
In this article we look at the absolute essential elements of insurance that will protect you and your home and make getting that mess cleaned up, quick and easy.
Get To Know Your Policy
It sounds so simple but so many people do not know exactly what their policies cover and wind up out of pocket because their policy doesn’t cover everything they would it expect to.
For example, if you suffered a burst water main. Your policy might cover the Water Damage Cleanup but not the cost of repairing or replacing the broken pipe.
No two policies are alike so what was covered in your existing agreement, might not be in the new one and vice versa. Make sure you read all the small print and get the cover you want.
Know The Real Value of Your Home and Possessions
It’s all too common for policyholders to underestimate how much their possessions are worth. Remember, you’re looking at replacing as new so even if your laptop is an older model that’s no longer made anymore think about how much it would cost to replace it with its modern equivalent. The same goes for furniture and of course white goods such as washing machines, dryers and so on.
If you’re very organised you will have kept receipts but in any case, make sure to take photographs of your possessions, particularly the more valuable items.
The best way to make sure you’re most treasured possessions stay safe is, of course, to keep them in a safe place so avoid storing things in a shed or outside building.
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Keep Estimates Updated
If you have insurance that would cover a total rebuild of your home bear in mind that these estimations can change year on year. It’s well worth revisiting your quote with up to date information. This same logic can also be applied to your contents, so make sure your estimate from five years ago has been updated to reflect modern prices.
Avoid Very Special Offers
If you’re going through a broker to obtain your insurance, chances are you’ll be offered some pretty sweet details to persuade you to sign on the dotted line.
The problem is you’ll also be pitched items you’re told are essential, but which aren’t. You’ll need to spend some time doing some online research to determine what it is you do want so you can filter out the extras you don’t need and avoid paying overly hefty premiums.
Think Electronic Possession
With insurance we very often think about the physical items we own but for so many of us, our lives are lead electronically. If you’ve got hundreds of movies downloaded somewhere, for example on a hard drive, they too carry value. If you insurer is not prepared to consider them something that should be covered, then you might need to shop around for an insurer who does.
Do Something When You Can
Calling on your insurance should be a last resort and hopefully doesn’t mean that the worst has happened. Instead, if you do spot a leak, or some wiring that needs some attention, deal with it as soon as possible.
Allowing a problem to get worse can be costly and problematic in the long run.
Smarten Up Your Security
As we talked about up post, the best option is to keep your home and your valuables as safe as you can, so make sure to have a thorough review of your security options.
Check that your windows are secure and lockable and that you know where the keys are kept. Look out for any signs of wear and tear that might leave them with vulnerable areas and make sure you can open and close them properly. The same for your doors, particularly any sliding or patio doors that can develop weak points as they age.
If you don’t have an intruder alarm then consider having one installed, along with cameras and outside security lights. While all this can appear a little heavy handed it has the double effect of keeping your property secure and helping to reduce your monthly or yearly premiums.
Lastly, as time consuming as it is to get a policy done and dusted, it’s far too easy to wind up with the wrong one that doesn’t cover your basic and especially your more individual needs. Shop around, both online and in person.
Talk to a broker but also to individual companies and find a policy that covers you in all eventualities and the needs of your property. Don’t be afraid to negotiate extra cover if, as an example, you travel abroad regularly, and are looking for your valuables to be covered in your policy or if you live in area that is prone to unpredictable weather.
Your home is your sanctuary and your retreat and with any luck, the worst will never happen but should it, make sure you have peace of mind with the knowledge that you have a policy ready to pick up the pieces and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.
Read the small print, shop around and make sure you have up to date estimations for both your structural renovations as well as your contents. Act to put measures in place that help prevent problems before they occur. Then you can put your feet up, safe in the knowledge that you, your family and your home are well taken care of.