A home represents years of work to build up precious possessions and investment in the future. It makes sense to take some precautions in the event of losing such valuable assets. Home and contents insurance can buy peace of mind. Fire, earthquake and flood are the big events which can take everything from us, but there are smaller events which insurance can also cover – burglary, broken windows, accidental kitchen, bathroom and laundry overflows. Some insurance policies also cover your outdoor furniture, the loss of valuable jewellery while out, or golf clubs taken from a car. There is plenty of choice amongst insurance companies and affordable insurance options to suit any requirement.
When deciding what insurance company to buy from, it pays to first look at its credit rating. Ask the representative what their company’s rating is and compare it with other companies. This is an important factor to consider because the rating will tell you whether the company is likely to be able to pay out readily if you have a claim.
The second step is to look at the representation the company has. Does the company have representatives in your residential area, or close to it, so that you can have easy access if you want to make a claim? Is it possible to make a claim with the company over the phone or internet?
Price is a major factor when buying any product and insurance is no different. The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ applies. Check the policies you are offered given the coverage you require. Sometimes, a cheap product offers less coverage, or the price could reflect a lack of access to representation or the company’s credit rating. When selecting cover, ensure you fully understand all the policy’s exclusions.
Affordability is also important. Often, insurance companies will offer flexible payment options such as monthly or quarterly payments. Another way to reduce premiums is to ask if the company gives a ‘multiple’ discount if you put all your insurance, including motor vehicle and/or business insurance, with the one company.
At this time of the year, it is likely that you have acquired new possessions, such as jewellery and other Christmas presents. Make sure you have updated your existing policy to include these new items. Often these items will only be covered up to a certain amount unless they are individually recorded. Make it a habit to get regular valuations with a photo attached to file away with your policy.