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May 14th, 2014 by


home insurance - Nail the Home Insurance Basics Keep your house a welcoming home by insuring the property and the possessions you have inside it. According to the Crime Report released in 2010/2011, there were 534 451 police reported-incidents of property-related crimes around South Africa including housebreakings and robberies. Additionally, there were almost 10 000 fires in private homes in one year resulting in R573 billion in damage, according to the Fire Protection Association of South Africa. There are additional risks of what the insurance world considers ‘Acts of God’ such as floods, storms and lightning strikes. House insurance is no longer a luxury but it’s a need. Whether you are a home owner or a leaseholder, you can get the most affordable and comprehensive home insurance comparisons on Compare Guru. But first, let’s master the basics.

1. What Is House Insurance? House Insurance will financially cover you if you need to repair damage or loss to the physical structure of your house. This also includes permanent fixtures in your home such as kitchen units, built-in-cupboard, toilets and baths. House insurance provides you with peace of mind that your largest asset is covered in the event that it would for example, be burnt down in a fire. Without house insurance in this example, you would lose this asset as well as still having to pay back your mortgage. You are also able to purchase a house contents insurance policy, which will financially cover you for any damage or loss to the furniture and possessions within your home. Take Note: If your property is financed by a financial institution, they require you to have homeowners insurance. However, you do not need to take your financial institutions homeowners insurance offer, you can use the same insurer you use for your car, and other valuables as they may offer you a cheaper premium for having multiple policies.

2. How Much House Insurance Do I Need? You need to ascertain whether you need buildings insurance or contents insurance or both. If you own your home, you will need buildings insurance and contents insurance. It may be cheaper to have one policy that includes both instead of having separate policies. If you’re renting, you would only need contents insurance because the integrity of the building is the landlord’s responsibility. Your insurance company needs to know the value of your property so if they need to rebuild or repair your home, they know how much to pay-out in the event of damage. The same concept applies for your contents insurer, they need to know the true value of your possessions and furniture so that they can repair or replace items if you make a claim.

3. How Do I Calculate The Value Of My Possessions and Property? The first and most important thing to look at when shopping for house insurance, you need to get the true value of your home or your possessions. You can gather a property estimated evaluation based on your rates and taxes otherwise you can get an evaluator to assess your property’s worth. You should create an inventory of your household belongings, how much they originally cost, when you purchased them and any damage they may have, but more about this later. Take Note: Keep in mind, the state of maintenance when you take out the house insurance policy will be the same value if you are to make a claim. However, if your house has not been maintained, your house insurance company may not cover your claim. On the other hand, if you renovate your home, you should notify your house insurance company to get a revaluation so that in the event of an accident or damage to your house, you are not under insured. It’s very important to be completely honest about the state of your home as well as that of your possessions so you are not left under-insured.

©Diane Moalem for Compare Guru