21 FAQ’s On Home Insurance

Recently purchased a home? We want to make sure you know what is important with these 21 FAQ’s on Home Insurance.
U
Compare
Guru
Published: Friday, January 16th 2015
General
1. How do I submit a claim?

These days, most insurance providers have Websites and provide you with the option of submitting a claim online by answering a few simple questions. Alternatively, you can give an agent a call. There is also usually a number that you can call in the event of an emergency that takes place after hours.

2. What is the claim notification period?

This differs depending on the provider but is usually around 30 days. Despite this, the claim is generally settled in one or two days.

3. What is my responsibility as a new home owner?

  • Quality of construction of new home (obtain advice on structural quality, must comply with local authority requirements, identify replacement costs of building and improvements from property experts)
  • Keep home in good condition (regular maintenance)
  • Read policy schedule and wording (be sure to understand T’s and C’s and insurance terminology)

4. Does my policy cover maintenance-related issues?

No. Your home insurance policy is meant to provide cover against sudden, unexpected occurrences, such as: theft, fire, and/or acts of nature. A claim will not be considered if the loss or damage was as a result of the property not being sufficiently looked after.

5. What is the market value of my property?

It is the retail selling price or purchase price of the property.

6. What is the replacement value or sum insured of my property?

This is the amount it would cost to replace/rebuild/restore your house to its original condition at the time at which the damage took place, bearing in mind the cost of new materials at current prices. This is not based on market value and includes professional’s fees. Yu are responsible for ensuring that your property is covered for the correct and full replacement amount. This value will increase annually as the prices of materials increase.

7. What does it mean to be underinsured?

This means that you do not have an adequate amount of insurance to cover your full replacement value. Should this be the case, you will be responsible to pay the difference.

8. What happens if the value of my property changes/I make improvements to my private residence?

This changes the replacement cost of the property. For this reason, you need to be sure to inform your insurance provider immediately in order to guarantee that you are adequately covered.

9. What happens if my policy information changes?

As mentioned above, you need to inform your insurer of any changes you think may affect your policy. This includes:

  • Changes in postal address/contact details
  • Change in situation that could affect risk of loss, damage, and/or liability
  • Additions/alteration to property
  • Change of use of building

10. What about excess?

Excess is the specified amount you are liable to pay in the event of a claim being settled. This applies to each and every claim; even in the event that the loss/damage was not your fault. You will be required to pay the applicable excess before the repairs will start. Excess amounts usually vary according to the claim, although a fixed amount can be agreed upon – usually in the form of a percentage of the claim. It should be noted that you can choose to select a higher voluntary excess amount which will then result in a lower premium and vice versa.

11. Do providers have a list of preferred suppliers?

Usually, yes. This is due to the fact that providers are then able to guarantee the quality of workmanship of the suppliers as well as offer a warranty on the work done. In the event that you wish to use a supplier of your own choice, you will be responsible for the cost and the quality of workmanship may not be guaranteed.

12. What do I do if I am not satisfied with my insurer’s services?

In the event that you are not happy with your insurance provider, you should issue a complaint in writing or over the phone. You will be required to supply the relevant information, usually in the form of your policy number, claim number and identity number. Once having processed your complaint, you should receive a reference number which you can make use of from that point onwards. Should you wish to cancel your policy, you will usually have to pay out the rest of your bond before you will be able to end your contract. Otherwise, you can transfer to another provider by supplying proof of documentation of the alternate policy you wish to take out.

13. How do I determine the value of the contents in my house?

Some insurance companies provide an inventory as well as specialist advisors to assist you in determining the value of your goods. You then need to calculate the replacement value of each item and add it all together.

14. Will my goods be covered when I am moving?

You usually need to take out an extra policy to achieve this sort of coverage.

15. What happens if I undervalue my contents?

You will carry part of the risk should any loss/damage occur.

16. What does a home insurance policy typically cover?

Damage to physical structure of private residence/domestic outbuildings, identified as risk situation in policy and where structure is built according to National Building Regulations and is constructed as indicated in policy.

17. What is subsidence and landslip cover?

Subsidence is the gradual movement of land from causes non-related to buildings. A landslip is a downward/sideways movement of slopping ground resulting from stresses and loading exceeding available strength of ground.

18. If I stay in a rented flat, can I still get household contents insurance?

Yes, as long as your address is correctly specified in your policy schedule and all the necessary information has been supplied and is correctly reflected. Remember to notify your insurer if/when you decide to move.

19. If I claim under my policy, will I have to supply invoices/receipts for lost/damaged goods?

Unfortunately, in most instances, yes. This is to verify that you do (/did) in fact own the goods, that the value is correct and that the exact details are the same (i.e.: make and model, etc.). Not everyone is as honest as we would like but providers are usually realistic in considering the value and age of the item before requesting proof of ownership. Where you can, however, keep your slips!

20. If I cannot afford my premium this month, can I pay double next month?

No. You will not be covered for the period of time in which you fail to pay your premium.

21. Can I insure two addresses under one policy?

No. Each property involves different risks and will therefore generate different premiums.

  Click here to apply for affordable home insurance.