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Peace of mind at the right price: top tips for insuring your home

8 October 2019


It’s easy to think of home insurance as just another box to tick on a list of mortgage requirements, but it could save you a lot of grief down the line.

When considering unwanted visitors like Storms Ophelia and Hector, or the fact that there is a burglary every 31 minutes in Ireland1, there’s peace of mind in knowing you’re covered whatever happens.

Your home should be a place of comfort, reassurance and safety. The right cover for you adds a layer of protection to that sanctuary. And, rather than writing off your premium as a money drain, a proactive approach can reframe it as a chance to save.

For example, there’s a misconception that you are obliged to take out insurance with the bank supplying your mortgage2. In actual fact, you’re free to shop around, cutting your costs with cover tailored to your needs. Consider the benefits on offer from providers in the market and the excess amount should you need to make a claim.

It’ll cost you less than your car insurance, but the process can seem a little more daunting. We’ve some key tips for finding the right plan with the least amount of stress.

What are you covering?

Generally, you will be looking at two areas: the property and its contents.

Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing the structure itself (taking into account sheds, fences, pipes, cables, etc). Key takeaways:

  • Be sure to only cover the cost to completely rebuild your home rather than market value (which is always far more). The Society of Chartered Surveyors have a handy calculator to figure out this rebuild cost3.
  • Factor in any property upgrades, which bump up the cost to rebuild your home.
  • Installing appropriate burglar and smoke alarms instantly lowers your risk of incident and, as a result, means lower premiums. More importantly, it’s preventative! Homes with a monitored alarm, for example, are four times safer from burglary.

A home is more than a house

In the unfortunate event of an accident or theft, any loss of belongings is likely to be as upsetting as structural damage (even more so when sentimental value comes into play).

Jewellery and cash are the most common items stolen in Irish burglaries. Along with TVs, games consoles and more; it adds up to an average loss of €600.

That’s where contents insurance comes in. Things like household goods, furniture and furnishings, cash, clothing and other personal effects (things you wear or carry on your person) will be covered. Some pointers:

  • Taking an annual room-by-room inventory is the best way to make sure you’re totally covered.
  • Taking photos of items and hanging on to receipts will make it easier to claim.
  • Consider the “as new” cost: your TV might have fallen in value but you’ll likely be replacing it with a new model.

Permanent tsb has Home and Contents Insurance for combined cover, which offers reassurance and essential services. That includes emergency home assistance cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Any costs of this assistance up to €300 are not recorded as claims, leaving your bonus unaffected.

What if I own an apartment?

If your apartment complex is already covered structurally, a Contents Cover plan will take care of your belongings.

And renters?

You’ll need to take out your own policy for personal belongings – just because your landlord is insured, doesn’t mean you are. To protect your valuables, permanent tsb has Renters Insurance. It will also travel with you from property to property, but do inform your insurer anytime you move.

Anything else I may be missing?

Try to provide as much information as you can to avoid invalidating a claim. So, if you’ve become an Airbnb host, let your insurer know. Be mindful of oversights. Declare any previous claim even if it was on a different property.

Finally, accidents can happen anywhere. Permanent tsb offer optional “All Risks” cover which is there to insure against accidental damage to contents inside and outside the home (within certain limits). You can either specify items by value or opt for an unspecified risk value. This is an optional extra where you can claim on various personal affects (mobile phones, medication, glasses, wallet, hearing aids, dentures, etc) with no excess charge*. Worth thinking about when 1 in 5 claims are for exactly those kinds of instances!

 *Full list of items that can be claimed for an unspecified add on can be obtained from your insurance company.

Permanent tsb Home and Contents Insurance is arranged by permanenttsb and underwritten by Allianz p.l.c. permanent tsb p.l.c. is a Single Agency Intermediary of Allianz p.l.c. for Home and Contents Insurance. permanent tsb p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Allianz p.l.c. (trading as Allianz) is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The content of this blog does not constitute advice and is for general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice before relying on anything stated in the blog. Some of the links above bring you to external websites. Your use of an external website is subject to the terms of that site

Sources

  1. PhoneWatch
  2. Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPCC)
  3. Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland

 


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