Owning a home can be expensive and stressful at times. Take the recent weather, for example: many homeowners will have been very worried about the damage that might be done to their homes by the storms and torrential rain. You don’t have to worry about things like that if you rent – that’s something for your landlord to think about.
But whether you rent or own, you’ll always have possessions that you’d struggle to pay to replace if they were lost or destroyed. Indeed, many people who rented their homes had their belongings destroyed in the floods last year, and many hadn’t taken out contents insurance.
The stress of having something happen to your home or belongings can be huge, but it can be alleviated if you take out adequate home insurance.
When you apply for a home insurance policy, the insurers who give you a quote for your premiums will assess several factors that are relevant to how likely you may be to make a claim against that insurance at some point in the future. These risks are weighed up using lots of statistics and data from research carried out by the insurance industry – for example, it’s a known fact that people who smoke and drink are more likely than non-smokers and teetotallers to suffer a house fire. By assessing these risks, insurers will either offer a good level of cover but perhaps for a high price, or will offer very basic cover with plenty of exclusions for a very cheap premium. That’s why it’s important to look behind the premiums you’ve been offered to make sure that any insurance you take out will actually pay for what you’d need it to pay.
If you have to make a claim, an assessor from the insurance company will visit your home and look at the damage. They may also need to speak to the fire brigade if there was a house fire, to establish how the fire was started (that’s because sometimes people deliberately set fire to their house to make a claim under their insurance). If it appears that any damage was caused because of a lack of basic maintenance and repair to your house, then they are unlikely to pay the whole claim, and may not pay anything at all. It’s therefore important to keep your house in good order and make any necessary repairs that are required as a result of age or general wear-and-tear.
Make sure that you have enough cover available to pay to replace all your contents if necessary, and to pay for your home to be rebuilt if it were destroyed. AXA home insurance cover offers a really good basic package with buildings insurance covering up to £500,000 (or £1million, depending on the level you choose) with free liability cover and garden cover included plus access to a free legal advice phone line. AXA home insurance cover for your contents starts at £65,000 (increasing to £85,000 depending on the level of cover you choose) and pays on a new-for-old basis. Optional extras like accidental damage cover can be taken if you feel you might need it, or rejected if you want to keep your premiums low – the choice is yours.