Losing items can be upsetting especially if the items lost are valuable or had sentimental value. Even though most people would prefer to avoid making a home insurance claim, having an insurance policy is important and it can give great peace of mind.
Knowing what the policy actually covers is important, as home insurance can easily be misunderstood which could create problems in the future for the policyholder. This guide can help you better understand your home insurance policy and what it may cover.
What does buildings insurance covers?
Buildings Insurance covers your home’s entire structure, including the roof, ceilings, floors, doors, windows and walls. It may also include permanent fixtures like fitted kitchens and certain outdoor structures like greenhouses depending on your policy. In the event of a fire, explosion, vandalism, storm, flood, subsidence or theft; your standard buildings insurance policy should cover the full cost of repair.
However, you need to know the estimated value of the entire repair costs when considering buildings insurance, to ensure that in the event of a claim you are fully covered.
What does contents insurance include?
Contents insurance includes household items, including but not limited to electrical appliances, household goods, personal items, furniture and valuables. A standard policy will provide protection for theft, vandalism, fire and water damage.
It’s important to understand that if you make a claim on your contents insurance, there may be a ‘single article limit’ that applies to your policy, which means there’s a limit that can be paid for any item that’s damaged or stolen. This can vary depending on the item type and the policy.
Your home insurance policy
There are several things that you need to check before making a home insurance claim. These includes any exclusions the policy may have as well as any additional payments that the policy may require. We’ve listed few points to check below.
Maintenance exclusion is one you should be aware of. An example of this is the normal wear and tear of your property. Many home insurance polices will not be able to cover this. However, if a fire or storm is the cause of the damage, you should be able to make a claim against these type of disasters. These are the sort of things you need to look out for when considering a home insurance policy.
Other exclusions may include such things as breakdown of electric appliances, the regular wear and tear of your furniture, faulty construction resulting in damage to fences, gates etc.
Things to consider while making a Home Insurance Claim
It’s vital that you regularly check and maintain your property and let the insurer know right away if you’re going to file a claim. This can allow you to recover most of the repair costs if done early.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s usually an excess payment when you make a claim. The compulsory excess is set by your insurance provider and is fixed, while voluntary excess is the amount you agree to contribute when making a home insurance claim. Check with your provider to know what your excesses are for your home insurance policy.
You can also add a number of extras to your policy. If your property is in a high-risk area, you may need to check if your policy has cover for subsidence and flood damage. Although this could cost you more, you’ll have a peace of mind knowing that your property is fully protected.
Always read the fine print
Reading the small print can be tedious, but it is important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Reading your policy documents thoroughly will help protect you, and will enable you to understand the benefits, exclusions and limitations of your cover.
Making a Home Insurance Claim
There are a number of steps you need to take when making a claim. Firstly, you need to read your policy document and determine if the issue you are having is covered by your policy. You also need to check if there are any excesses, as well as keeping in mind any other pertinent information.
You can contact your insurance provider by phone or through their website whenever you need to make a home insurance claim. The majority of insurance providers have a page with a form specifically designed for making claims. This will allow you to send all the necessary information that they require from you. Make sure you do not leave out any important details when making a claim.
If there has been severe damage to your property, then your insurance provider may appoint a loss adjuster to assess the situation. They will assist you in making a list of damaged items, as well as estimating the value of those items before they were damaged. If the property has structural damage and is unstable, your insurance provider may assign a structural engineer to assess the extent of the damage on the property.
If it’s a simple claim such as a lost item or a leak in the home, the process won’t be nearly as complicated, and other parties like loss adjusters and engineers generally won’t need to be involved.
The entire process of making a home insurance claim varies as each case is different. It could take weeks or in some cases months to complete. And it will depend on the severity of the property damage and the number of items damaged or lost.
By providing all the information your insurer needs, it can help speed up the entire process. It means they may not need to contact you for additional information that they may require.