3 min read
Buying your first home is an exciting journey. But in all the commotion it’s easy to overlook home insurance, one of the most important aspects of home ownership.
So, we’ve put together a handy list of top home insurance tips for first time buyers.
Home insurance is divided into two types of cover: buildings and contents.
Buildings insurance covers against damage to the structure of your house as well as its fixtures and fittings. This damage can be caused by a number of things, including fire, flooding and vandalism.
Contents insurance protects your belongings, such as clothing, electronic devices or furniture, against theft, fire and flooding, amongst other things.
If you aren’t sure of the difference between the types of home insurance cover, imagine your house was turned upside down. Anything that doesn’t move falls under buildings cover and the rest would be contents.
You can buy either buildings or contents insurance individually or combine both. Combined home insurance cover usually costs less.
You can supplement your home insurance with extras to provide additional protection.
For example, you could add working from home cover. More and more people are working from home as a result of COVID and it’s important to ensure that any expensive equipment is covered.
You could also protect your home against accidental damage, such as putting your foot through the ceiling while in the attic.
And if you regularly take items such as a bike or laptop outside of your house, you might want to add away from home cover to your home insurance policy.
With so many extras available, it’s important that your home insurance policy matches your needs. AbbeyAutoline’s expert team will ensure that you purchase a policy which suits your needs.
Don’t buy the first home insurance policy you find because it may not offer the level of cover you need.
Check if your policy includes new for old (cover that replaces items with new products of equivalent value) and if it includes buildings AND contents cover. Make sure that it has all the extras you need.
You also need to ensure that the rebuild cost is enough to build your home again from scratch if the worst was to happen. Don’t leave yourself under-insured.
If you’re confused about exactly what level of cover you need, speak to a broker like AbbeyAutoline for expert advice.
Items of high value – an engagement ring, for example – might not be included in basic home insurance cover.
Insurers may cover belongings up to a certain amount or limit the amount that can be claimed against a single item.
Check the exact details with your insurer and take out separate cover if necessary.
Almost all mortgage providers will require you to have home insurance in place starting from the day you collect your keys, before they release any funds.
After all, you’re legally responsible for your home as soon as the contracts are exchanged.
Get in touch with your insurer to make a home insurance claim (if your house has been burgled, call the police for a crime reference number first).
AbbeyAutoline has a 24-hour, NI-based helpline if you need to make a claim.
You should also take pictures and videos as evidence and if you’re making repairs, ensure that your insurer agrees to these first.
Have the following items handy before you apply for a home insurance quote: the property details, your personal details, any previous claims, the security of your home, the rebuild cost and contents value.
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As Managing Director of AbbeyAutoline, Julie Gibbons leads a team of 450 experienced staff members at Northern Ireland’s largest insurance brokers. Julie describes the people of AbbeyAutoline as the backbone of the business with the company placing a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion.Living