“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are.” (Maya Angelou)
Nobody likes to pay for insurance. But when you need it, you are very grateful that you have it.
Homeowners insurance is particularly important because the loss of your home and everything in it would be devastating. So, what should you be thinking about when it comes to insuring your property and your household contents?
- Make sure that you are fully covered
If you own your own home, you need to bear in mind that you need to insure against the cost of completely rebuilding the structure. That isn’t just the house itself, but all additions to the property. That includes things like boreholes, solar panels and paved walkways.
So, if you undertake any renovations or additions, you need to revisit your policy. Don’t leave yourself at risk of being under-insured.
Also don’t rely on being insured at market value. The quality of the finishes in your home may mean that the cost of rebuilding may actually be more than you could sell it for. It is worthwhile reviewing your insured amount regularly to make sure you are covered at the right level.
- Understand what isn’t covered
Building insurance generally won’t cover maintenance issues like collapsed gutters or blocked drains. It also won’t cover structural damage that occurs because you haven’t maintained the house properly.
Don’t expect your insurer to pay up for a new roof if you have had a leak for years that you never fixed and everything eventually collapsed. And don’t expect to get money for a new swimming pool if you didn’t stop your tree roots from damaging the old one.
Your cover also won’t be valid for any extensions or buildings that weren’t council approved. So, make sure you get the proper approvals before doing any major alterations.
- Be aware of your responsibilities and those of your landlord or body corporate
If you are renting, or own a unit in a complex or estate, understand what kind of arrangement you are in.
Tenants will never be responsible for insuring the house that they live in. It is the owner’s property, and it is up to them to insure the buildings. But even if you are renting, make sure that you have insurance on the household contents – your furniture, appliances, electronics and clothes.
If you own a flat, apartment or townhouse, you are likely in a sectional title arrangement. Here, the body corporate must insure the building on your behalf as part of your monthly levy.
If you are in a freestanding house within an estate, however, it will usually be your responsibility to take out insurance.
Either way, don’t assume that the body corporate has you covered. Check who is responsible for what, and make sure that you are covered at the right level. And even if the building is insured by the body corporate, don’t neglect insuring your household contents.
To discuss your insurance needs, speak to us.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.