Congratulations! You’ve bought your first home.
While it’s an exciting time for a couple or individual when it comes to the major milestone of buying your first home, Dialdirect assures you that taking out home insurance should be the easy part.
The leading full-stack insurer has put together these essential home insurance tips to help you when you get the right cover.
How to get the most out of your household insurance
These tips will ensure you get the most out of your insurance when you need to insure a home.
1. Understand the home insurance policy you’re getting
There are different types of home insurance policies and these will differ slightly as they are often tailored for each policyholder.
This makes it important for you to understand what is being covered before purchasing homeowner’s insurance.
If you already have household insurance but you’re unsure what is covered in the policy, we strongly advise that you contact your insurer to discuss the details.
2. Home contents insurance vs buildings insurance
Homeowner’s insurance is categorised into two separate plans: interior, which is known as home contents insurance, and exterior, which is known as buildings insurance. Let’s unpack these concepts in a little more detail.
- Home contents insurance covers you for the items for which you have received a quotation and that are listed by you, as the policyholder, as valuables. Any items to which you can attribute a realistic and documented value can be recorded in your insurance policy and may include furniture, electronics, clothing or kitchen appliances.
- Buildings insurance covers the actual structural building against damage, like adverse weather conditions or accidents. This includes the windows, doors, walls and the roof, which all form part of the structure of your home, as well as your garage and any outlying buildings on your property. Building plans and documentation will come in handy for quotation purposes so Dialdirect recommends you keep these on hand.
3. Have your home evaluated regularly
Most homeowners keep their property for many years so it stands to reason that it should be valued fairly regularly because its value will increase over time due to inflation. Contact your insurer to check that your valuation and home insurance premiums are correct. Dialdirect suggests doing this annually.
4. Be aware of exclusions and limitations
Don’t wait for any unpleasant surprises. Every household insurance policy has exclusions. For instance, some insurance plans do not cover certain types of water damage. In this case, you may want to consider taking out an extended replacement cost cover for certain assets in your home.
5. Consider investing in home security
Insurance companies often make risk-based assessments based on crime statistics before putting up their household insurance premiums. You can cushion these increases by enhancing your home security. Consider installing security cameras, electrified fencing, or the latest burglar alarm system. You could even enlist the services of a private security company.
6. Keep up-to-date & review your policy
Have you made changes to your home? Perhaps you’ve redesigned the kitchen, or added on an extra bathroom? If you’ve invested in any additions to your property, you will need to increase your policy so that you’re not underinsured. Contact your insurer and update them regarding these developments so they can re-evaluate your insurance appropriately.
7. Be smart – do your homework
Keep records. It’s the smart thing to do. This will help you if you ever have to file an insurance claim. Document your quotations, receipts and contracts. Dialdirect recommends keeping an inventory of all the assets in your home and updating this regularly. There are even apps you can use to digitally record these if you don’t like too much paperwork.
8. Stay with the same insurer
Bundling car and household insurance, for instance, will help you save money. Try to keep your entire portfolio with one insurer as this will help you qualify for discounted premiums on various short-term insurance products.
Discover more about homeowners insurance
Dialdirect is a leading insurer, offering some of the best home insurance in South Africa for new and current homeowners.
The brand offers a range of household insurance options for both home contents and buildings insurance policies.
Sources: Fox Business, Bankrate, Investopedia, TechHive
Disclaimer: Dialdirect is an authorised FSP and non-life Insurer. Terms and Conditions online