What all homeowners should know

For the vast majority of us, a house will be by far the biggest purchase that we ever make. Owning a property is obviously a wonderful experience and is likely to prove a shrewd investment in the long term, but the financial commitments involved can be somewhat daunting. One of the most crucial ways to protect yourself against unexpected (and unwelcome) bills and costs is to invest in adequate house insurance. If you’re new to the world of home ownership and insurance, our quick guide will give you everything you need to know to get started!

You’ll purchase a home insurance policy from an insurer, and in return they will cover the cost of any unexpected mishaps or damage that befalls your property. A good policy will cover everything from, say, fairly minor damage to your roof due to strong winds right through to severe incidents, such as a major fire. Clearly, we all hope and wish that nothing serious will ever happen to us, but it’s extremely important that we are insured to cover such eventualities. The last thing you would want at such a difficult time is to have your emotional and physical distress compounded by financial misery. It’s absolutely crucial that you carefully review your policy in advance of committing to purchase it to ensure that it covers you adequately.

So, you’ve made the sensible decision to purchase a policy. Where’s the best place to buy? In this day and age, most people look to the internet as their first port of call for purchasing insurance, and it’s not difficult to see why. Price comparison websites (you know, the ones with the annoying adverts) will quickly provide you with a pretty comprehensive list of home insurance quotes, and then it’s down to you to pick which one you prefer. Don’t automatically think the policy that has the lowest price is necessarily the best for you. Paying even a little bit more may get you much better coverage. You could also go on major insurance providers’ website such as http://www.swiftcover.com.

There’s still a good number of independent high street insurance brokers out there as well. They’ll complete a search of the available policies similar to the comparison websites, and then recommend which they think is the best one for you. Yes, it’s usually a bit more expensive (although the price difference often isn’t as big as you think) but lots of us still prefer the personal touch, and it can be reassuring to have some experts just a phone call or a short drive away that you can consult if you need further advice.

Home contents insurance covers damage to the possessions that you keep in your property. Many policies now include home contents cover as part of the main house insurance policy, but this is not a given, so make sure you study all the details of your prospective purchase carefully (remember what we said about the lowest price not necessarily being the best?). Always be sure to declare to your insurer any items you might own of particular value, for example, jewelry  musical instruments, expensive television equipment and so on. If you don’t tell them, at best you won’t be covered if that particular item is damaged, and at worst it may invalidate your whole policy.

Home insurance might not be the most fun or inspiring aspect of home ownership, but as you can see, you ignore it at your peril. Maybe the best way to think about it is as a necessary cost to maximize your enjoyment of owning a home. So, shop around, get a great policy at a great price, and then sit back and enjoy the pleasure of owning your own property!

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