Household Contents Insurance & What to Expect from a Home Insurance Claim

Inspecting Home Insurance Claims

It is a wise decision to invest in home contents insurance that will provide coverage for your possessions against theft, fire, and other types of risks, including accidental damage. If something should happen that damages or destroys your valuables, it may cost a significant amount to replace these items, and many of these might be essential.

Here is more information on what home contents insurance typically covers, tips on choosing the right policy, and potential issues that can arise when making insurance claims. Learn more at about the types of cover options that allow claims.

What Is Home Contents Insurance?

Home contents insurance is a policy that provides coverage against damage, theft, or loss to your home and personal possessions. These policies can also provide coverage for items that you take out of your home when you go on a holiday, as an example.
This type of insurance will cover your personal possessions and the items of family members that live with you. It usually won’t cover items of value for any person that is only staying in your house temporarily. It is not mandatory to invest in this type of insurance. However, it is regarded as wise since if any of the contents in your home are damaged, stolen, or lost, you will be forced to buy new items to replace these valuables.

What Can You Expect From Policy

The policy that you decide on should cover any damages that result from a fire, theft, storms, or flooding. You may need to pay in extra to cover any accidental damage or loss to your items of value. This might be a worthwhile consideration when you have pets or children.

With home contents insurance you can also expect to pay more to cover any items that you plan to take out of the home such as jewellery or a camera. Your policy also may not include the food that you keep in your freezer or your mobile phone. There also may be upper limits on single items.

Many of these policies also carry an “excess”. This will mean that you are not covered under a certain amount. The standard excess is anything from £50 and £100.

Many of these policies also provide what is known as “new for old” cover. This will mean that you will receive a replacement cost in full for items that are damaged, stolen, or lost. However, certain policies only offer an amount that the item is worth currently when you claim. You need to ensure that you understand what the policy offers to replace when deciding on what is best for your needs.

Home contents insurance may also pay out a lump sum should you die from an accident, theft, or fire in your home. These policies also provide coverage is someone dies or is injured while visiting you.

Do You Need Contents Cover When Renting?

If you currently rent a property, it is important to establish whether you need to insure contents that belong to the landlord. You may be held liable to replace items if they are damaged or lost.

What You Need To Know About Taking Out A Policy

Before you decide on a policy, the first step involves figuring out the amount of coverage that you need, which is based on a cost to replace all the items that belong to you. Many homeowners make the mistake of under-insuring themselves, which is why it is important to include all types of items, from flooring or carpeting to all the items in your shed or garage. You should also obtain numerous quotes before you decide on the right policy.

Bedroom Rated And Sum-Insured Policies

Policies for home insurance contents are typically worked on the rooms in a home. This policy is known as a bedroom-rated policy. The policy can also be worked out on the value of the possessions and contents that you own. This policy is known as a sum-insured policy.

Your premium may work out higher when you take out a bedroom-rated policy, yet these typically provide more cover.

It is important to compare the following:
  • What each of the policies covers along with any exclusions
  • The premium amount you are expected to pay
  • The excess amount you will need to pay in yourself
  • The no-claims bonus that should increase every year provided you do not make any claims
  • Any additional conditions such as leaving your house unoccupied (over a long period)

It is also important to provide the insurer with all the information that they need, which could affect their final decision to provide you with insurance, and the amount they plan to charge. You should also let the insurer know about any changes to your current circumstances.

Issues With Insurance Claims

If you made the mistake of underinsuring yourself, your insurer might only pay out a portion of a claim. There may be limits in place according to what you are able to claim for on single items.

If your insurance does not include a “new for old” policy, your items are not covered for general wear-and-tear for that item. Your policy may state that the insurer will offer replacement items as opposed to a monetary value to replace the item. If a single item from a set such as a lounge suit is damaged, it may be difficult or impossible to find a replacement that matches the set. In these events, an insurer should pay out an amount towards the item that was damaged, along with the items that were undamaged.

How To Prepare And What To Expect From A Home Inspection

If you have just bought a new home and you need insurance, the first thing to consider is to work out what to insure the home for. Many people use the purchase price of the home to work out how much coverage they need. However, this value is often inaccurate. To ensure that you are investing in the right home insurance policy, the insurance provider will carry out an inspection of your home to help you decide on an accurate value and to make sure you have the correct level of insurance.

The Advantages Of A Home Insurance Inspection

There are 3 advantages that home inspections often provide:

  • To begin with, it helps you to identify any potential risks which could cause losses or safety risks. This helps you to address these issues in order to avoid making a claim.
  • Secondly, it can help you to find areas around your home where you may be eligible for a discount on the policy.
  • Thirdly, an inspection can ensure that that the value of the insured dwelling isn’t too low or high.
  • What Does an Inspector Look For?

    Inspectors for home insurance look for 3 main things when inspecting homes. They first look for any areas where you can increase safety or security. These searches typically including finding liability risks that have to do with how you have maintained the property or potential fire-hazards.

    If your house contains clutter (unusual amounts), indicates signals of water damage (old), or has mould, the inspector will note these issues. If you have an issue that you plan to fix, rather let the inspector know, as this can help when working out your premium.

    Home insurance inspectors will also measure the building and look for any special features, along with inspecting the types of materials that were used to construct your home. For example, they will note features such as high ceilings, additional structures, specialty, or marble floors.

    Thirdly they will also check on any updates made to your rood, windows, heating, plumbing, and your electrical system.

    Tips On How To Prepare For Your Home Inspection

    You should try to prepare your home in advance for your inspection. Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind:

    • Provide documentation that shows the square footage and measurements of the home
    • Details that show the costs involved for any interior-design work or renovations
    • Information on your water sensors, alarm system, water-prevention devices, or any other security features (this may help you to get a discount on your premium)
    • List any updates made to your electrical system, heating, plumbing, roof, or windows

    You should also ensure that your house is clean and tidy by hiring a professional cleaner. Examine your living areas and think about accident prevention and any fire hazards. For example, make sure all your walking areas are kept clear so that people are able to walk around safely.

    What Should You Do After Your Inspection

    After a home inspection, the insurance company may send you recommendations. These are suggestions to help you to avoid making a claim. Recommendations are usually either requirements or suggestions on how to improve your property to make it safer. You should read over these suggestions with care. Your policy may be cancelled should you fail to complete any of the requirements. If you feel that any of the suggestions are unreasonable, you can negotiate with the insurance provider.