Choosing the best insurance plan is all about understanding what’s needed and what’s not. Most people understand the value of protection and will invest in a robust policy agreement without reading through the information.
Before signing up for any package, please take the time to read through all house insurance details as that will set things up for the future. If these details are not kept in mind, the resulting coverage will have flaws in it and that’s never a positive!
Here is a look at what it takes to choose the best insurance package.
1) Cover for Damages
Damage can relate to anything involving the property as long as it’s mentioned in the policy. In general, the agency is responsible for offering fair compensation as decided by both parties. This can include monetary compensation for a replacement, repairs, or anything else associated with the asset itself. Take the time to pay attention to this aspect of the policy before signing on the dotted line. It can make or break how well the agreement works out.
Some of the features include:
* Structural Integrity (HVAC, Foundation)
* Additional Structural Coverage (Mailbox, Driveway, Pool)
* Alternate Accommodation (Living Expenses Post-Claim)
* Personal Possessions (Air Conditioners, Fridge, Ovens)
Look for these features and make sure all “damage” is covered by the agreement. This can play a role in the overall cost associated with the plan. Speak to the representative and get a good look at what is written in the contract as this is an important step in the process.
2) Cover for Liabilities
While damages are an essential part of the agreement, it’s just as important to look at the liabilities. While digging through the house insurance details, pay attention to the liabilities and how they’re written out in the fine print. For example, if a neighbour’s car were to get damaged by a tree on your land, it is going to be your responsibility to foot the repair bill. This is often covered in the agreement along with any other type of liability caused by the building and its assets.
* General Liability Cover (Legal Liabilities, Damage to neighbour’s Property)
* Medical Payments (Bodily Harm Caused by Property)
Another example of a liability would be someone walking on your land and tripping due to ice build-up. There are countless scenarios and it is smart to take a look at the liabilities section of any policy agreement.
3) Pinpointing Add-On Features
As a home or building owner, it’s always recommended to ask for additional “add-on” features to appropriately customise the coverage. Each property has its own requirements and adjusting the agreement based on this premise is always wise.
Add-on features can include:
* Garden Features/Outbuildings (Damage/Liabilities)
* Emergency Services’ Damage (Caused by Police/Firefighters Breaking In)
* Home Emergency Cover (Unsafe Conditions)
* Freezer Assets (Stored Assets on the Property)
Each of these add-on features can prove to be useful in case there’s unwanted damage in the future. There is nothing wrong with maximising these add-on features while developing a robust insurance agreement. For example, if the property has thousands of stored items then it’s sensible to make this feature a requirement. Take the time to speak with the representative and gauge what can or cannot work. In most cases, they will be more than happy to include this feature.
4) Recognise Deductibles and Potential Increases
Deductibles are the amount one pays before the insurer’s responsibility is triggered. This can be pre-determined depending on what is written in the agreement. For example, if you were to have a deductible of $10,000, this means you would pay the first €10,000 on any repair bill that comes up. The rest would be covered by the chosen agency.
A higher deductible is going to lead to lower monthly costs. However, it is also adding the risk of a large payment when claims have to be made. There is a real balancing act here and it is smart to take this into consideration based on your financial situation.
With larger properties with regular usage (i.e. Museums), it’s always best to aim for a lower deductible and maximise the coverage. There are far too many scenarios where damage is a real possibility, therefore, seeking comprehensive protection is smart.
5) Consider Independent Review of Assets
One of the most important steps a property owner can consider is an independent review/inspection of the assets. This is a good way to get a strict figure on each asset with documented proof. If there is a claim to be made then it will go ahead smoothly with this evidence in hand. Too many property owners apply for house insurance but forget to have an inspection done. Pay attention to these details and make sure the investment is solidified. If not, it might lead to unnecessary hurdles down the road and it’s best not to deal with those issues with house insurance.
These are the most important house details to keep an eye out for while considering your options. Yes, some are going to offer lower deductibles while others will deliver a wide array of features. However, the goal should be to go with a well-rounded package that is in line with your needs. This is the only way to feel confident about how protected the property is. Remember, the goal is to build a comprehensive insurance plan that offers meaningful protection in all situations.