Home Insurance for Homeowners
It's the place you live, the place you keep all your most important possessions, and it's also your most valuable asset. Is your home fully insured for all potential problems? Don't risk losing everything - check our top 5 home insurance tips for homeowners, and make sure you have the best home insurance policy for your needs.
1. Make sure you're fully covered
Yes, your mortgage is expensive. But don't be tempted to save money by scrimping on your home building and contents insurance. If disaster strikes, you certainly won't want to be paying a mortgage on something that no longer exists.
Use an online calculator to check you're not underinsured. Your buildings insurance should cover you for somewhere to stay while you're rebuilding, removal of debris and public liability. You'd be surprised how much it would cost to refurnish your house - and don't forget your prized music collection, IT and home entertainment systems.
2. Get a policy that suits you
Make sure your policy is flexible - that way you can tailor it to suit you and save money on your premium. Lower your premium by increasing your excess, or choose from optional extras like motor burnout damage and accidental loss.
3. Know exactly what you're covered for
Don't wait until disaster strikes before you read the fine print. For example, some home insurance policies don't cover flood damage, and some will only replace your contents at their market value. Look for a 'new for old' policy - so you don't have to buy a second-hand laptop if yours is stolen.
4. Be realistic - and be honest
Each policy premium is based on your risk assessment. That means you have to be honest about your home - how secure is it, what is it made from, where is it located? Small fibs now could lead to big delays if you need to make a claim. And think about the true cost of rebuilding your home. Would you want to get an architect in? What about landscaping?
5. What if I live in an apartment?
If you own an apartment, your body corporate or strata scheme should have buildings insurance. But you still need to make sure your contents are covered for damage or theft. And if you rent your home out, make sure your insurer knows. You may need to take out landlord's insurance instead - which will also cover you on rent defaults.
Remember that when disasters strike, the cost of building and materials can go up. Many homeowners had to wait for over a year to start building after the Canberra bushfires. So don't take any risks - make sure you cover your home, and then you can relax and enjoy making it your very own.