Home Insurance Adviser Hitchin

Why do I need Home Insurance?

Thursday 2 December, 2021

At Fortune Financial in Hitchin, we understand the unique and exceptional importance of your home to you. However, despite the protection put in place to keep our homes safe, we cannot entirely eliminate risks like theft, fire and flooding. Home Insurance is a safety net for you and your family should the worst happen.

What is buildings insurance?

Buildings Insurance covers the structure of a property including floors, walls, fixtures, and fittings. This protection can also cover alternative accommodation whilst work is going on. Depending on the provider, your coverage may vary. We suggest thoroughly reading the policy documents to ensure you’re not in the dark about your buildings insurance.

Why do I need Buildings Insurance?

Most mortgage lenders will insist that Buildings Insurance is in place for exchange of contracts. This is not only to protect you, but to protect them, as it's their money that is secured against the property you are buying.

If you own a flat, the freehold building that your flat is a part of may be insured by the landlord of the building. You should always check this to see if you need to arrange your own separate cover.

If you are renting you won’t need to take out buildings cover, as the structure of the property is normally the responsibility of your landlord. However, you should check your tenancy agreement to make sure this is not a condition of the agreement.

What is Contents Insurance?

Contents Insurance offers you cover for your personal belongings – everything you’d take with you if you moved home. While Contents Insurance isn’t compulsory, ask yourself what you’d do if everything you own – your clothes, furniture and gadgets were destroyed. Replacing everything could be extremely costly.

You're probably thinking ‘how am I going to work out the overall value of my contents?’. Firstly, we would suggest going from room to room and making a list of your possessions. Then, estimate how much these items would be to replace. There are lots of Contents Insurance calculators online if you need a hand. As with most insurances across the board, there are some extra covers that you can take alongside contents cover to help protect you further.

Your belongings make your home complete, it makes sense to protect them.

What is Accidental Damage cover?

As the saying goes: “accidents happen”, and they often do, particularly around the home.

Usually, accidental damage relates to a one-off incident that causes damage to your home or its contents - knocking a glass of red wine over your brand new, cream carpet, or dropping your laptop and damaging it’s screen. These are just a few scenarios where you may need to claim. However, they are not always included in your basic insurance policy. Making the decision to extend your cover could be a game changer.

You can also take Accidental Damage cover as part of your Buildings Insurance, this should see you covered if you’re hanging a picture on the wall and mistakenly hammer a nail through a water pipe. Believe me it does happen!

All providers have their own list of what is covered and what isn’t so please check through the policy documents or speak to a home insurance adviser to help you clarify this.

What is Home Emergency cover?

Home emergency cover is designed to protect against the unexpected. It’s the kind of policy you hope you never have to use.

It’s not essential, and will cost you a little extra, but it could be worth considering if you’d be left in the lurch after a broken boiler, a power cut or a burst pipe in the middle of the night. The costs surrounding these unexpected issues could be substantial.

If you’re a tenant, you will not need home emergency cover. It’s your landlord’s responsibility to keep everything in order and fix any issues. We would suggest double checking that they have this area covered, just in case they do expect you to cover certain emergencies.

What is Legal Cover?

Legal cover is a useful extra if you’re a homeowner – there are all sorts of legal costs you might run into throughout the course of your ownership.

Nobody wants to get stuck in a legal dispute and you never know when you might be on the wrong end of an unfair situation. Legal cover can’t make the process any easier, but it can save you money.

Some providers do cover this as part of their policy but this does not apply to all, and will likely come as an additional cost.

Some of the areas that can be covered can range from Consumer Pursuits, Consumer Defence, Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Employments Disputes and many more. Providers do vary from one to another so always check your policy.

What are High Risk Items?

When it comes to the items in your home, some of your belongings are a lot more attractive than others to thieves. This puts them at a higher risk of being stolen.

These types of items are formally labelled as high-risk items in home insurance terms. A home insurance policy usually asks the policy holder to specify items of high value. You should specify these items and state how much these are worth.

It’s really important to not ignore this part of the policy. Most home insurers will put limits on how much they are willing to pay out for a single item and as that price could be as low as £1,000 (depending on the provider), you should always make sure you’re taking steps to ensure these items are fully covered.

Typical high-risk items can include:

Antiques, jewellery, paintings and artwork, watches and clocks, musical instruments, furs and valuable clothing items, stamp, coin and medal collections or anything that is considered to be rare or a collectible.

Are you worried about your existing Home Insurance policy?

Discussing just what Home Insurance covers with our clients in and around Hitchin and Hertfordshire has given them the insight to evaluate how best to protect their homes, properties and belongings.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our blog, there is so much to cover! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further advice.

Kelly Cave

Home Insurance Specialist, Hitchin, Hertfordshire