Blog Beginner's guide to home and contents insurance

Beginner's guide to home and contents insurance

20 September 2017
Beginner's guide to home and contents insurance

When you buy your first property, the first thing to consider is how to protect it in the long run. However, what about the things inside your home? All your belongings are also at risk from such damage, not to mention the potential for criminals to throw your life into disarray by robbing your home or severely damaging your belongings.

If you've insured your home, it's not too much of a stretch to take out protection for your contents. There are a wide range of different things to consider when it comes to contents insurance that can affect your finances and future.

If you’re not familiar with Home and Contents Insurance, here’s a quick guide to help you get started:

What is Home and Contents Insurance?

Home and Contents Insurance is a type of financial protection for your home and its contents, which covers the cost of damage from natural disasters, fire, theft, or vandalism.

Although they usually come together, Home Insurance and Contents Insurance are two different things. You can have only one if you like but most people combine them.  

What does content insurance cover?

Understanding exactly what is covered by your contents insurance policy is important. Naturally, this will change depending on what you choose to cover, and what you can afford to cover, but the basic insurance policies will cover similar things.

For example, things like furniture, electrical goods like televisions and stereos, clothing, jewellery and sentimental pieces will all be covered by your insurance policy. On the other hand, things that aren't covered by the policies include general wear and tear if your belongings, damage caused to computers resulting from a virus, and fixtures attached to your home.

Home insurance covers the structure of your house and its fixtures including the walls, floor, and ceilings. On the other hand, Contents Insurance covers the possessions you have inside your home.

For example, things like furniture, electrical goods like televisions and stereos, clothing, jewellery and sentimental pieces will all be covered by your insurance policy. On the other hand, things that aren't covered by the policies include general wear and tear if your belongings, damage caused to computers resulting from a virus, and fixtures attached to your home.

If you’re renting, having Contents Insurance will be more useful since your landlord will take care of the Home Insurance covering the rental property you’re living in.   

Why do you need Home and Contents Insurance?

You’re probably thinking that Home Contents Insurance is just another huge expense that will be added to your piles of bills to pay. But you will need it if anything happens to your home. If you’re still on the fence, you should seriously consider it. Here are some of the benefits:

  • It protects you from liability when other people cause an accident in your home.
  • It can cover the damage caused by animals that don’t live in your home.
  • It will keep your valuables safe from theft, malicious damage, fire, and natural disasters.
  • It can cover accidental damage to your windows.
  • It can cover emergency repairs to prevent further damage.

How to find the best home insurance policy?

When looking for the best Home Insurance policy, research is the key. It makes sense to examine the coverage of the policy to see what events it covers and if it provides coverage for all of your items, as there may be limits to what is insured. For instance, there is often a limit of $2000 for jewellery unless otherwise specified.

How can you reduce the amount of your insurance premiums?

Saving money on the regular payments you make on your insurance policies is something to consider over the long term. Having multiple covers throughout your home for various things can become an expensive endeavour, so it could be worth looking into some of the ways insurance providers may allow for reduced rates.

Some offer discounts when multiple insurance policies are applied for at the same time and grouped together as one big policy. Of course, this isn't offered by all providers, so get in touch to discuss the options available to you.

Furthermore, some providers may offer lower premiums for homes that take an active approach towards dissuading burglars from approaching the property.

Installing security alarms and deadlocks, securing windows tightly and getting a guard dog are all possible ways to reduce your premiums by showing your dedication to stopping crime from occurring in the first place.

Other considerations 

Taking out contents insurance is a way of protecting you and your belongings from unfortunate events that could happen in the future. After taking it out, it is a good idea to keep track of all receipts in a safe place, in order to be able to provide proof that you did purchase your items - complete with paid value and the date items were purchased.

Furthermore, taking photos of the product in new condition is another great way to back up your claims, making the claims process much easier in the long term.

These are just some things to consider before taking out contents insurance. Many people think that simply taking out home insurance will protect their belongings as well, but it's important to understand the distinction and take the appropriate steps to help completely protect yourself in your home.