Home insurance is compulsory for any Irish people who wish to acquire a mortgage. A mortgage is more than likely the largest financial commitment that one will make in a lifetime and, as a result, house insurance can usually be relegated to the back bench and viewed as a necessary expense.
Most would-be homeowners will be so steadfast in getting the mortgage signed and sealed that they will take whatever house insurance policy offered by the lender. This can result in homeowners not shopping around and not knowing if they have the best level of cover or indeed the cheapest.
Recent weather events such as ‘Storm Ophelia’ or the record snowfall we received as a result of ‘The Beast From The East’ Irish homeowners are more focused than ever on ensuring that they have adequate protection for their house if the unthinkable should occur.
Shopping around is the best course of action especially if you are thinking of going with a broker instead of a bank.
We can offer significantly cheaper cover than most banks as we have demonstrated by conducting a number of price comparisons over recent months. However this is not the banks fault, Managing Director of Insuremyhouse.ie Jonathan Hehir states that “It is simply not one of the bank’s core activities” so they don’t put as much emphasis on getting the best prices in terms of home insurance.
There are a number of things you should be aware of when shopping around to get the best home insurance deal:
The Cost Of Rebuilding
The first thing you will have to consider is how much you should insure your home for. Many people don’t realise that they need to cover the property for the rebuild cost and not the market value of the property. If you are unsure as to how much the rebuild of your property would cost The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) publishes a guide on their website as to how much different types of homes would cost to rebuild your home. They also have a calculator on their site to provide you with a minimum figure that you will need to insure your home for. However, it is worth noting that if you have any non-standard fixtures in your home the rebuild cost may be more. For example if you have a bespoke fitted kitchen or a walk in wardrobe they may not be calculated as part of the rebuild cost and you will have to add them on to the price yourself.
Making sure you have the relative contents cover is another thankless task that may require some diligent stock taking. The best practice would be to take a detailed inventory of everything that you want included and also check the small print of any policy. Some policies may only include up to a certain level of cover for certain items. If you have valuables which are more expensive than that amount, for example an engagement ring, you must include this separately. If you are renting a home you should also consider contents cover as in many cases a landlords house insurance policy will not cover a tenants possessions.
What Your Insurer Needs To Know
To make sure that you are in fact covered as part of your policy, you should be aware of any factors that may invalidate your policy. Jonathan pointed to Airbnb usage as one of the biggest pitfalls that people may be penalised for not notifying insurers. If you let the property through the Airbnb platform or indeed through any other platform you must notify insurers. Similarly if you are running a business from the home you must declare it no matter how small the operation may be. If you cut hair or run a salon part time from anywhere in your home this must be declared. The failure to notify insurers in known as non-disclosure and can result in policies being invalidated.
As with most products shopping around is the best idea for home insurance. At Insuremyhouse.ie we have a team of dedicated house insurance specialists with a wealth of experience in getting you the cover you need at a price you’ll love. Call us today on 01 603 2999 or click here to get started with your quote.