How to pick the right home insurance

Private Property South Africa
Cath Jenkin

Picking the right type of insurance for your home and lifestyle needn’t be a chore. Use our checklist to make the right choice.

Your home

The type, size, and facilities of your home will have a direct effect on your insurance policy and premiums. If you own your home, you’ve most likely had it insured from the day you became a homeowner. Most financial institutions and bond originators will insist that you take out comprehensive household insurance and life insurance policies. It’s always, however, a good idea to compare your current package and coverage with any competing, or similar, products. Don’t be shy to check out your options, at least once a year.

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You rent

Renting your home can be a little easier on the insurance front, as you generally don’t need to insure the house or apartment: that’s usually covered by your landlord. But, that doesn’t mean you can skip selecting insurance. Instead, you should look for a comprehensive package that covers your household contents. Big tip: Many insurance policies that cover your personal belongings, household contents, and similar, will include regulations around your home’s security. Be honest with your insurer about the security of your rented home, because it will have an impact on your premiums. Don’t forget to inform your insurer when you move house too!

Cover me for everything

An all-in-one insurance policy may seem cheaper from the outset, but it may not cover you as well as you need it to. The convenience of a single insurance policy that covers your car, home, household contents, and personal effects, like your handbag and those snazzy sunglasses, might seem great, but do your homework.

Read the fine print

Your home insurance policy should cover you as much as possible and, it’s never a bad idea to check every term and condition. Most home and building insurance policies will cover you for most instances, but there may be specific exclusions. Don’t just sign that household contents insurance policy: read the fine print carefully, and make sure you’re covered for everything. Most insurance policies that relate to personal possessions will ask for a specified list of the items to be covered: don’t forget to send that to your insurer, before you sign on the dotted line.

I want to change insurers

Making sure your home insurance policies are up to date, and keeping your home well-covered, is all part of your journey as a homeowner. Legally, you do not have to use the insurer your bond originator or bank recommends to you - the choice of insurer is yours to make. Nonetheless, you should check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy at least once a year. Here’s what to check:

● Your insured items are listed correctly, and their related cover is in line with their current replacement value;

● Your premiums are being paid timeously and recorded correctly with your insurer;

● Your insurance policy accurately reflects your current life circumstances. Have you added a new member to the family, or changed jobs? You may need to inform your insurance company about this;

● Your insurance policy correctly covers your home, buildings, and contents, as they are right now. Have you added on a new room, or installed a swimming pool since you signed this insurance policy? If so, you need to update your policy with your insurance company;

● Your insurance policy covers you for every eventuality you may be able to think of. We recommend chatting to your trusted insurance broker, to ensure you’re well covered and,

● Your premiums remain affordable for you.

If you do feel the need to change insurers, get started with finding the right one for your lifestyle. We’d recommend chatting to an insurance broker, or your trusted financial advisor.

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