Helpful guide to Home Insurance

When considering taking out home insurance it is important to consider:

  • Which type of cover you require – Building, Contents OR both.
  • If you would like additional features to be included in your policy – Contents cover while away from home, etc.

Although home insurance is not a legal requirement, it is important to feel secure in the fact that in the unlikely event that something happens to your property and belongings you are not left out of pocket.


What is buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance protects the physical property as well as its permanent fixtures and fittings; such as fitted kitchens and sanitary ware.

If you are renting a property it should be your landlord’s responsibility to sort out the building cover so you only have to concern yourself with contents insurance for your personal belongings.

Typically, buildings insurance covers damage caused by flood, fire, theft, storms or malicious damage and some companies’ provide cover for subsidence, heave and landslip.

Most banks make it mandatory that you have buildings insurance when you take out a mortgage.  They will always offer you an insurance policy though the bank but remember you do not have to have insurance through the bank.


Calculating your property’s insured value

Making a reasonable assessment of your property’s rebuild value is a key element in organising buildings insurance.  This is an important feature to remember as your property should be insured on the rebuild value of the property and NOT the market value.

As you can imagine in the worst case scenario you have a fire and the property burns down entirely you will still have the land on which the property is built.  Insurers base the rebuild value on between €1,000 to €1,200 a square metre.

So the key to getting your property correctly insured is knowing the covered area of the property.


Your responsibility in the event of a claim

  • If in the unlikely event that your property is damaged it is your responsibility to take reasonable steps to insure that the damage does not get any worse.
  • In any eventuality that will lead to a claim you must report this to the police within 24 hours of you becoming aware of this.  They will then give you a reference number which your insurance company will require for their records and may refuse to pay out without it.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and ask for a claim form to be sent to you.
  • Complete the claim form accurately and keep a copy for your own records.


Making a claim

If you find yourself having to make a claim on your policy, consider these tips to make the process easier:

  • Check your policy is still in force and that you’re covered for the claim.
  • Take reasonable steps to minimise any further loss or damage.
  • Always stay in contact with your insurance company during the claim process as they will be able to make sure that you are updated with the progress.


Why would a claim be invalid?

In the event of a claim it may be made invalid for the following reasons:

  • If you have incorrectly described the locks on your property.
  • If you have informed your Insurance Company that you have a burglar alarm it is important that whenever you leave the property that it is activated; if not, this could invalidate your claim.
  • You must always ensure that all the windows and doors are locked and the property is adequately secured when you are away.
  • If you are using your property for business purposes you must always inform your insurer.


Policy documentation

Once you’ve taken out a policy your insurer will send to us the following:

  • The insurance Insurance Schedule
  • Your ‘key facts’ policy summary
  • Your policy booklet

We will always take scans of these documents for you so that in the event that they are misplaced we will always have a copy here for you.