House Insurance Northern Ireland
The most recent House Price Index showed the standardised price of a property in Northern Ireland is £136,767 and this ranges from terrace properties at £95,202 to detached properties at £204,060. Many buyers borrow a mortgage of between 75 and 95% of the value of the home and providers normally require the property to be insured while the mortgage remains in place. Even if you do not have a mortgage, most people’s homes are their biggest asset so there’s a clear need to make sure all home owners consider the right level of insurance for their homes.
Failing to adequately insure your home can have massive repercussions if the worst happens and you home is damaged. But what do you actually need to insure?
What level of cover do I need for my home?
The most important note is that you don’t need to insure the market value of your home i.e. the amount you could sell it for. You need to insure the cost of replacing it – but remember if the worst happened you would be replacing everything in the house including fixtures and fittings like bathrooms and kitchens so you need to estimate how much this would cost. Once you have the actual building insured, you then need to think about cover for what is in the premises, otherwise known as contents insurance. When you are thinking about the level of contents insurance you need to try and add up the cost of all your possessions if you had to replace them all. Remember high value items (normally over £1k) need to be specifically identified and listed as otherwise they may not be covered if you have to make a claim. Items that fall under this could be things like laptops, jewellery, bikes and other sporting items, artwork or family memorabilia.
Practical steps to avoid having to make a claim
Clearly everyone would agree that they would rather not have to make a claim on their insurance. Take a few practical steps to reduce the likelihood of having to make a claim in the first place or to reduce the value of the claim if something happens:
- Make sure your fire alarm is working – not only could this save your life, it will also give you a better chance of knowing a fire has started and reducing the damage it could cause
- Put your burglar alarm on, lock your doors/windows and don’t leave the key in them. Keep your valuables locked up securely and don’t leave them in sight. This might seem like basic common sense, but why advertise your possessions and make it easier for people to break in to your home and take your things?
- Find out where your stop cock valve is so that you can turn it off quickly if you have a burst pipe. Keep low heat on in empty buildings to avoid your pipes freezing in the first place.
- Keep your home well maintained by cleaning gutters etc. This will help prevent storm damage and also reduce the likelihood of a claim not being covered because the house wasn’t adequately maintained.
How do I make sure I have the right cover in place?
It’s always best to talk to an expert when you are organising your home insurance in Northern Ireland. Take the time to speak to one of the team at Property Insurance Centre and let them talk you through all the right questions and options to find you the best cover for your needs. A personalised quotation should save you money, time and give you the comfort of knowing you have the right policy in place for your home.