7 Household Insurance Myths Busted by First for Women
You’ve invested time, money and considerable effort into creating and enhancing your home. Taking steps to protect your investment can reassure you that you’re financially covered should the unthinkable happen. Whether you’re a first-time household insurance buyer or are seeking a home insurance upgrade, knowing the ins and outs of this type of insurance coverage can help you select the best product for your needs. It can also ensure that you aren’t left in the lurch when making a claim. A lot of confusion surrounds home insurance however, and what you can expect from it. To help you understand this type of insurance, First for Women has addressed seven of the most common myths people have about home contents insurance. Here’s what you need to know.
Setting the record straight about household insurance
If you’ve never invested in household insurance before or have used the same insurance product for years, you might assume that you have sufficient coverage. You might also assume that changing or switching will require complex paperwork or spend hours on the phone — discouraging you from making any changes. Setting aside time to regularly update or assess your household insurance cover can save you time and hassle down the road. The last thing you want is for a crisis to occur, only for you to discover that the money you assumed was coming to your aid wasn’t part of your cover in the first place.
Myth 1. Household insurance covers damp and mould damage
By the time you’ve noticed rising damp or condensation damage in your home, it’s likely been festering for years. Often stemming from poor quality building materials or construction, Damp or mould usually manifests in moist walls and allergen-producing mould. You might have unknowingly purchased a home with rising damp from an unscrupulous estate agent, or you could also have an older home that’s developed damp over several decades. Damp-related claims are usually rejected by insurers as they consider it a preventable problem. If you suspect you might need to make a claim because of it, you’ll need to determine if your insurer offers specific but separate damp and mould coverage.
Myth 2. Household insurance covers all types of weather damage, including floods
It’s easy to assume what weather damage is fully covered by insurance. After all, it’s unpredictable and you can’t prepare for it. In reality, many insurers only cover certain disasters or limit their coverage to certain areas of your home. For example, they might cover hail damage but not flooding or cover repairs to your home but not your garage. It’s important to remember that building insurance is often treated as a separate product to home contents insurance. If you choose one but not the other you could find yourself covered for damage to your home but not what’s inside it.
Myth 3. All the items inside your home are automatically covered by insurance
Home contents insurance is valuable when you’ve been burgled or your home’s assets have been damaged. However, there can be claim limits for general categories, such as the collective value of the spoiled food you lost when your fridge or freezer broke down. If you’re insuring a high-value product like jewellery or a piece of art your insurer can request an updated valuation certificate when you make a claim to attest to its value. You’ll also need to prove that you stored these types of items securely if they’re over a certain value.
Myth 4. If you file an insurance claim, your premiums automatically increase
No. Not all home insurance claims are high. In these cases, you might consider replacing an item or making a repair yourself instead of submitting your claim out of fear it will increase your premiums. While no two insurers will evaluate a claim the same way, most will take into account if your claim was reasonably preventable. For example, someone submitting a claim for a roof leak might face higher premiums if it’s determined the leak was caused by neglected and clogged gutters. Someone experiencing a roof leak after a week-long unseasonal storm might not experience an increase. Find out more about How to Make a Claim, if you’re unsure.
Myth 5. Homeowner’s insurance replaces your belongings with new ones
You should insure each individual item in your home for its current value. When insuring your home collectively, you might be tempted to underinsure certain items to reduce your premiums. However, by doing this you might not be able to replace your belongings with something of the same quality and value. When your items are replaced, you get the exact same item or a similar one and not necessarily the most modern one available. For example, your 2015 smartphone won’t be replaced by its 2022 model but rather one with similar functionalities.
Myth 6. Household insurance is compulsory for homeowners
It’s completely up to you whether or not you invest in household insurance as well as the type of coverage you choose. The only time comprehensive home insurance might be legally required is when a bank is financing your property — and when this happens they usually require you to insure the structure itself, which is buildings insurance, and not its contents.
Myth 7. You have to insure your home at the market value
Your home insurance is meant to return your home to what it was like right before an incident took place. It doesn’t take into account your property’s value — something that often has more to do with your property location and size than the actual structure. If a faulty heater burns down your bedroom, your insurance will cover the cost of restoring the bedroom to what it was before. If you’d like to take the opportunity to add a bathroom extension and install a hot tub to it, you’ll need to finance this yourself — and update your insurance afterwards.
Get a household insurance quote from First for Women
Household insurance can seem complex, but it’s important to understand that every inclusion and exclusion is created to give you peace of mind. By being familiar with it means that when you make a claim, you’ll be faced with no unpleasant or expensive surprises. This way, you will get exactly what you expected paid into your bank account. Take a look at our complete guide to understanding home insurance. To find out more about getting a comprehensive home insurance quote online, get in touch with us today.