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HAVE YOU GOT IT COVERED?

With the ever increasing cost of living, you may be reassessing your financial situation and looking at ways to save money and cut down on costs.

One way that you can save money is by having a look at your current home insurance policies and possibly changing the cover. While insurance is a necessity for homeowners, it does not have to be a financially draining burden. Shop around and see what options are available to from the various insurance providers.

Comparing quotes from an array of insurance companies will give you insight into the options available and will help you choose the best cover for the best possible price. You can either phone the insurance companies directly or use the services of a broker who can source a few quotes for you to peruse. Having numerous quotes will give you the chance to compare apples to apples and the range of various products that each service provider offers. Doing this one thing could assist you to save money in finding a cheaper option that provides as much, or perhaps more cover.

Often consumers accept the annual increase on their insurance policies without questioning or researching whether there are better and cheaper options that cater to their specific criteria. In fact, statistics suggest that only half of all homeowners will investigate their insurance policies when they increase. Research may take some time and effort, but it is always worthwhile to ensure that the current policy is still the best option, meeting all the requirements while offering good value for money.  Competition in the market forces insurance companies to launch new products regularly and consistently try to find ways to undercut their competitors. As a result, it is often possible to find good insurance products at lower rates.

Ideally, you should review your insurance policies as part of an annual financial assessment. Every year the value of the property, as well as its contents, vary, so your insurance cover should be adjusted accordingly.

With the internet at our fingertips, collecting information and quotes from various insurance providers is a relatively painless endeavour. There is very little you can’t find online. In fact, there are centralised sites that provide quotes from different providers without you having to search on other portals. We live in an age where things are far more accessible. To a large degree, the work of finding comparative quotes has been taken out of the process, and the procedure has been simplified and streamlined as much as possible. You will be required to load your details and insurance criteria, after which you will receive a list of all insurance companies and policies that match the requirements. The list will also include the premiums prices each option. This will quickly paint a picture of which company can provide the best value.

Here are a few basic elements to consider when comparing policies:

  1. Check for possible liability cover which covers any injury or damage done to other people or your property.
  2. Look at the cover for household contents and personal property - this pertains to all items inside the home that are not a part of the structure itself such as appliances, furniture and clothing. An inventory should be compiled to assess the level of personal cover required. Peruse this clause carefully as certain items may be excluded or covered under another type of insurance.
  3. Check if there are certain items that need to be specified such as jewellery and laptops/other electronic devices.

After comparing quotes and selecting the appropriate one, there are still further ways to decrease the premium such as upgrading the home’s security. Added or upgrading the home’s security can reduce the monthly premium by as much as 5% in some instances. Certain insurance companies will also reduce their rates if you are associated with a neighbourhood watch or block watch programme.

Often preferential premium rates will also be given to homeowners with a low or no claim history. So only make use of the insurance policy when it is necessary. If possible, it is better to pay for small incidents from a contingency fund and leave the insurance policy for when it is needed. Premiums can also be reduced by opting for a higher excess on claims; however, this would mean having the excess amount put away in savings.

If there are elements of the insurance policy that need clarification, seek guidance from a professional financial adviser or insurance broker.

While a home insurance policy is a vital aspect of homeownership - paying exorbitant premiums is not.


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