Making sure that you have building insurance is, of course, important but many home owners don’t check if they are covered for every eventuality. It’s often now tagged onto contents insurance and customers don’t begin to realise they have inadequate cover until a situation arises where they have to claim.
If you live in a flood area or there is the likelihood of subsidence, there may well be certain stipulations that cut down the amount you can claim in the event of an incident. You might even have the wrong insurance for your building – if it is of a non-standard construction, for example timber framed, then you may need specialist insurance to make sure you are covered.
Get a Survey Done
Many home buyers simply rely on their mortgage valuation report and do not undertake a full survey of the property. This can mean that you are not aware of potential problems such as subsidence or the likelihood of flooding that could affect any future claim. Whilst it costs a little more to get a proper survey done it could mean that you won’t be left out of pocket if some disaster strikes. You really need to opt for a full home buyer’s report which could set you back in the region of £400 but will give you all the information that you need to make an informed decision on insurance.
If you live in a flood area then the chances are that you will need to pay a premium on both your building and contents insurance. Even if you are not at risk but have suffered from a flood then you may find costs rising. There are around 5 million properties in the UK that are the risk of flooding according to the environment agency. This summer, fortunately, a cap was introduced on the amount of additional premium that insurers can charge dependent on the council tax band the property is in. If you have undertaken a full survey you will be able to introduce measures to reduce the effect of flooding and keep your costs down.
If your survey shows that your property is in an area prone to subsidence this may make it difficult to get the necessary insurance cover. Even if a company is likely to provide cover it may then come with a large excess. It is important to find a specialist insurer if you have a problem in this area and you may have to go through a broker to find the right deal that suits both your pocket and your needs.
Finally, one other area that home owners forget is that there are terms applied for when a property is left empty for a period of time. You might be abroad for a while or have moved to another property and are waiting to sell your existing one but you need to contact your insurer to inform them that the property is empty. This may necessitate and increase in premium but will make sure you are covered for the period in question.