The importance of having the right home insurance

It has been estimated that as many as 82% of properties in the UK are underinsured *

Consider the following, a true story, which happened over Christmas 2021

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to hear the smoke alarms going off.  One of your children playing on his X-box has noticed the internet not working and has gone downstairs to investigate.  He opens the lounge door and the sudden rush of air turns the source of the smoke into fire. He shouts a warning “FIRE FIRE EVERYBODY OUT”.

You have minutes to get you, your partner and your children out.  You have to go back to rescue your dog by crawling under the putrid smoke that now fills the home.  You have no fire extinguisher.  You all manage to get out of your home and you lock yourself out because you don’t know where your keys are.  All you have is the nightclothes you stand in and bare feet.

You call the fire brigade and they manage to put out the fire while you stand their helpless.

You can’t believe what has happened and you are in shock. Thank God you are all safe. You have been lucky to have survived the fire but what happens next?

Your house is ruined, everything is covered in thick smoke which has even gone through your unopened Christmas presents.  Your shoes and clothes are all burnt or covered in soot and everything on the ground floor is now in a smouldering heap with the ceiling and walls destroyed.

You call your insurance company and they put you up in a hotel  for the night.  In the morning you have to buy clothes and food and everything you need to keep a family clean and warm.  All your baby boys toys are destroyed and you have nothing, all your memories gone.

Reality kicks in when you get told by your insurance company your home will take 6 – 9 months to move back in to and you will be staying in the hotel for a month over Christmas.  You will then get temporary rental accommodation until your home is fixed. Christmas Day is cancelled…

Thankfully in this case nobody was injured and the family had good quality home insurance in place with an appropriate level of cover for their buildings and contents. Being underinsured is likely to lead to a claim not being paid in full, leaving the homeowner with a bill of perhaps tens of thousands of pounds. 

What should I do to ensure my home and my family’s belongings are fully protected?

Make sure the building’s cover is sufficient to completely rebuild your home. The market value of your home is likely to be very different from the reinstatement value, which has to take into consideration:

  • Demolition fees
  • Site clearance charges
  • Surveyor fees
  • Architect fees
  • Planning costs
  • Construction costs

Also it is important to ensure your contents and valuables are adequately covered and your most expensive items over £2,500 are declared individually, or they may well not be covered if they are lost in a fire or stolen.

Very importantly, and something which people often do not consider enough, is “how much am I covered for in respect of alternative accommodation if I need to rent somewhere while my home is rebuilt – a process that can easily take over 12 months.

Here at Warners, we can help you with these important decisions. Safeguarding your family, your home and your personal possessions is not something that should be determined by the cheapest policy you can get online, where no one has taken the time to listen to your specific requirements and provide you with bespoke advice.

If you would like to book a free, no-obligation meeting with our Home Insurance Specialist please click on the button below:

You really find out how good an insurance policy is when you have to make a claim and that is when it is too late to find out that it would have been worth spending time with a knowledgeable home insurance adviser to discuss your specific requirements and ensure that your home and belongings are properly protected.

About the Author:

With many years of financial services experience, Sharen Watts is our Home Insurance Specialist., expert administrator, the voice on the end of the phone, the friendliest of faces in our Wymondham office and writer for our blog.

*Source: Data Insights 2019 report by rebuildcostassessment.com

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