What you need to know about insuring your first home

Becoming a homeowner is a huge milestone. It’s important to make sure your house and valuables are sufficiently covered so if the worst happens, you and your family can have your home re-built and your valuables replaced. Here are our tips for buying home insurance.
Published in:   House

It pays shop around

Think about what kind of coverage would suit your needs and make sure you do your research. It may be tempting to go with a policy your bank or mortgage broker suggests because these plans are sold to you as a way to save time and have everything in one place. But you may be paying above market rates for lender house insurance policies, and you might miss out on policy benefits that could be available with other insurance policies. It really pays to shop around and check out all your options.

Get covered as early as possible

Disaster can strike at any time, so it’s smart to get your house insurance sorted as soon as the contracts are exchanged. That way, your new home is never without cover and you will not be stuck with a bill for something that happens before you’ve even moved in. 'We can set up insurance for you to start on the same day you settle on the house.

What about your stuff?

If a cyclone takes out your house, your valuables won't be covered if you don’t have contents insurance. Many people underestimate how much it would cost to not only replace high-value items like art, jewellery and electronics, but also pots, pans, linen and furniture. Some insurance companies offer a discount on premiums if you take out multiple policies. You should do your homework and compare how much it would cost to take house and contents policies out separately to make sure you're getting the best deal possible.

Building?

If you are building a house, double check with the construction company that they have sufficient insurance to cover any accidents or damage so you are not liable to pay. If they don’t, consider getting your own contract works policy to cover the risks involved with the building process. This is a specialised insurance that provides cover that your general house insurance doesn't provide, so you may need to investigate what is available to you.

Don’t underinsure

It is important to insure for the rebuild cost for your house and full replacement value for your contents. Always keep in mind the total amount that you initially agreed to insure and contact your insurance company if you need to increase the amount. If you under insure your house, you are likely to be left frustrated and out-of-pocket if you have to make a claim. Choosing your sum insured amount can be daunting, especially if you are a first-time home owner. There are some great tools to help you with this process: 

Choose an excess that works for you

As a general rule, the higher the excess the lower the premiums. Choosing a higher excess is a great way to reduce your premium payments, but remember that this is the amount you need to contribute towards any claim. You need to make sure that you can afford this as a one-off expense at claim time.

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