Understand the key facts about house insurance to ensure you have the right coverage. Here are some insights into policy coverage, exclusions, changes in circumstances, cost factors, and money-saving tips.

  1. House Insurance Coverage: Protecting Your Property Ensure comprehensive coverage for everything fixed to your property, including residential buildings, sheds, garages, and more. Different policies offer varying levels of protection, from basic coverage for major events like fire and theft to comprehensive policies that include accidental damage and additional benefits such as alternative accommodation.

  2. Sum Insured: Adequate Coverage Matters Choose the right level of cover as insurers will pay a maximum amount based on the sum insured. In the event of a rebuild cost exceeding the sum insured, you may be responsible for the additional expenses. Be diligent in assessing your property’s value and securing sufficient coverage.

  3. What’s Not Covered by House Insurance Certain exclusions apply to house insurance policies. Acts of terrorism, wear and tear, damage by pets, and limitations on accidental damage coverage are common exclusions. Legal liability cover for home-based business claims may not apply. Review policy details thoroughly to understand these limitations.

  4. Changes in Circumstances: Inform Your Insurer Inform your insurance company about any changes that affect the use or occupation of your home, such as starting a home-based business, structural alterations, becoming a landlord, or legal charges. Maintain open communication with your insurer to ensure your policy remains valid and provides adequate coverage.

  5. Prepaying Annually: Savings Opportunity Consider prepaying your house insurance annually, as insurers often offer discounts for upfront payments. This can result in savings of up to 10%-20%. Unused months of prepaid coverage are typically refundable if you cancel the policy.

  6. Factors Affecting Insurance Costs Multiple factors influence the cost of house insurance. Home-specific details include address and location, sum insured, building type, construction materials, security measures, and more. Applicant-specific factors include age, claims history, and existing insurance coverage. Understanding these factors can help you determine the most suitable policy.

  7. Compare Quotes Annually for Savings Insurance companies often provide better deals to new customers, while loyal customers face increasing rates each year. Compare quotes from different insurers before renewing your policy to find the best deal. Independent insurers like Initio and Trade Me challenge the market dominated by IAG, Tower, and Vero.

  8. Ways to Save on House Insurance Maximize savings by comparing quotes, avoiding unnecessary coverages, paying annually, adjusting excess levels, enhancing home security, and building a no-claims bonus. Tailor your policy to your specific needs while minimizing costs.

  9. Earthquake Commission (EQC) Cover House insurance policies include an EQC fee for EQCover, which applies to natural disasters like earthquakes. EQCover provides coverage for home and land damage, with specific limits. For other events like floods and storms, EQCover typically covers land damage only. Direct EQCover may be available for buildings unable to obtain standard insurance.

  10. Theft and Home Damage Prevention Implement practical tips to reduce the risk of theft and home damage. Conceal valuable items, avoid leaving spare keys near your front door, use light timers when away, join a neighborhood watch group, install smoke alarms, insulate water pipes to prevent freezing, and maintain your home’s exterior.

  11. Review Policy Details Carefully Before signing up, carefully review the coverages, terms, and conditions of the policy. Seek clarification from the insurer if needed. Double-check quotes, note renewal dates for future comparisons, and adjust excess and sum insured levels to suit your budget while maintaining adequate coverage.

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