Things you didn’t know about home insurance

Take a moment to think about your house catching fire (breathe, it’s just a little mental exercise). What are the first 3 things you’d grab? We forgive you if you excluded human beings who are able to walk themselves out safely… After all, your smartphone can’t get out on its own now can it?

How many of you struggled to decide what was most important after your phone? That’s not surprising. It’s difficult to choose between sentimental items and super expensive stuff, especially if you don’t have insurance to pay for the damage and loss. Of course, if you do have home insurance then you’ll just have to choose from the sentimental goodies, like your granny’s old photos, your beloved books or your ceramic frog collection.

But let’s go back to the expensive stuff. Like your fridge, freezer, television, clothes, carpets, furniture… The stuff that you’d struggle to replace out of your own pocket. It’s for instances like a fire in your home (as well as floods, theft, and the like) which makes insurance the next logical step. Unfortunately, home insurance is quite underrated, in spite of the fact that it covers your everyday items against things that do in fact happen.

Here are some things that you didn’t know about home insurance, which’ll prove how useful it is.

Home insurance is available for renters

Just because you don’t own the home you’re living in, doesn’t mean that your stuff isn’t vulnerable to damage and loss. Remember, your landlord/lady is responsible for the physical structure of the property but NOT what happens to your stuff.

What a lot of people don’t know is that renters can get home insurance (and they absolutely should). While not all insurers in South Africa offer home contents for renters, it is around and worth asking the top insurance companies for a quote.

You get free home emergency services

This isn’t a guarantee with all insurers, but most tend to include a home assistance service that you can use in emergency situations. This service is usually free and it works differently depending on the insurer. What we found when we looked at 1 popular insurance company in particular was that you could use their home assist service 3 times a year to arrange a free emergency call-out and 1 hour’s free labour for the use of a plumber, electrician, and locksmith.

A safe neighbourhood = lower premiums

The neighbourhood that you live in can have an effect on the premium that you pay. The main reason is the crime levels, which would make your home more or less risky to insure. You chaps probably already worked this out, but for those in the back of the class, people living in higher risk areas will pay higher home insurance premiums. This means that if you live in a safer neighbourhood, you’ll pay much less.

Better security = lower premiums

If you invest in your home’s security with burglar bars, security gates, alarms and armed response subscriptions, you’ll pay lower premiums. So, not only will it be cheaper but you’ll also be safer.

You can top up your cover

There’s some confusion about certain items not being covered by the average home contents insurance policy in this country. People tend to get very upset after they discover that their phones, laptops, sunglasses, and bicycles weren’t covered by their home contents policy… The thing is, these items tend to accompany you out of the home, which makes them portable possessions. And there’s a whole policy designed specifically for these valuables. It’s called (surprise surprise) portable possessions insurance.

These specific items need to be specified on your insurance policy as ‘portable possessions’. Thankfully, the cost doesn’t tend to go up that much if you add portable possessions insurance to your cover and then if you ever drop your phone in the toilet or have your bicycle stolen from the garage, you’ll be fully covered.

And that rounds up our list of things that most people don’t know about home contents insurance. If you’re looking for cover or you want to know more about what it would cost you, or you just need a cheaper quote so that you can save on your existing cover, then click here

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