Get More For Less: Home Insurance Tips
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You’ll have heard it a thousand times, but the truth is that your home is your sanctuary. It’s the safe place you build around your family, your hopes, and your dreams. It is greater than the sum of its parts, but those constituent parts must still be protected, because the contribution of each to the whole is worth more than their monetary value might imply.
In other words, your house is a home because of the personal comforts, gadgets, décor, and more that you’ve filled it with. And it can take years, if not decades, to turn the reality of a brick-and-mortar house into the comforting concept that is ‘home’.
That represents a weighty financial and sentimental investment. That’s why we’ve put together these home insurance tips; to ensure that you do your utmost to keep that investment protected while paying as little as feasible.
In South Africa, getting the best security possible for your home should be a bit of a no-brainer. It’s no secret that we have a crime problem, with burglaries with burglaries making up about half of all crime, so it makes sense to maximise your property’s security – from armed response services, to razor wire and alarm systems.
Make sure that whatever security measures you invest in are legal, and don’t forget to inform your insurance company about the lengths you’ve gone to, to ensure your home security is up to snuff. Doing so will help to keep your premiums down and your home and household contents covered.
Consolidate your insurance
Some insurance companies offer discounts or other value-added products and services for clients who use multiple insurance products. This means that if you have car, business or life insurance with an insurer, it might just be worth investigating whether or not that company offers incentives for bundling all of your insurance types with them.
If you already have an insurer covering your health or assets, contact them and enquire about the possibility of taking advantage of such an offer.
Not only is it more convenient making your payments to a single service provider, but doing so could possibly save you big!
Increase your excess
We make this suggestion with one important caveat: make sure you can still afford to cover your excess if you have to.
Increasing your excess means paying lower monthly premiums, but it comes at the cost of taking on more risk yourself. Basically, an increased excess means that, in the event that you have to make a claim, you’ll have to pay a higher flat rate before your insurance company will get involved.
Give up smoking
We’re not going to make moral judgements (Lord knows, smokers get enough of those from the rest of the world already) but it is worth noting that, even beyond the personal health concerns, being a smoker means being a higher risk than your smoke-free counterparts. Essentially, you are a fire hazard – a mild one, but insurance companies don’t succeed unless they quantify even the slightest risks, and your tobacco habit makes you enough of an increased risk that your insurer is likely to take note of it.
Undertake regular home maintenance
Whether or not you’re in the market for a reliable insurance company, it’s a good idea to take care of your home. As we said above, it’s your sanctuary – so, it deserves the best treatment you can give it.
If, however, that is not enough motivation for you, then consider that an insurance company will send a representative to your home to evaluate its condition; the structural integrity of the building, the state of the plumbing, and general wear and tear. If you’ve looked after your house, your insurance will be cheaper.
Tell your insurer everything – and don’t lie!
Some people try to reduce their insurance costs by lying about things that they know their insurer charges higher premiums for. We understand that every rand counts, and it can be tempting to save a few by stretching a few truths on your insurance application.
Unfortunately, these are short-term savings, and conning your way into them could well cost you when it comes time to make a claim. Quite simply, your insurance company will thoroughly investigate the circumstances around which your claim is made and its validity. If you’re found wanting, they may refuse to pay and you’ll be left footing the complete bill for whatever losses or damage your home and its contents have incurred.
Be honest – lying simply isn’t worth it.
We hope that this quick article has given you information you can use. If so, share it on Facebook, spread the word, and help us to help others save money on home insurance.