Building Insurance - The Basics   

by Pool Builders on 05-23-2008 in Articles

The world of insurance can be a bit of a mind-boggling landmine of information, quotes and brokers. It can be somewhat daunting attempting to purchase the relevant insurance for your needs, especially when everyone seems to have an opinion.

Before even approaching the various brokers and online comparison websites one needs to understand exactly what insurance means, in particular home insurance. The first thing one needs to know about home insurance is what it covers and what it doesn't, there are two types of home insurance; buildings and contents.

Buildings insurance relates to the 'bricks and mortar' of a home and all its permanent fixtures and fittings. So when buying buildings insurance one needs to ensure that all of the things you value are adequately covered against all elements that could possibly befall a property. From fire to theft, yes people do steal light fixtures and toilets and anything else they can get their hands on if they think it will be worth anything on the re-sale. So when taking out building insurance you need to make sure you calculate the full cost of your building and it's fixtures were anything to happen to them or if they happened to fall into the 'wrong hands'.

Knowing the basics is essential to ensuring you are fully covered for the various "perils" that could befall your property including its various additions, be it a swimming pool, if you are fortunate enough to own such a lavish feature. So before purchasing buildings insurance here are a few things to do; make a note of all things that are permanent within the buildings, from the fixed features in the garage to the garnishings above the fireplace, the shed to the shelving (if it's fitted that is) and all that lies between. Once you have done that tally up the cost of these things and what it would cost to replace them if God-forbid the house were to say blow up due to a D.I.Y mishap or catch fire because you forgot to put that candle out in the outhouse. One also has to take into consideration the labour required to undertake any work required so don't forget to add this onto your costs when calculating how much cover you require.

Once you have calculated the costs within the house it's time to look at the actual property itself. It is quite common for people to underestimate the actual cost of their property, subsequently in the event of a fire or a natural disaster requiring the entire property to be rebuilt they painfully find out that they come up short and possibly face their entire claim being rejected. So while it is useless paying too much for your cover it's just as pointless paying too little. One way to ensure you are fully covered by your building insurance is to consult the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) run by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. By doing that before you take out your insurance, your decision will be an informed one reducing the likelihood of facing unnecessary headache with your insurance company were the unthinkable to occur.

Interestingly there are a number of grey areas when considering buildings insurance namely swimming pools, boundary walls, gates and pathways, some policies can be restrictive on how much cover they are prepared to offer on above items especially if they are positioned in a questionable place. For example an indoor pool could have implications on other aspects of the property because of the plumbing and electronic requirements it demands, the potential for such a feature to have a negative impact on the rest of the home and its inner workings could significantly increase your premium. So before you shell out any amount of cash ensure you know what's covered before you insure.

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