Smarter, easier home insurance
How can you calculate the price of a home insurance policy?
We compare the policies and prices of multiple insurance brands in one quick and easy search to help you find the right product at the right price.
Whether you’re looking for buildings insurance, contents insurance, or a combined buildings and contents policy, our service makes it easy to find the product that you want for your home with the cover options you need.
The price of home insurance varies according to the characteristics of the building, the value of the property and the extent of risk coverage (property damage, breakage and entry, legal protection insurance, travel, personal accidents, leisure and assets, etc.).
Why do I need home insurance?
If you’re like most, your house makes up a big portion of your net worth. That’s why home insurance is a must. A homeowners policy protects your house, its contents, and your other assets in the event of a fire, theft, storm, liability claim, or other unexpected peril.
If an unforeseen event causes damage to your home or property, with a good home insurance policy your insurer, not you, will pick up the tab. And since many lenders often make home insurance a mortgage requirement, you may as well get the best plan at the lowest rate, right?
How can I save on my home insurance?
Don’t be tempted to scrimp on cover to reduce your premiums. There are other ways you can keep costs down which won’t leave you financially exposed.
When buying cover, remember that taking out combined building and contents cover with the same insurer can be cheaper than buying separate policies.
You could consider increasing your voluntary excess to reduce your premium. This is the part of any insurance claim you have to pay yourself.
Try to pay for your cover in a lump sum up-front if you can. If you pay in monthly instalments instead, you’ll usually have to pay interest on these payments.
And remember that if you can avoid making a claim, you’ll get lower premiums by building up a no claims bonus.
What type of home insurance policy should I select?
That depends on how much coverage you want for your property. Here are the four basic types of home insurance coverage you can choose from:
This policy offers the broadest range of home insurance coverage. It protects your home and its contents from all risks, except a few exclusions:
- Optional risks: Risks that aren’t covered in normal policies, but that you can buy additional coverage for. Sewer back up and earthquake coverage are examples of optional coverage.
- Uninsurable peril: Risks you can’t insure because they can be avoided with proper planning. For example, you can’t get coverage for flood damage if you built your house on a flood plain.
Basic coverage/named perils
This type of home insurance is more scaled back than comprehensive coverage. Basic coverage only pays for the damages that are specifically outlined in your policy.
This type of insurance falls halfway between comprehensive and basic coverage. A mid-priced compromise, it provides comprehensive coverage on main items, like your home’s physical structure, but only basic coverage for the contents inside.
No frills coverage
This type of coverage isn’t offered by all insurers and is usually limited to properties that don’t meet normal standards. For example, if your your home has physical issues, an insurance company may only offer you a very limited no frills policy.
What possessions does house insurance not cover?
Standard homeowners policies don’t cover high-value items like jewelry, rare art, etc. Ask to schedule these items separately on your policy if you want them included in your home insurance coverage.
Should I select an actual cash value plan or a replacement cost plan?
If you need to make a claim, there are several ways the insurer can pay out:
- Repair the damage caused to the items
- Replace the contents for the same or comparable items
- Pay out the cash equivalent
When it comes to homeowners insurance, most people opt for a replacement cost plan. This plan pays for the full replacement value of the items or repairs you claim. For example, if someone steals your old TV, your insurance provider will pay for a new one of similar make and quality.
An actual cash value (ACV) plan reimburses you for the value of the items you claim at the time they were damaged. ACV plans account for depreciation, so the amount of money you get from a successful claim generally won’t cover the cost of replacing damaged items.
For example, if someone steals your 5-year-old TV, your insurer would only pay what they deemed it to be worth at the time of the theft. But that valuation will likely be much less than what you paid for the item and much less than what it would cost to replace it.
Just remember: if your house sustains major damage or is subject to a serious theft, at least you’ll be able to replace all of your stuff with a replacement cost plan. That’s why most prefer replacement cost plans even though they’re usually a little more expensive.
How much home insurance coverage do I need?
The amount of coverage you take should reflect the value of your home plus the contents inside it, so keep stock of what everything is worth. Remember, it’s better to have a little too much coverage rather than not enough.
Home insurers use variables like square footage, structure type, and your postal code to give you a quote. It’s up to you to make sure your coverage matches the value of your home and your possessions.
How can I have a hassle-free claims experience?
Easy — be properly prepared before you make a claim. Take a yearly inventory of your home upgrades and of your contents.
When you need to make a claim, make sure all your documents are organized and ready before you contact your insurer. Here are the documents you’ll need:
- A list of the items lost, damaged, or stolen
- Receipts for said items and any photographs or other supporting documentation
- Any relevant medical records or police reports if available
Why do I need renters insurance?
If you’re renting, your personal belongings — stuff like furniture, electronics, and clothing — aren’t covered by your landlord’s insurance. If a fire, theft, or other hazard occurs in your rental, you’ll have to pay for the damages out-of-pocket. Unless you buy renters insurance.
Renters insurance is also called tenants insurance or apartment insurance. Why’s it great? If a hazard renders your rental unfit to live in, renters insurance also covers the cost of temporary accommodations while your unit’s being repaired.
Renters insurance also provides coverage for any upgrades you paid for in your rental home. For example, if you built extra shelving into your closets or added high-end light fixtures, those items would be protected by your renters insurance policy.
And finally, renters insurance equips you with personal liability coverage. If you accidentally cause damage to an adjacent resident’s property or a visitor to your home gets injured and decides to sue, you’re covered.
What does renters insurance not cover?
Most renters insurance policies will cover all of your belongings inside your rental home, but there are some exceptions. Standard renters policies don’t cover high-value items like jewelry, art, rare books, family heirlooms, etc. You’ll have to request special coverage if you want these included in your plan.
How much renters insurance coverage do I need?
The amount of coverage you buy should reflect the total value of everything in your rental. Savvy renters will take a room-by-room inventory of their belongings and estimate the cost of replacing each item in their rental.
Even after you request coverage for that amount, remember to take inventory of all your belongings at least once a year. It’s a good way to check if your current policy is up-to-date and still fully reflects the value of your possessions.
A home inventory can save time, money and peace of mind, and help you get the most value from your insurance.