26 Apr 2016

Protecting your home for added peace of mind

Protecting your home

So you've finally got the keys to your home and are raring to start furnishing it with the things you love. If you're a HDB flat owner, you would have purchased a compulsory fire insurance policy upon taking out a bank loan or a mortgage loan with HDB. To help complement your basic fire insurance, a comprehensive home insurance policy would provide better coverage for your home. But what should you look out for when purchasing a home contents policy?

Each home is different, with varying needs. Likewise, your home contents policy should be suited to meet your needs. Ideally you're looking for a policy that covers major renovation, alternative accommodation, personal belongings and even repairs to a neighbour's damaged property, for which you might be legally liable.

How much to insure for?
It's also crucial to insure your home for the right amount. The sum insured should equal the total cost to rebuild your home, including professional fees and debris removal.This means the compensation you'll receive, if something happens, is limited to the total cost of rebuilding or reinstatement. When it comes to your household contents, the replacement value worth at the time of the inception of the policy may be taken as the sum insured. Ensure you understand what will be covered and always check with your insurer before taking up a policy.

How much premium to pay?
When it comes to the premiums you pay for home contents insurance, it's not about the size of the house, but the amount insured. Choose a coverage that meets your needs and budget, which  means it should mirror the renovation cost, home contents, as well as fixtures and fittings you want to insure. However, do note that this coverage will only compensate up to the limit agreed upon in the contract. If the total costs exceeds the limit, you will not be able to recover your losses if something happens.

What else to consider?
Before you shop for home contents insurance, consider the following as well. Find out the types of extra cover you can purchase, whether there are restrictions on what your home can be used for and if the policy you intend to purchase fulfills the requirement set out by HDB or your bank. These will help make your claim process a smoother one.

As your home is most likely the biggest investment you'll make, it's only wise to give it the protection it deserves. Discuss with your insurer to work out the coverage that best suits your needs and budget.