Your home is your most valuable asset. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics and answer the most frequently asked questions about home insurance.

Do I actually need home insurance?

Strictly speaking, no —but it’s certainly something you’ll want in the case of an accident or theft. Home insurance is extra peace of mind: knowing you’re safe should something happen will soothe a lot of worries. As well as having cover, banks actually request that you have home insurance as part of your mortgage agreement.

What is covered in my home insurance package?

It varies depending on the home insurance policy and the company you’re getting a quote from.

We cover:

  • Fire brigade charges up to €2,000
  • 24-hour HomeRescue Services (more on that in a bit)
  • Freezer contents up to €1,000
  • Public liability
  • Replacement doors, lock, and keys
  • Alternative accommodation
  • Christmas and wedding gifts
  • Title of deed replacement
  • Any breakage of glass and sanitary fixing e.g. your toilet.
  • Optional cover includes: All Risks Cover for items lost or stolen and Accidental Damage to buildings and contents.

What is HomeRescue?

HomeRescue is a 24-hour, 365 days-a-year nationwide emergency service that comes with your Cornmarket Home Insurance policy. HomeRescue assists you in the case of:

  • Damage to plumbing
  • Blocked drains
  • Broken glass
  • Breakage of glass to external windows or doors
  • Overflowing water tanks
  • Your home being made unsecure (locks, doors, and windows)
  • Electrical failure within the home.

Once the repairs have been made, we’ll also look after you by providing:

  • Overnight accommodation if your home cannot be lived in (including transport to and from your home)
  • Furniture storage for 7 days if your contents are at risk
  • Urgent message sent to a family member at home or abroad.

How do I value my home and its contents?

You might be tempted to pluck a figure out of the air or to over-estimate, but it’s important that you get your pricing right. Think in terms of rebuilding, instead of the market value. If something happened to your house, how much would it cost to rebuild? There are some great rebuild calculators available online that provide a pretty solid guide.

Valuing contents correctly is even more crucial. Contents insurance covers the items in the property. The easiest way to do this is to grab a pen and paper and go from room-to-room and see what’s in there and tot up how much it’s worth. Be logical though. You don’t really need to insure the candle that cost a Euro in the school fair. Think of it as if you were packing to move house. What would you bring with you? Those are the items that should make your final list.

So what’s accidental damage then?

Accidental damage covers any unforeseen occurrences. What’s an unforeseen occurrence? Say you’re playing football with your kids and the ball smashes through a window. Contents accidental damage would cover replacing the glass.

What happens if I take my stuff away from my home?

They won’t be covered. Let’s say you’ve got an expensive watch that you’ve insured as part of your contents, but then you put the watch on and head out for the day. If something happens to that watch while you’re out and about, it won’t be covered. You can have cover for these types of items on your home insurance policy by including “all risks cover” for these items on your policy. This will cover items inside and outside your home.

What does that mean for the stuff in my shed/Batcave?

Usually items kept outside are counted as part of your cover. Check your policy to be certain.

Is making a claim complicated?

The basic process has 3 steps:

  • Give your home insurance provider or broker a call as soon as possible, check your policy for the 24hour helpline number if you need to talk to someone outside of office hours.
  • Let them know what happened and ask for a claim form
  • You’ll get advice on what to do next. In the case of the football incident above, it would be suggested that you get the window fixed.

For larger claims on your home insurance policy, the process is fairly similar except your insurance company will call in a loss adjuster who’ll look into the claim.

Can a claim be refused?

Sometimes home insurance claims are refused. Maybe the circumstances or items included in your claim are not listed in your home insurance policy. Sometimes it can be because the claimant has broken the terms of their home insurance policy.

What do I need to know before making a claim?

It doesn’t hurt to know your home insurance policy well. Check the excess you’ll have to pay yourself towards the claim. For smaller claims like a broken window, you’re usually better off paying for your window yourself. Always keep in mind your no claims bonus.

Does it take ages to settle a claim?

It varies from case to case. A simple case obviously runs a lot quicker than if a room of your house is demolished in a fire. Claims are processed as quickly as possible.

So how do I go about getting home insurance?

Find a policy you like and that you feel suits your needs. Read through all the details and make sure you know what your home insurance policy offers. Payments are usually made by credit card, debit card, charge card, direct debit, or a bank draft.

For information about our home insurance policies visit our website or call us on (01) 408 4004.