Whether you’re a first time buyer, landlord, tenant or home owner looking to renew, you need a policy that gives peace of mind, with the cover you need, at a price that’s right for you.

Here are some great tips on what to look for, and saving money, without affecting the important benefits that home insurance provides.

What is the difference between buildings and contents amounts?

When buying a home insurance policy you will be asked for the value you would like to place on the building’s amount or the contents amount of your home.

The building’s amount is considered to be the cost of the physical structure. Under this total it is important to include outbuildings, sheds and greenhouses. This figure should reflect the actual cost of rebuilding your property. This may be less than it was several years ago, therefore it’s worth reviewing this, as it might reduce your premium.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors provide a free online rebuild cost calculator, which you can use to estimate the cost of a rebuild for your property. For more details visit www.scai.ie.

On the other hand, the contents amount is classed as the household goods and personal effects which belong to you, or for which you are legally responsible. They are not part of the physical building structure. It can be useful to think of your contents as the items that you would bring with you if you moved house. These are the items that need to be insured under the contents amount.

How do I calculate my contents amount?

When looking to calculate the value of the contents of your home, we recommend that you:

Set aside an hour of your day, grab yourself a pen and paper and work from the front door into your home.

Move from room to room taking note of the items contained within each and estimate the cost of replacing these items/

Remember to include the items that you may have stored in the garden shed, garage or attic.

By doing a checklist, you are more likely to not under-insure your contents. At the same time, be careful not to over-insure these items, as this will only result in you paying a premium over your actual requirements.

If you are unsure of how much an item would cost to replace, it may be worthwhile to use online shopping sites or catalogues to give you an idea of the cost of particular items.

What is Accidental Damage?

Accidental damage to buildings will protect your home against unforeseen occurrences around the home, such as smashing a window when playing football with your children or bursting a pipe while drilling a wall to hang some new shelves. Accidental damage for your contents covers you for misfortunes such as a scratch to your dining room table, as you move furniture about the house, or knocking a glass of red wine over the couch, as you settle down for some Saturday night television. Simply put, Accidental Damage is damage you cause to your buildings or contents, and having this cover on your policy gives you the peace of mind that you won’t be out of pocket.

What should I ask for when shopping around?

First of all, remember that the policy offering the lowest premium is not always the best. Are you confident that this cheaper policy will cover you when you have to make a claim?

With so many different polices on the market, it can be hard to keep track of the benefits and discounts being offered when you’re shopping around for your home insurance. Below is a list of the main benefits you should look out for the next time you find yourself looking for home insurance:

  • Insurance Company / Broker
  • Accidental Damage
  • Loss of oil
  • Home Rescue
  • Freezer Contents
  • Fire Brigade Cover
  • Door Locks
  • Alarm Discount
  • Smoke Alarm Discount
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Wedding Gifts
  • Alternative Accommodation
  • Personal Money
  • Contents in Transit
  • Public Liability
  • Unoccupancy period
  • Unspecified All Risks Cover
  • Policy Excess
  • Satellite Aerials

Always ask for ways to save

You should ensure that you benefiting from any additional discounts that you may be eligible for, for example:

  • If you have had no previous claims or have been claims free within the past three years.
  • If your house has an alarm (it may reduce the cost of your home insurance).
  • If your house has smoke alarms.

We’ll always work to find you the best cover at the best price. For more information, click here or call us on (01) 408 4004.