How much buildings cover do I need for my home?

Tommy Power

Tommy Power

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Do you know how much cover you really need?

Whenever you get a Home Insurance quote, a question that you are always asked is how much buildings cover do you need. But do you really know what that means? Most people assume that the current value of their home is the figure that they should give when getting a house quote. However, this is a bad idea as the cost required to rebuild a property could be higher than its actual value, as was the case during Ireland’s property bust of the recent past.
Such a situation could leave you under-insured. And if you were to make a claim without enough buildings cover, you would only receive a proportion of the insured amount. For example, if the buildings sums insured was only 80% of your property’s rebuild cost, you would only receive 80% of the amount sought for either a partial or total rebuild. This could cost you countless thousands of Euros that you thought you were insured for.
It is therefore essential that you know what your buildings cover should be before you go get a quote. The building sums should not only cover the rebuild cost, but also any costs relating to removal of debris as well as fees for building professionals. In particular, the rebuild cost should be enough to build your property as it was beforehand with all fixtures and fittings. Note that your calculations should also take into account other associated structures such as:

  • High Quality Fixtures & Fittings (Marble, Hard Wood Floors etc.)
  • Outbuildings & Garages
  • Driveways & Footpaths
  • Heating Oil Tanks
  • Fences & Walls
  • Terraces & Patios
  • Landscaping (Lawns, Shrubbery, Plants etc.)

That sounds like a lot of hard work. Is there an easy way to work out my buildings sums insured?

Apart from sitting down and doing the sums yourself, you’d be glad to know that there is a House Rebuilding Calculator available on the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland’s website that works out an accurate estimate of your properties’ rebuild cost. We recommend you always use that figure whenever you are getting a quote for home cover. If you do find that you are still unsure about your calculations from the website, always have a chat with an insurance adviser over the phone, especially if you are in the process of shopping around before your renewal.

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