Home insurance is home insurance…right? Well, not necessarily. There are several different insurance policy types of home insurance available to Irish homeowners, in addition to the standard Buildings Insurance that most of us need to get a mortgage, and if you want to protect you and your family against things such as fire, theft, storm damage, and flooding, it is essential that you have the right level of cover in place.
In this article, we explain the different types of Home Insurance available in Ireland to help you make a more informed decision next time you renew your policy.
Buildings Insurance Explained
No one likes paying expensive insurance premiums, but if there is one insurance you simply cannot afford to skip, it would have to be Buildings Insurance. Compulsory in Ireland for anyone looking to buy a home through a mortgage lender, buildings insurance not only covers the structure of your property in the event of fire, damage or loss, but it also covers permanent fixtures such as roofing materials, fitted kitchens, built-in wardrobes, and bathroom suites. Depending on the type of buildings insurance policy you have, outdoor buildings such as garages and sheds may also be covered.
When taking out a Buildings Insurance Policy, you should calculate the total amount it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch. The easiest way to do this is by using a buildings insurance calculator (available online) or speaking to your insurance broker who will help you work out a realistic figure.
Home Contents Insurance Policy
Much like buildings insurance, home contents insurance is essential for Irish homeowners. The average value of home contents in Ireland is believed to exceed 50,000 Euros, and so it is important that you protect your belongings from fire, theft, flood damage, and loss with a comprehensive contents policy.
One of the easiest ways to calculate the value of your home contents is by going from room to room, listing every single item that would cost money to replace. This should include carpets, curtains, light fittings, and even decorative items such as cushions and photo frames. You may be surprised at just how much you have invested in your home.
Many insurance brokers in Ireland offer combined buildings insurance and contents insurance policies, which can work out more affordable that two separate plans. Discuss the options available with your insurer before signing on the dotted line.
Landlord & Tenants Home Insurance
You don’t have to own a property to benefit from a home insurance policy. If you are renting a house or apartment, you won’t need to take out buildings insurance, but you should invest in a home contents insurance policy, particularly if you have furnished the rental yourself. This also applies to students and those living in shared accommodations. Your landlord may insist that you have contents insurance as part of your tenancy agreement, but even if they don’t, you should consider taking out a plan to protect your belongings.
Landlords have obligations when it comes to home insurance too, and standard buildings insurance policies may not provide the cover you need. As a landlord, you are ultimately responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of any property that you are renting out, along with any furnishings included, although you are not responsible for the tenants own possessions.
For peace of mind, landlords should take out a Landlord Insurance Policy, which provides additional cover for things such as contents, loss of rent, emergency repairs cover, and public liability.
Specialist Property Insurance
If you live in a listed building, a period building, or a property of high value (exceeding €500,000), you should consider taking out a Specialist Home Insurance Policy.
Listed Building Insurance offers an extra layer of protection for those who own older properties that are more vulnerable to damage and costlier to repair. Tailored to suit your individual needs, these policies are understandably more expensive than your average home insurance plan, but they could save you thousands of euros in the event of a fire, flood, or burglary.
High Value Home Insurance Policies cover things that are not typically covered under regular home insurance plans with single item limits. This type of policy is recommended for homes with valuable antiques, pieces of art, and expensive jewellery. Speak to your insurance broker for a personalised plan.