Understanding the ins and outs of home insurance is crucial. Here’s what you need to know to safeguard your home against any unexpected loss or damage.

For most of us, there is no place quite like home. Not only is it the place where you rest your head at night, but it is also the place that’s likely to house everything you own.

And while there are a number of safety measures that you can invest in to help protect your belongings, homeowners are still vulnerable to the risk of property theft, damage, and loss. Home insurance is one of the best ways to make certain that your property is protected in the event of an emergency.

Types of home insurance

There are three types of insurance homeowners can consider. These are namely; homeowners building insurance, home contents insurance and personal valuables insurance.

  • Homeowners Building Insurance

Home insurance is also known as building insurance. It is a policy which specifically covers the building structure of a home against accidental loss or damage caused by fire, theft or natural disasters like floods.

Depending on the insurance company, the cover can also extend to include other structures like your garages, greenhouses and swimming pools, as well as permanent fixtures around your house like baths, toilets and fitted kitchens.

Some policy suppliers also offer Personal Liability Cover in addition to the building insurance policy. This is to specifically protect property owners from any third party claims. The Personal Liability Cover offers financial protection for property owners should a third party lay a claim against a homeowner for accidental death, injury or illness which may occur on their property. It also offers homeowners financial protection for accidental loss or damage to a third party’s property.

  • Home Contents Insurance

While homeowners insurance protects against loss or damage to the physical structure of your home, it does not cover what’s inside, which is why there is Home Contents Insurance.

Home contents insurance is designed to cover your household goods against loss or damage caused by accidents like theft, burglary, fire, malicious damage, and/or natural disasters like storm and flood damage amongst others.

These household goods include the likes of furniture, curtains, home appliances and clothing. Fixed items within your home however, such as a tap or an immovable carpet are not generally covered by home contents insurance.

  • Personal Valuables Insurance

Personal Valuables insurance is an independent policy separate from homeowners insurance and home contents insurance. This policy covers any personal valuables that a homeowner would usually carry or wear outside of their home, like clothing, handbags, laptops, bicycles or even jewellery.

The policy has two types of cover, namely, specified items and non-specified items. The non-specified items policy covers a standard list of general items and will pay up to a certain amount should any loss or damage occur. The specified items policy allows you to individually insure your most expensive items, like cell phones and laptops against accidental loss or damage and will compensate up to the amount specified in your policy schedule.

Why home insurance is important

Aside from offering financial protection, there are many other benefits of home insurance:

  • Should your house get damaged, you can get repairs done in a timeous manner and don’t have to wait an extensive period to rake up the necessary funds.
  • If you have an emergency covered loss, home insurance will provide emergency repair services to protect and prevent your home from further damage.
  • If you can’t live in your home because of a mandatory evacuation, your insurance policy will cover your temporary living expenses – provided that your insurance claim is approved.
  • Some policy suppliers also offer a no-claim rewards incentive where homeowners can reclaim cash back after a specified number of premiums are paid.
  • A number of policy suppliers also provide the option to include unique provisions above and beyond the normal coverage offered, to effectively accommodate homeowners.

List of Some Notable Home Insurance Companies

  • Sanlam
  • Old Mutual
  • Santam
  • Outsurance
  • Discovery
  • Hollard
  • Liberty
  • MiWay
  • Budget