Home insurance renewal: 11 things you should & shouldn’t do
Posted by Guardhog Team on February 17, 2021 · Guide
Home insurance is crucial for protecting what could be your most valuable asset. That’s why we’ve put together our guide on what you should and shouldn’t do when your home insurance is up for renewal.
Download our home insurance renewal guide:
What you should do
1. Get multiple home insurance quotes
The cheapest home insurance does not always mean it’s the best.
Even if you have been with the same insurance provider since the dawn of time, it’s definitely worth having a look at what other insurance providers have to offer. Price comparison sites (think Money supermarket, Uswitch, Confused.com, Compare the market, etc.) have made the buying and renewal process for home insurance much easier and far more efficient.
Customers have access to a comprehensive all-in-one look at what insurance companies have to offer.
2. Keep your insurer informed of your activities
If you’re involved in the home-sharing industry, then finding the right home insurance is crucial.
If your home insurance provider is not informed that you are using your property as a short-term rental, then your home insurance policy will be void and this will affect you when you try to make a claim.
A claim can be rejected, even if it wasn’t to do with a short-term guest because you will have withheld important information that your insurer considers when it comes to the risks you are insured against.
We’ve all seen the Airbnb horror stories, and it’s not worth risking it and not telling your insurance provider.
Here at GUARDHOG, we have insured over 3 million nights and 650,000 plus hosts, which is why we are a market leader in the UK home-sharing insurance industry.
We can provide top-up cover as an add-on to your current home insurance, but why not get the full package and save yourself an administrative headache by having all your insurance under one roof, by choosing our HOMECOVER insurance.
3. Take an inventory of all your possessions
Your inventory should include the purchase price, date purchased, and a short description of each item.
This will help when it comes to your contents insurance.
4. Document your home the best that you can
The claims process can be difficult and torturous.
So why not make it easier for yourself, by taking photos and videos of every aspect of your home.
That way, you can save yourself the hassle and have proof in any circumstance that may arise.
5. Adjust your policy limits according to the cost to replace your contents
We advise that any items of considerable value, such as jewellery or valuable artwork, should ideally be listed individually on your policy.
Most insurers will only cover single valuable articles up to a certain amount.
Therefore, if your insurers have a single article limit of £1,500 and you have a painting worth £2,000, this will not be covered in the event of a claim unless it is individually listed on the policy.
Individually listing high worth valuables also helps insurers work out the correct premium to charge.
With more valuables and high-value items in the property, this usually equates to more risk to the insurer, so your insurance provider will need to charge you accordingly.
They will also need to ensure that the insurer can accept these items.
If you have £100,000 worth of standard contents, your insurer might be fine and accept this, however, if a high percentage of that is valuables, the insurer may have a different view.
When it comes to your valuables, you must be as truthful as possible about the value of those items.
You may have never had your Grandmother’s ceremonial urn valued, so you may have to estimate and it is better to estimate that it is worth more if you don’t know its actual value or have it valued to be safe.
Otherwise, you could simply remove it from your rental property to be even safer!
This is because if you estimate that there is £20,000 worth of contents in your property, your insurance provider will only cover you up to this amount. So if a fire burnt all your possessions, they would only pay out a maximum of £20,000.
If you then discovered that your valuables were worth a lot more than £20,000, you would not receive any more than the £20,000 payout.
6. Be accurate when answering questions about your home
You will need to give accurate answers about your home, including its size, major improvements, and other structures on the property.
An insurance policy is a legally binding agreement, so like with every agreement, you want to ensure the terms are correct.
It is your job as the homeowner, to be accurate on the proposal form and then your home insurance provider’s job to offer you accurate terms.
Your insurer could potentially be responsible for millions of pounds just on one property/policy, so they need to ensure that the information given is correct, to know that they are offering the correct terms with the most appropriate insurer.
If you do not give accurate details, you may get given a cheap price, but you are at risk of not being insured for a claim when you need it the most.
What you shouldn’t do
7. Don’t always go for the cheapest rate
The lowest rate doesn’t necessarily mean the best policy for you and your home.
You want to make sure you have all your bases properly covered and your assets are also properly insured.
As we have mentioned, if the information that you provide is not accurate, then you will only be insured for the amounts that your insurance provider has decided is appropriate.
This can be a very costly mistake both financially and mentally, so take the time to explore your options and put some serious thought into what is best for you, your property, and your purse strings.
8. Don’t underinsure your home
It’s important you accurately add up all your contents. Not doing so can lead to only part of a claim being paid.
If you estimate that there is £20,000 worth of contents in your property, your insurance provider will only cover you up to this amount.
It is not worth cutting corners just to get a cheaper price from your insurer because you will undoubtedly regret that choice if things do unfortunately go wrong.
9. Don’t forget that most insurers don’t automatically cover home-sharing
Most insurers don’t cover home-sharing activity, and some may even cancel your policy.
Check out our blog post Why Airbnb hosts need insurance for more info and then get in touch us for complete peace of mind.
10. Don’t clean up or make any repairs until after you’ve documented damage
Always do everything you can to limit the scale of any issues in the property, but be sure to document damage or problems as soon as they arise, as this will be crucial when it comes to making a claim.
The process will become much more difficult if you don’t have any evidence.
11. Don’t wait too long to make a claim
You can always make a valid claim no matter what your policy’s time limit is.
However, the key is making a claim as soon as you’re aware of the damage because this will give you the best possible chance of being reimbursed for the correct and full amount.