Homeowners: Have you got it covered?

As consumers continue to face the ever increasing cost of living, along with the possibility of further interest hikes before the end of the year, many homeowners may be reassessing their financial situation and looking at ways to save money and cut down on costs, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
“One of the ways in which homeowners can save money is by taking a look at their current home insurance policies and possibly changing their cover,” says Goslett. “While insurance is a necessity for homeowners, this does not mean that it has to be a financially draining burden. Homeowners should shop around and see what options are available to them from various insurance providers.”
Goslett advises that comparing various quotes from an array of insurance companies will give homeowners insight into the options available to them and will help them choose the best cover for the best possible price. “Homeowners have the option of either phoning the insurance companies directly themselves, or using the services of a broker who can source numerous quotes for the homeowner to peruse. Having a number of quotes will give the homeowner the chance to compare apples with apples and the range of various products that each service provider offers. Doing this one thing could assist the homeowner to save money in finding a cheaper option that provides as much, or perhaps more cover,”  he explains.
Often consumers will accept the annual increase on their insurance policies without questioning or researching whether there are better and cheaper options that cater to their specific criteria. In fact statistics suggest that only half of all homeowners will investigate their insurance policies when they have been increased. “Research may take some time and effort, but it is always worthwhile to ensure that the current policy is still the best option, meeting all the requirements while offering good value for money.  In order to be competitive in the market insurance companies launch new products regularly and are consistently trying to find ways to undercut their competitors. As result it is often possible to find good insurance products at lower rates. Without putting in the effort, it is impossible to know what the best option is,” says Goslett.
Ideally homeowners should review their insurance policies as part of an annual financial assessment. Every year the value of the property as well as its contents vary, so it is imperative that the homeowner’s insurance cover is adjusted accordingly.
With the internet at our fingertips, collecting information and quotes from various insurance providers is a relatively painless endeavour. There is very little that homeowners will not be able to find online. In fact there are centralised sites that will provide homeowners with quotes from different providers without them having to search on other portals. “We live in an age where things are far more accessible. To a large degree the work of finding comparative quotes has been taken out of the process and the procedure has been simplified and streamlined as much as possible. The homeowner will be required to load their details and insurance criteria, after which they will receive a list of all insurance companies and policies they offer which match the requirements. The list will also include the premiums that would be paid by the homeowner for each option. This will quickly paint a picture of which company can provide the best value,” says Goslett.
He provides a few basic elements that homeowners should consider when comparing policies:
 - Check for possible liability cover. This covers any injury or damage done to other people or their property, where the homeowner is at fault.
- Look at the cover for household contents and personal property. This pertains to all items inside the home that are not a part of the structure itself such as appliances, furniture and clothing. An inventory should be compiled to assess the level of personal cover required. Peruse this clause carefully as certain items may be excluded or covered under another type of insurance.
Check if there are certain items that need to be specified such as jewellery and laptops/other electronic devices.
After comparing quotes and selecting the appropriate one, Goslett says that homeowners that there are still further ways to decrease the premium such as upgrading the home’s security. “Added or upgrading the home’s security can reduce the monthly premium by as much as 5% in some instances. Certain insurance companies will also reduce their rates if the client is associated with a neighbourhood watch or block watch programme,” he says.
Often preferential premium rates will also be given to homeowners with a low or no claim history. “For this reason, it is best to only make use of the insurance policy when it is absolutely necessary. If possible, it is better to pay for small incidents from a contingency fund and leave the insurance policy for when it is really needed,” advises Goslett. “Homeowners can reduce their premiums by opting for a higher excess on claims; however this would mean having the excess amount put away in savings.”
If there are elements within the insurance policy that need clarification, it is advisable for the homeowner to seek guidance from a professional financial adviser or insurance broker.
“A home insurance policy is a vital aspect of homeownership - paying exorbitant premiums is not. Using these tips and reducing insurance premiums will ensure that homeowners can reduce their costs, while still having their property adequately covered for unexpected incidents,” Goslett concludes.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Nov 2017
      Most people know of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and that levies must to paid to fund its operations. In this article the experts at Paddocks will address some of the issues that are causing confusion.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      While sales have noticeably slowed in most sectors in most Cape town suburbs, the security estate sector in Constantiaberg has bucked the trend by remaining buoyant, with sales by August this year already surpassing total sales in 2016.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      The end of the year is fast approaching, and so are all the travellers, tourists and holidaymakers. For those who live near or own a property in a holiday-hotspot, the festive season also brings with it an abundance of short-term rental opportunities. Its a great way for property owners to make a few extra rand for their own holidays or to put towards their savings.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
    • 21 Nov 2017
      As more and more South Africans look to invest in property abroad, Spain is offering them one of the best deals in global real estate.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us