Deciphering all the parts of your home insurance policy can be difficult, but with a few pieces of insider knowledge, it’ll all start to make sense.
All home insurance policies follow the same general format
- This usually includes helpful telephone numbers, details about how to make a complaint and your cancellation rights.
A definitions section
- This will pick key words and highlight them in bold. It will give a brief explanation of what these words mean, and if you see that word in the cover sections, this section will tell you exactly what the definition of that word is.
A cover section
- This is usually the bulk of the booklet, and goes into great detail about what is and isn’t covered. It won’t mention any sums insured, they’re left for the schedule. Sometimes understand what the insurer means in this section can be difficult, but at Turner Insurance Group, we’ve spend long enough reading policy wordings to understand what it all means.
Liability and legal insurance section
- This is usually towards the back of the book, and just goes into detail a about your legal cover and liability cover. Be careful though, whilst liability cover is automatically included on all personal household policies, legal cover isn’t. Check your schedule to see if legal cover is included.
The policy schedule simply provides an overview of the details specific to your individual policy and includes cover information such as the different types of insurance you have selected along with your excess. It will also include any special conditions or changes made to the policy. These are things that you should pay attention to, as they are specific to your individual policy.
You hear the phrase ‘insured events’ all the time when it comes to insurance, but what does it actually mean? Put simply, if you look at your policy wording, it’ll generally be the headings shown on the left side of the page. It’ll say things like ‘fire’, ‘theft’, ‘subsidence’ and so on. Then generally, on the right side of the page, it’ll go into further details about what is and isn’t covered for each insured event.
When you receive a copy of your policy, it is important to review all of the information on the policy schedule (or statement of fact) for accuracy. If you do spot anything, let us know, and we’ll amend this.
Keep hold a hard or electronic copy of your policy schedule in case you need it in the future.
As for what you are covered for, a standard home insurance policy is typically a ‘combined policy’, which means it covers both damage to your buildings and contents as well as your liability.
Your buildings insurance offers protection as a result of damage to the structure of your home (including permanent fixtures, like fitted units).
Your contents within your home would be items such as furniture and large electronic items. Very basically, anything you would take with if you were to move can be defined as ‘contents’.
Your personal possessions (sometimes called ‘all-risks’) are general smaller items you could carry with you whilst away from your home. This could be glasses, clothing, or mobile phones to name a few. In this section of cover, you should be aware of something called the ‘single article limit’ as any single item over this limit needs to be specified on your schedule in order to be covered. Your schedule should tell you what your single article limit is, but if you aren’t sure, just call us at Turner Insurance Group, and we’ll find out for you.
Your liability cover simply covers against legal actions for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members may cause to other people. It pays for both the cost of litigation and any court awards up to your sum insured. It also covers you whether you are at home or away.
So, some tips for your levels of cover:
- Create a record of your possessions. Take pictures, keep receipts, anything to help prove the ownership and value of an item. Especially if it’s more valuable than your single article limit.
- Understand the difference between ‘indemnity’ and ‘new-for-old’. Indemnity is a long was of saying ‘what it’s worth at the time of the claim’. New-for-old does exactly what it says on the tin. Your sofa was damaged? Your insurer will cover you for the cost of a new one.
- Do your research. Knowing what you are and aren’t covered for from the start gives value to your insurance, and saves any upset further down the line. Earlier we mentioned ‘insured events’, and during a claim, an insurer will need to put your claim under one of these insured events. If it doesn’t fit under one (like old age or wear-and-tear), it’s likely that it won’t be covered.
All that being said, Turner Insurance Group tailor your specific policy to your bespoke needs, so whilst knowing these tips and tricks will help, if you have any questions about your policy, someone is always available to help. Just give us a call or send us an email.