You don’t need a master’s degree from Home Buying University to know that buying a house is expensive. Quite apart from mortgage repayments, before you’ve even stepped foot over your new threshold you have to pay out for stamp duty, solicitor’s fees, survey fees and seemingly arbitrary ‘administration fees’.
Is it a Tuesday? €120! Any allergies? €75 please. Is your star sign Aquarius with a rising moon in Virgo? It’s gonna cost you! From the moment you go ‘Sale Agreed’, little chunks of money seem to leak daily from your Big Fat Savings Account.
However, we’re going to show you how to get the best deal on your home insurance. I know. We’re terrific!
If you are you a first time home-buyer, calling up an insurance company for a quote can be overwhelming. They will fire a lot of questions at you that you probably never considered before. For example, when they ask you what the rebuild cost of your home is, they don’t want to know what the market value is but rather, how much would it cost to rebuild the property if it was destroyed. You can find a guide on rebuilding costs at the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland website. Make sure that the figure you give to your insurer matches the valuation which your bank has given previously. This valuation is the minimum amount that you must insure your house for.
Many insurers offer a discount if you have a house alarm fitted. Investing in a monitored home alarm will be viewed positively by your insurer. If combined with steps to protect your home from weather damage, such as flood prevention measures, the cost of your home insurance will be kept low.
While this tip won’t necessarily save you money, it could save you time and time is money so ergo, you’re still a winner. You need to have your life and home insurance set up before closing. After weeks or months of inactivity you suddenly need to move things along RIGHT NOW! To keep pace, request a digital copy of your indemnity letter to be sent immediately which you can then send on to your bank or mortgage broker. Your bank will want to be noted as ‘an interested party’ on the documents so make sure the agent has included this. The insurer may also on request post out a hard copy.
An excess is the first amount of any claim that you will be responsible for. If you feel that you are unlikely to make a claim on your home insurance policy, then increasing the amount of excess you pay can help reduce your overall premium. However, this may not be an option for you if you believe you are likely to make a claim in the future. It might be a good idea to ask your insurer of your options.
When a reminder email comes in from your home insurance provider telling you that the renewal date is coming up, don’t hit ‘delete’ straight away. It’s important to check the details of your policy before you roll into another year. For example, you may still have an expensive laptop included on your policy but perhaps you’ve sold it on – don’t pay for something you no longer own. You may also need to adjust the value of some of your contents as they may have depreciated over the year. By keeping the information provided to your insurer up to date and accurate, you will get the right cover at the best price.
There are a number of exclusions in each policy which are important to note so that you fully comply with the contract between you and your insurer. Any kind of renovation work must be declared immediately to your insurance company as additional forms and cover may be required. If your home is going to be unoccupied for more than two weeks in a row, remember to turn off the water and heating and, if possible, arrange for a neighbour or relative to check on the property regularly. If your house is unoccupied for more than 30 days in a row, your household insurance may not be valid. Check your policy booklet for full details and be sure to keep your insurer informed.
The saying goes that there is no such thing as a free lunch but if you chose AA Home Insurance, AA Home Membership can be added as an optional extra. This covers up to four call-outs a year and can cover emergencies such as boiler breakdowns, broken locks and roof damage among other things.
Are you in the market for home insurance? With AA Home Insurance you can currently get a €60 discount on any online quote as well as up to 40% No Claims Discount.