Special Features

Making home insurance a priority during the Covid-19 housing market boom

Sarah Watts | Legal & General Insurance
|
7th December 2020
Sarah Watts
"For many homeowners across the UK, the expression that “a man’s home is his castle” continues to resonate and in some ways, is even more pertinent in the current climate."

The housing market has bounced back from the lows of April and May in a way that no-one predicted, possibly due to homebuyers looking to take advantage of the temporary stamp duty holiday to find their new home.

However, difficult economic conditions and job insecurity mean purchasing a house is still no mean feat. Which is why it’s surprising that some consumers haven’t learnt the value of protecting their home with the right insurance.

After a lengthy mortgage process, it’s understandable why home insurance may not be the first thing on buyers’ minds, but it’s an essential part of the home buying process and not one to skip or hurry over. This is where advisers can play an integral role in raising awareness and adding value to the customer journey in terms of knowledge, advice and recommendations of the different options available.

Protecting the home inside and out

The first thing homebuyers need to consider are the different types of home insurance and what they cover – Buildings, Contents or combined. Having buildings insurance in place to protect the outside of the home is a condition of taking out a mortgage, but there’s a number of different factors to consider when advising clients on the right policy for them.

Buildings insurance covers the costs of repairing or rebuilding the structure of your home should it be damaged or destroyed. It includes outbuildings, fixtures and fittings, garages and domestic outbuildings, within the boundaries of your land.

Homeowners also need to consider the value of having cover in place to protect their possessions from loss, damage or theft – contents insurance. Many people can adopt a “it won’t happen to me” attitude when it comes to thinking about any damage or loss to their valuables, but advisers should be prompting clients to consider all of their insurance needs very carefully.

Asking simple questions to understand the value of the homeowner’s possessions and whether they have any single high-value items, require any additional cover outside the home for their possessions and ensuring customers consider the amount it would take to rebuild their home, should it be damaged or destroyed, can go a long way towards ensuring they’re adequately protected.

It’s vital for advisers to get a full understanding of their clients’ needs to ensure they find the right policy for them, helping to give them peace of mind.

Accidents happen

In 2019, our most commonly reported household claim was for accidental damage. Whether its red wine spilt on the carpet, a broken television screen or a foot through the ceiling, accidents happen, so it’s something your clients should consider when choosing their insurance cover.

It’s important to consider potential exclusions to policies – most accidental damage insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by pets, wear or tear or if the property is let or unoccupied.

Equally, if homeowners are looking to make DIY home improvements once they’re moved into their new house, they should make sure they’re covered for any potential accidents. For minor renovations, advisers should urge their clients to check whether they need to increase their buildings or contents insurance and for major work, homeowners may need specialist renovation insurance.

For many homeowners across the UK, the expression that “a man’s home is his castle” continues to resonate and in some ways, is even more pertinent in the current climate. Advisers should ensure their clients are fully protected for any eventuality. Through their industry knowledge and expertise of the market, they’re best placed to guide homeowners to the right insurance solutions for their needs.

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