Your Top Home Insurance Questions Answered

Home insurance can seem complicated and confusing. It has been in the news many times in the last few years following severe weather causing some of the worst flooding and structural damage in a generation.

We wanted to answer some of the most asked questions to our sales and customer service teams about home insurance:

Definition of Home Insurance: What is the difference between building and contents insurance?

This is a question we are often asked by first time buyers, taking out home insurance for the first time. Home insurance is made up of two components, building and contents insurance. Building insurance covers anything that is in an empty house before you move in. Contents insurance is everything you bring with you when you move into your home. Check out our handy checklist for a more detailed list.

Home insurance discounts: How do I get cheaper home insurance? 

There are things you can do to get cheaper home insurance or discounts on your premium. Discounts offered by AIG include:

Burglar alarm: having your home alarmed is a off-putting for a burglar who may want to enter your home through a window, the most common point of entry for burglars in Ireland.

Smoke alarm: as well as getting a discount on your home insurance, having a smoke alarm in your home could save your life.

Existing car insurance customer: having your car insurance with AIG pays off, you also get a discount on our home insurance.

Member of an AIG affiliate group: we have a number of groups that we partner with and if you belong to one of those you will also receive a home insurance discount.

Cheap home insurance: I have home insurance quotes from three providers, should I choose the cheapest one? 

Not necessarily, when you are deciding which home insurance premium to go for think about what the cost will get you and whether the cover will meet your needs. Some things to watch out for that will increase your premium;

Cover needed: make sure the policy quoted for has the cover you need. Have a valuable engagement ring? It may be worth paying a little extra to have it covered if it is lost or stolen. If this isn’t included in the cheapest quote you received then it may not be the one for you.

Check extras: make sure the premium contains the extras you need. Cheaper premiums may not. The most common extras include accidental cover for damaged contents or all risks which will cover items you own being lost, stolen or damaged while outside your home.

Higher excess: although being willing to pay a higher excess (the amount you pay before the insurance cover kicks in) may seem like a great way to save on your premium. Make sure you are comfortable paying that amount if you need to claim. There is no point in making a short term saving for a long term loss, especially if it adds financial pressure at an already stressful time.

Terms and conditions apply to all of the above depending on the provider.

Rebuild cost: do I insure the market value of my home? 

No, this is one of the easiest mistakes to make when it comes to insuring your home. We don’t need to insure the market value of your home, just the cost of rebuilding it. For example, the average 4 bedroom semi-detached home (136sqm) in Dublin is valued at around €600,000 but the rebuild cost would be about €253,000. To figure out the rebuild cost of your home the Society of Chartered Surveyors have a handy calculator on their website.

Period Home Insurance: My home is over 100 years old, why is it so hard to find insurance for it? 

Period homes are a beautiful part of our country’s history but if you are lucky enough to own one it can be difficult to find home insurance. The reason for this is period property’s often need a lot of maintenance and are more likely than a new build to need major structural work. Although AIG don’t currently offer insurance for homes over 100 years, there are insurers who do and we recommend contacting a broker to find the right insurer for your property.

Landlord Insurance: I am a landlord, do I need insurance for my rented property? 

Landlord insurance protects your investment should something go wrong with your property so it makes sense to have it. If something happens to your property and your tenants have to move out you will receive a loss of rent payment. Landlord insurance will cover things like:

  • Replacement of locks
  • Fire Brigade Charges
  • Loss of rent cover
  • Title deeds

Most policies, including AIG’s, also protect the contents in the property that belong to you that are being used by the tenant.

If you have a question you would like answered in future, tweet us @AIGIreland. In the meantime use our home insurance calculator to find the cover that is right for you and your family.


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