Whether it’s your first home or your third, insurance plays an important role in the home-buying process. Not only will most banks require you to have house insurance before they approve you for a mortgage, but it also protects you should anything go wrong. So what do you need to know about insurance when buying your new home?
1. Check out the history of the property
When checking out a potential new home, we’re often looking at things like location, number of bedrooms and whether we can see ourselves living there. These are all important aspects, but it’s also a good idea to do your research from an insurance perspective. The size, age and condition of the house, as well as what it’s made from, will have an effect on your insurance and how much it will cost. If you can, it’s a good idea to find out what kind of insurance the house currently has, and whether there are any special conditions or considerations that may be in place.
2. Get your insurance sorted early
As we mentioned, many banks won’t offer you a mortgage if you don’t have house insurance, so you want to get onto that as soon as you can. Even if you just get an idea of the costs and the things that are likely to affect your premiums, it’s good to know exactly how much you’ll need to pay to insure the property – this gives you a better gauge of how much you’ll be paying on top of your mortgage. Get in touch with a broker if you’re not sure what the best cover is for your new home so that you can get it right from the beginning.
3. Make sure you have cover that is right for you
Because most house insurance in New Zealand is based on a ‘sum insured’ amount, you’ll need to make sure you have this number correct. The sum insured is the amount that you specify to be paid out if your home is damaged, and should take into account the cost of fully rebuilding your home and any additional costs like demolition. This is where it can be helpful to reach out to a broker, because if you make your sum insured too high, you’ll be paying more for what you don’t actually need, and if it’s too low, you might not be covered for what you do need.
4. Always keep your cover up to date
It’s important to review your house insurance regularly to make sure you always have the right amount of cover. If you’ve done some home improvements or renovations, you’ll need to make sure that the cost of these is taken into account in your sum insured. Depending on what you’ve added to your home, you may need to speak to your insurance provider to check it’s covered – this is because recreational features such as swimming pools might not be included in your policy and you may need to purchase additional cover for this.
If you want to have a chat about your home insurance situation, get in touch with us and we’ll get you sorted!