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Frequently Asked Questions

Home Insurance: 10 Common Questions Answered

June 22, 2023

At FitzGerald Flynn Insurances, we understand that homeowners often have many questions about protecting their homes. As we continue our FAQ series of blogs, we turn our attention to the subject of home insurance. Home insurance, while often overlooked, can be one the most important investments you make in your lifetime. In this article, we will address and answer the most common questions we receive from clients regarding home insurance in Ireland. Whether you're a new homeowner or looking to review your existing policy, we hope this guide will provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about safeguarding your home. 

What does home insurance cover?

Home insurance in Ireland typically covers your home and its contents caused by events such as fire, theft, and damage. It also includes coverage for your personal belongings. It's important to review your policy carefully to understand the specific coverage and exclusions.

How much home insurance do I need?

The amount of home insurance you need depends on the value of your property and its contents. These two values should be viewed independently. With regards to the premises,  your home insurance should cover the reinstatement value of the property. Additionally, your buildings home insurance should cover the cost of site clearance and professional fees. Your contents insurance should cover all of the belongings you would wish to take with you if you were to move house today. In essence, when viewing how much home insurance you require, you should consider the cost to rebuild your home and replace your belongings. Conducting a thorough home inventory and consulting with an experienced insurance broker can help you determine the appropriate coverage.

Are there different types of home insurance policies available in Ireland?

Yes, there are various types of home insurance policies available in Ireland. The most common types of home insurance are home and contents Insurance, Home Only insurance and contents only insurance. As the names suggest, home and content cover the premises and its contents, while home only and contents only cover each individually. 

What factors affect home insurance premiums in Ireland?

Several factors can impact your home insurance premiums in Ireland.

  1. Property Value and Rebuilding Costs: The value of your home and the estimated cost of rebuilding it are crucial factors considered by insurers. Higher property values and rebuilding costs generally lead to higher insurance premiums. Insurers assess these values based on factors such as location, size, construction materials, and features of your property.
  2. Geographic Location: Your property’s geographic location significantly affects home insurance premiums. Areas prone to natural disasters like flooding, storms, or subsidence may have higher premiums due to the increased risk of property damage.
  3. Security Measures: The level of security in your home affects your insurance premium. Security features such as burglar alarms, deadbolt locks, and security cameras can lower the risk of theft or vandalism, leading to potential premium discounts.
  4. Claims History: Insurance companies consider your claims history when calculating premiums. A history of frequent claims or significant losses may result in higher premiums as it indicates a higher risk for insurers.
  5. Policy Coverage and Deductibles: The extent of coverage and deductibles you choose also impact your premiums. Opting for broader coverage or lower deductibles may result in higher premiums. It's essential to strike a balance between coverage and affordability.
  6. Building Materials and Age: The construction materials used in your home and its age can affect insurance premiums. Properties constructed with fire-resistant materials, such as brick or stone, may attract lower premiums. Older properties may require higher premiums due to potential maintenance issues.
  7. Personal Factors: Certain personal factors, such as your occupation, credit history, and lifestyle choices, can influence home insurance premiums. Insurers may consider these factors when assessing the overall risk associated with providing coverage.

What type of home insurance do I need?

The type of home insurance that is best for you and your property depends largely on your relationship to the property. For instance, as a landlord, the most important type of home insurance to cover your property would be buildings cover and financial protection against potential loss of rent. If you are a tenant or renter in a property where you own the majority of the contents in the home, contents only insurance would be your best option. 

Do I need Home Insurance to buy a home in Ireland? 

While it’s not a legal necessity to have home insurance to purchase a home in Ireland, most mortgage providers will require you to have buildings cover home insurance before they give you a mortgage. 

Are my valuables covered under a standard home insurance policy in Ireland?

Most standard home insurance policies in Ireland have limits on coverage for high-value items like jewelry, artwork, and electronics. If you own valuable possessions, it's advisable to specify them separately and consider adding additional coverage, such as specified items or All Risks insurance cover. It is important to note that contents insurance won’t generally cover valuable personal items. If you wish to insure personal items such as laptops, jewelry, etc., you should ensure these are covered and specified under your contents or home insurance policy.

What happens if my home is unoccupied for an extended period in Ireland?

If your home in Ireland is unoccupied for an extended period, typically exceeding 30 consecutive days, it may affect your coverage. Some insurers require notification and may impose specific conditions or limitations on coverage during unoccupied periods. It's essential to check your policy and inform your insurer if your home will be vacant for an extended period.

Does home insurance in Ireland cover damage caused by subsidence?

Subsidence refers to the sinking or settling of the ground, which can lead to structural damage to your home. Depending on the location of your property, a standard home insurance policy may not cover subsidence. As a result, if you live in an area where subsidence is a possibility, it is crucial to review your policy and understand any exclusions or limitations related to this type of damage.

Can I transfer my home insurance policy to a new property in Ireland?

In Ireland, home insurance policies, unlike car insurance policies, are specific to the property insured. If you move to a new home, you will typically need to cancel your current home insurance policy and arrange a new policy for that property.

What should I do in the event of a home insurance claim in Ireland?

If you need to make a home insurance claim in Ireland, there are several important steps to follow. Firstly, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the incident and start the claims process. Take photographs or videos of the damage and gather any relevant documentation, such as garda reports or receipts. Provide all necessary information accurately and promptly to your insurer. Keep records of all communication with your insurer throughout the claims process and follow their instructions closely.

We hope this article has addressed some of the most common questions you may have had regarding home insurance in Ireland. Protecting your home is a crucial step in safeguarding your investment and providing peace of mind. By understanding the coverage options, factors affecting premiums, and the claims process, you can make informed decisions to ensure your home is adequately protected.

At FitzGerald Flynn Insurances, we specialise in helping homeowners find the right home insurance policies tailored to their specific needs. Our experienced insurance advisers are here to provide personalised advice and support, ensuring you have the coverage you need at competitive rates.

If you have any further questions or require assistance in selecting the right home insurance policy, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Contact FitzGerald Flynn Insurances today for a free consultation and let us help you protect your home and secure your future.

Remember, with the right home insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your most valuable asset is safeguarded against unexpected events. Don't wait until it's too late – act now and ensure your home is adequately protected with the right insurance coverage.

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