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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Covered Under My Home Insurance?

December 13, 2023

At FitzGerald Flynn Insurances, we recognise the significance of safeguarding your home. Your residence is more than just a building; it's where you create memories, build your life, and protect your loved ones. This is why understanding the intricacies of home insurance is crucial. In this article, we aim to address some of the most commonly asked questions about home insurance in Ireland. Whether you're stepping into homeownership for the first time or seeking to reevaluate your existing policy, we hope to provide you with the insights you need to make informed decisions about securing your cherished space.

What is Home Insurance?

Home insurance is a financial shield, designed to protect your property and belongings from the unexpected. In Ireland, several common types of home insurance policies are available:

Buildings Insurance: This policy covers the physical structure of your home, including walls, roof, floors, and fixtures.

Contents Insurance: This safeguards your personal belongings within your home, such as furniture, electronics, clothing, and valuable items like jewellery.

Combined Buildings and Contents Insurance: This comprehensive policy covers both the physical structure of your home and the contents within it.

Do I Need Home Insurance?

In Ireland, while it's not legally mandated to have home insurance, it's a practical necessity for anyone who owns a home. Your home is a substantial investment and protecting it is essential. Picture a scenario where unforeseen events like fire, storms, or vandalism occur. The costs of repairing or rebuilding your home, along with replacing your personal belongings, can be staggering. Home insurance acts as a financial safety net, helping you recover without bearing the full financial burden.

Furthermore, your home is not just a building; it's the heart of your family's life. It's where you build memories and find comfort. Safeguarding this space is a matter of love and responsibility towards your family's well-being.

If you're in the process of purchasing a home with a mortgage, it's vital to understand that most mortgage providers in Ireland will require you to have buildings insurance before approving your mortgage. This requirement ensures the property is adequately covered, providing peace of mind for both you and the lender, knowing the investment is protected.

What is Covered Under my Home Insurance Policy?

Understanding the nuances of what your home insurance policy covers is crucial for ensuring comprehensive protection for your property and belongings. Let's delve into the specific coverages offered by different types of home insurance in Ireland:

1. Buildings Insurance:

Buildings insurance is the cornerstone of home protection, covering the physical structure of your property. This includes not only the walls, roof, and floors but also fixtures and built-in features. In the unfortunate event of damage from fire, storm, flood, subsidence, or vandalism, your buildings insurance steps in to cover the costs of repairs or, if necessary, the complete rebuilding of your home. Additionally, building insurance will generally cover any legal liability as owner of the property for bodily injury or accidental property damage. This coverage extends beyond the mere bricks and mortar, encompassing such things as pipes and cables laid under your home. 

Additionally, some policies may offer extras like alternative accommodation cover. This provision ensures that, should your home become uninhabitable due to covered events, your insurance will cover the cost of temporary accommodation while the necessary repairs are underway.

2. Contents Insurance:

Contents Insurance is designed to safeguard your personal belongings within your home. Contents insurance covers the replacement or repair of damaged or stolen contents up to the cost of replacement/repair. This encompasses a wide range of possessions, including furniture, electronics, clothing, and valuable items such as jewellery and artwork. In the unfortunate event of theft or accidental damage, your contents insurance steps in to provide financial support for the replacement or repair of these items.

Contents cover insurance is often the best type of cover to opt for if you are a tenant in a rental property as it covers your belongings in the property while generally also covering your liability for damage to the landlord’s building. 

3. Combined Buildings and Contents Insurance:

This comprehensive policy provides a complete package of protection by combining the coverages offered by buildings and contents insurance. It safeguards both the physical structure of your home and the personal belongings within it. Opting for a combined policy ensures seamless coverage, leaving no gaps in your protection.

Additional Considerations:

In addition to the core coverages mentioned above, some home insurance policies may offer optional or add-on coverages. These could include protections for specific high-value items like laptops, mobile phones, or other valuable electronics greater than a specific value specified by your policy provider. By specifying these items in your policy, you can ensure they are protected against a wider range of risks.

What Events Are Covered Under Home Insurance?

Home insurance provides a crucial safety net against a range of unforeseen events that could potentially lead to significant financial loss. Understanding what events are covered is essential for ensuring that your policy adequately protects your home and belongings.

1. Fire and Smoke Damage:

One of the most fundamental coverages of home insurance is protection against fire and smoke damage. This includes damage caused by flames, as well as damage from smoke that may result from a fire within your home or nearby.

2. Storm and Hail Damage:

Home insurance typically covers damage caused by severe storms, including wind, hail, and lightning strikes. This can encompass a wide range of potential damage, from roof leaks to structural damage.

3. Water Damage:

Water damage is a common concern for homeowners. Home insurance typically covers damage caused by sudden and accidental events, such as burst pipes, overflowing toilets, or a malfunctioning washing machine. It's important to note that damage from flooding may require additional coverage, as it is typically not included in standard policies.

4. Theft and Vandalism:

Home insurance provides protection against theft and vandalism. This includes coverage for stolen belongings and damage to your property resulting from criminal activities.

5. Falling Objects:

If a tree branch, debris, or other objects fall onto your property and cause damage, home insurance can typically cover the costs of repairs.

6. Subsidence and Landslide:

While not always included in standard policies, coverage for damage caused by subsidence (the sinking or settling of the ground) and landslides can be available as an add-on or under certain policies, especially in areas prone to such events.

7. Impact Damage:

If a vehicle or aircraft collides with your home, causing damage, this is typically covered by home insurance.

It's important to carefully review the specifics of your policy with your broker to understand the full extent of coverage and any exclusions that may apply. Additionally, if you live in an area prone to specific risks, such as flooding or earthquakes, you may need to consider additional coverage options to ensure comprehensive protection.

How to Get Extra Coverage for Valuables:

If you own high-value items like laptops, mobile phones, or valuable electronics, it's essential to ensure they have adequate coverage. Start by creating an inventory detailing these possessions, including make, model, and approximate value. Then, consult your dedicated insurance adviser at FitzGerald Flynn Insurances. They will assist in specifying these items in your policy, providing explicit coverage and peace of mind against a wider range of risks.

Consider options like All Risks insurance cover, which extends protection even when items are outside your home. Regularly review and update your coverage to accommodate any new valuable acquisitions. At FitzGerald Flynn Insurances, we specialise in tailoring policies to your specific needs, including providing extra coverage for high-value items. Our advisers are ready to offer personalised advice and support to ensure your peace of mind. If you have any questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

At FitzGerald Flynn Insurances, we're committed to helping you understand the details of your home insurance policy. Our experienced advisers can provide personalised advice and support, ensuring you have the coverage you need for complete peace of mind. If you have any questions about your existing policy or need assistance in selecting the right coverage, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

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