House Insurance protects you if something bad happens to your home including fires, natural disasters and events leading to damages to your property (the structure, roof, fencing, garage, pool, garden and more).
This is for property owners, not for those renting (see Contents Insurance instead).
If you have a mortgage on the house, most lenders will require you to have it. Your house is likely your most valuable and expensive asset. For most, we will not be able to buy a new house if something bad happens to the current one.
We think it’s worth paying a small amount to protect you and your family. The cost of building a house has increased almost 50% over the last few years. This means that a property previously costed $300,000 to build will now cost you $600,000 to replace.
First, pick a House Insurance provider. Most Car Insurance companies (AA, AMI, State, Tower) and banks (ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Westpac) will offer it. If you have existing policies, especially Contents or Vehicle Insurance, you can bundle these together for a discounted price.
Second, have your details handy such as address, size of house, type of construction including roof material, and other structures like swimming pool, garages, fencing and decks. If in doubt, get a professional Valuer or Quantity Surveyor to check for you. You’d want to get this right as valuing your house is both difficult and important. If you don't cover enough, it could cost you a fortune to rebuild.
Third, pick a plan such as Basic or Comprehensive. The difference will largely be in additional benefits such as coverage amount for minor renovations and the limits for certain benefits.
Basic plans may cover landscaping cost for up to $1,000 but Comprehensive plans may be $5,000. Higher level plans will also include optional extras, such as separate fees that cover for things like glass breakage and stress benefit payouts to help cope with losing your home.
Fourth, pick your Excess. Typically Excess options usually range between $500 to $1,500. The higher the Excess the cheaper the premiums (ongoing cost of insurance). Excess is the amount you pay to make a claim. You take away some of the risk that the insurance company takes on so they reward you with a cheaper price (premium). However, make sure you’ve got enough in your bank account to pay the Excess if you did get into an accident or needed to use your insurance. Putting the Excess on your credit card is expensive!
Lastly, check that your insurance cover is still right for you every 12 months or if you have any changes to your family, income or lifestyle.
Quashed is an online platform that makes it easy for you to manage and track all your insurance in one place. You’ll be prompted at the right time to check on your insurance and it helps you keep track of how your premiums are increasing each year.
The cost of your premium is different with each provider and they don't all follow the same guidelines when it comes to calculating costs. Premiums are the on-going payments you make to continue your cover and protection. Below are some of the common factors used in the industry that will play a part in determining your premium.
The region you live in: your premiums will increase according to where you live and it's risk of natural disasters. Additionally, other factors such as how close you are to a fire station/water supply affects your costs, as it changes the likelihood of your house burning down completely.
Your house’s condition: Things such as the age of your house, its size, the construction materials used in the structure, and the overall quality will affect your premium. This also includes other factors like if your house is built on a slope, and the quality of materials used furnishing the house. In general if your house is strong and of high quality, the more your premium will be.
Your level of cover/plan: Depending on which level of cover you are after, some may include optional and additional benefits, your premium will be different. The higher the amount, the more comprehensive your plan will be and so will your be cost.
How your house is occupied: This relates to the care and daily maintenance of your house. If you are living in for residential purposes the premium will be lower than for business use. Similarly, if your house is permanently occupied rather than a holiday home, you can expect to pay less in premium since it will be looked after more.