A guide to improving your home’s security

You might think it’s something that doesn’t really need to be said, but you’d be surprised at how many people take a lax approach to securing their home. Of course, you don’t want your property to fall victim to thieves, which is why you should do everything you can to ensure it is as safe as possible.

This is perhaps even more important if you live in a high-value home in an affluent neighbourhood. Given that these properties tend to have more valuable contents than the average household, it shouldn’t be too surprising that these are often targeted by criminals more. Of course, the greater the value of items you own the more you will be left out of pocket if you suffer a break-in, so investing in adequate safety measures really is worthwhile.

home's security

Luckily, there are several ways you can go about making your house a safer, more secure place so you can rest easy in the knowledge that any would-be crooks will find it extremely hard, if not impossible, to force entry. [Read more…]

Home Insurance

Whether you own your home or not, it makes sense to have some sort of home insurance. You may think that your possessions are not worth that much or that nothing will ever happen to you home, but the truth is that you just don’t know.

The UK has seen hurricanes and excessive flooding which has resulted in property damage in many areas. Burglary can result in the loss of some of your treasured possessions. In fact, some statistics show that a third of us are affected by this crime. That’s why it makes sense to insure your home and contents against loss or damage with Halifax home insurance.

Home insurance can take many forms, with different policies available for homeowners, landlords and tenants. In order to get home insurance you will need to supply the landlord with information about the building you are insuring. That might include when the building was constructed and what forms of security exist, such as a protected entrance or a home alarm system. This will aid the insurer in determining how much risk there is to your property and in setting the insurance premiums that will apply.

Types Of Home Insurance

Buildings insurance is one form of home insurance. This covers the rebuilding cost of your home rather than its market value. That means the level of insurance cover is based on how much it would cost to construct your home again from scratch.

A buildings home insurance policy may also cover your home against damage through vandalism, natural disasters such as storms and floods, subsidence, water leakage and fire. It is best to check exactly what is covered by your particular policy.

Contents insurance can cover anything that is not part of the building. While some home insurance policies cover both buildings and contents, there are also contents insurance policies as part of landlord insurance or standalone contents policies for tenants.

Contents insurance can insure your household goods against damage from fire, natural disasters, vandalism, theft and accidental damage. Some contents insurance policies cover your garden plants as well, while others include cover for items such as mobile phones and laptop computers that you use away from home.

There is a wide variation in what may be covered by a home insurance policy, so shop around for the best premium and the best level of cover. Make sure that you insure for the full replacement value of your possessions (or get new for old cover) and watch out for the excess figures

Home Insurance – Comprehensive, Necessary, and Powerful!

Insurance is powerful. No no, it’s not because we think that you should just run out and get insurance without reading all of the fine print. On the contrary — we would never recommend for anyone to enter into a new contract with anyone until they’ve had time to really think about all of the facts there. Yet there is a point where you have to realize the power of actually having insurance.

A lot of people only seem to hear horror stories on how bad insurance is, only to find that insurance really isn’t that bad. Yes, you’re going to need to pay your premiums every month in order to keep your service active. Yet the peace of mind that you get from knowing that your insurance is going to be there for you is a lot more valuable than any monetary premium that you need to pay.

What type of insurance are we talking about today? It would definitely have to be home insurance. Even though homeowners are required to carry home insurance, many homeowners try to go under the radar by reducing the total coverage that their policy contains, in order to save on the monthly premiums. This is a very dangerous game. Sure, for most people nothing will happen. But if the worst happens and disaster strikes your home, you’re going to be left with absolutely nothing — and that’s absolutely scary. It’s better to make sure that you have things under control in the sense that if the worst happens, you can actually replace the life that you had. You can’t do that if you short yourself on home insurance.

The truth is that while people assume that home insurance is something that has to be expensive, that doesn’t mean that it really is expensive. The reality here is that all things can be affordable if you’re willing to take the time to look. For instance, if your house has a security system, many insurers offer a discount because your house is safe from the start, thus less of a liability. You want to think about home insurance that is as comprehensive as possible. Home insurance should not only cover the actual structure of your home, but the garage and the basement as well. You would be surprised at some of the exceptions in insurance policies that we see. Protection is well worth the additional costs, and you want to always be looking to make sure that your policy covers the things that matter to you. Storage sheds on your property should also be covered from loss, theft, and damage.

As you can see, home insurance isn’t just something that’s nice to have — it’s comprehensive, necessary, and powerful! Get your policy today!

Getting Better Homeowner’s Insurance to Become a Landlord

Caught by the real estate bug? Ready to jump right into getting real estate? Or perhaps you’re like millions of Americans that already have two homes and you desperately want to rent out your home to someone that could really use a home. Instead of fretting about all of the details, there are people you can outsource this process to. However, before you can turn over the heavy lifting to a property management company, you will need to make sure that you really do have the right amount of homeowner’s insurance.

Homeowner’s insurance isn’t just something that’s nice to have. If you’re going to carry a mortgage on a property, your lender is going to want to make sure that you have enough insurance to cover their investment as well. This is just part of the process of getting a mortgage. While in some rare cases you can skip your homeowner’s insurance, why would you want to open yourself up to that type of loss? If the worst happens and you were the victim of a fire or another mishap, all of your belongings would be gone — including the house itself. Homeowner’s insurance allows you to start from scratch.

When you become a landlord, one area that you will need to work on before any other is the realm of marketing; you need to make sure that your future tenants know that you are a person that has their safety in mind. Getting homeowner’s coverage to extend to your tenants isn’t difficult, but it does require taking a few steps.

First and foremost, you will need to look at your existing policy and really make sure that you truly do have the coverage that you think that you do. It can be tempting to assume that your insurance agent signed you up with all of the coverage’s that matter to you, but this isn’t true. In fact, if you are planning on being a landlord, it is possible that you could be voiding your homeowner’s insurance. This is why it’s always a good idea to call your insurance company to let them know your plans as well.

When it comes to your tenants, you will need to let them know that your homeowner’s insurance policy only covers the structure of the home — if they want their belongings to be protected then they will have to get renter’s insurance. Because they don’t own the home, homeowner’s insurance isn’t open to them. Yes, we know that sounds like common sense but we have definitely had some tenants that didn’t understand the distinction — yikes!

In order to make changes to your homeowner’s policy, you will also want to make sure that you take pictures of the way the house looks. In addition, if you haven’t had your home appraised recently, now would be a good time to make sure that the true value of the home is represented.

One area that homeowner’s insurance can cover that you should know about is damages to your property that your tenants cause. Normal wear and tear is expected and you will need to simply handle those maintenance costs — the price of doing business. However, every landlord knows about tenants that truly trash and destroy a place simply because it’s not theirs — they can move out, so what do they care? It’s that reason why you might really want to think about getting your own homeowner’s insurance and stretching it to adjust for your new life as a landlord.

Is being a landlord difficult? It certainly can be — but you will need to simply stay focused on your goal — you’ll be okay in the end, but the time to act is definitely today!

How can you compare home insurance, if the cover offered doesn’t compare?

Whether you own, or are renting your accommodation, home insurance of some form is vital to protect your property and possessions.

Nowadays, most forms of home insurance contain two distinctly separate parts. The first of these is buildings insurance, which covers any damage that may be incurred to the structure of your property; this includes items such as your roof, brickwork and also most outbuildings you may have. The second form of insurance is contents insurance, which offers protection for your personal possessions, furniture, white goods and more.

Recent crime figures reported in the Mail Online have shown that domestic burglaries in the UK have risen by three per cent since 2008 meaning that each year in the UK there are more than a million burglaries or attempted burglaries across the country. Clearly, there is a real need for the average citizen in the UK to protect their home and possessions with a quality home insurance.

As such, a vast range of different sites that offer the consumer the chance to compare home insurance have sprung up on the Internet. These sites claim that they can compare a variety of products from different insurers in an attempt to find the UK consumer a better deal more quickly and have proven very popular with people seeking to find a quick way to find the lowest price possible.

It’s important to note though that these sites are not foolproof; for example, many only compare standard products from companies and the actual cover on offer can be very different. It’s important to note that the quality of cover afforded on these sites is something that’s not taken into consideration when the customer judges the merits of each policy.

In terms of home insurance, a good example is to look at the standard level of cover offered by your Halifax contents insurance. Most contents insurance policies will cover losses up to a certain amount as standard and this is often, mistakenly, taken as being enough to cover all the belongings of the policyholder.

Unfortunately, it’s only when the policyholder has to make a claim, they realise that the level of cover they’ve got is nowhere near sufficient to replace all of their lost or damaged belongings.

The upshot of all this is that rather than settle for a £20,000 limit on cover for your contents, you could, for a few pounds more per year (or even the same price as your existing policy) purchase a package that offers unlimited contents cover. In this case, it’s a false economy to save a couple of pounds each year to take out cover that is clearly insufficient for your needs.

It’s the same story for buildings cover. Some insurers may state they will cover costs up to a certain amount to rebuild your home from scratch. However, what if this ‘best guess’ at the overall cost of rebuilding your home is not enough? Will you have additional funds in place to make up any shortfall if the worst should happen? Or is it better to take out a policy that not only offers unlimited buildings cover as standard, but also covers additional costs like finding alternative accommodation while your home is rebuilt?

To find cheap insurance you can compare home insurance products, but it’s often not the best way to find the insurance policy that suits your specific needs and requirements. It’s always great advice to examine the finer detail of the cover offered by each policy, not just the price, to ensure that it meets your needs. The cheapest policy may not necessarily be the right one for your situation.

What’s on offer from high-value home insurance?

If you’ve ever considered taking out high-value home insurance but have dismissed it because you don’t think it’s suitable for you or are concerned about the cost, I’d strongly advise you to take another look.

After all, what’s the use in paying for a policy that doesn’t fully protect your most valuable belongings? There’s nothing more frustrating than making a claim only to have it rejected because the item in question falls outside the remit of your insurance – or to discover you can’t recover the full value of your most prized possessions because they are worth more than the maximum amount paid out on individual pieces.

In addition to ensuring all your most valuable belongings are fully protected, high net worth home insurance has a host of other benefits. Here are just a few that certainly make it worth considering:

Global protection

Do you frequently jet off around the world, either for work or pleasure? If so, do you often take expensive items of jewellery with you like your favourite watch, earrings or necklace? Yes? Well, in that case high-value insurance is definitely for you.

Many policies will provide worldwide protection for cash and credit cards, as well as offering all-risk cover for high-value pieces of jewellery. What this means is that you can make a claim if any of your jewellery is damaged or lost in a situation not specifically excluded by the policy.

Obviously, you’ll need to read the small print carefully to find out exactly what these exclusions are, but double-checking the specific terms is something you should do with any insurance document.

Specialist cover and valuations

If you have a collection of artwork, antiques, wines or even guns, you should get your possessions valued and insure them accordingly. Providers of high-value policies are specialists at dealing with unusual belongings and tailoring cover accordingly, making them the ideal people to turn to if you want to make sure the contents of your home are fully protected.

An expert will be sent to your home to appraise your possessions, so you can rest assured your policy will reflect the true value of the pieces in question. In addition, specialist insurers often encourage policyholders to have their belongings re-valued on a regular basis, thereby ensuring your cover is always up to date.

Cover for student belongings

If your children are heading off to university, they’ll no doubt be taking plenty of things with them. Student properties can often be targeted by thieves, but many young people don’t even think about taking out cover for their possessions, until it’s too late.

With high-value home insurance, you won’t need to worry, as the protection is extended to your child’s belongings while they are away from home. Of course, having a laptop stolen is never easy to deal with, but at least you can rest assured their studies won’t be interrupted for weeks or months on end while they save up to replace it.

Protect your home office

The majority of standard contents insurance won’t cover home office equipment, forcing you to take out an additional policy to protect important devices like computers, printers, fax machines and photocopiers you use for business in your home.

This can quickly mount up but, if your livelihood relies on you having this equipment available day in, day out, you’ll have little choice. With high net worth insurance, though, you’ll discover these devices are covered as part of the rest of your policy, not only saving you money, but also lots of time and hassle as you won’t need to shop around for separate insurance.

What kind of experience have you had with high-value contents insurance? Are there any other benefits to choosing this level of cover?

Home Insurance

Home insurance can often feel like a big expense for nothing. The money has to be paid each month or year, to pay for the house being rebuilt if it was destroyed and possibly also for the contents as well.

If you have a mortgage then the mortgage company will insist that you pay insurance for them, for example –  Halifax buildings insurance, in case of it being damaged or destroyed so that their investment is protected. If you do not have a mortgage then it is up to you if you have insurance.

It is a big amount of money to pay out and it can be tempting to risk it and not have any insurance. However, it is worth thinking about the possible consequences. Even if you put aside and saved the money that you would have paid out in insurance over the years, it would be very difficult to find the money to replace a destroyed house.

The contents are similar. Unless you are renting a furnished home or do not have many possessions it would be very expensive to replace everything. Imagine everything you have, electronic items, clothes, pictures, furniture, books, dvds, cutlery and crockery. There is so much more than this and it will all have to be replaced and all in one go. That is a huge expense.

It can be a calculated risk, if you decide that you do not have enough valuable stuff and do not want to insure it. Also if you have unvalued unique items such as antiques or paintings, then it may not be worth insuring them. You will never be able to replace them if they get destroyed and so the insurance is pretty pointless.

So always think hard about taking out insurance. It is not just a case of whether you can afford it but rather whether you can afford not to have it.