Monday 09 December 2019

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Cork Independent

Home & Property

Insure your home and protect your biggest asset!

Wednesday, 25th September, 2019 4:45pm

Paul Kavanagh, MD, McCarthy Insurance Group

Your home and its contents are your biggest asset, so you need to protect them should an unthinkable disaster happen.

Water damage is the most common claim and can vary from a simple radiator leak to the tank in the attic bursting and destroying ceilings, carpets and wooden floors.

Fire and smoke damage can be the most devastating as any damage usually renders the property uninhabitable which can lead to further costs and fire brigade charges of at least €2,000.

Most home burglaries occur whilst the occupants are on holidays, at a wedding or even at a funeral. Where a burglar alarm is installed, make sure it’s maintained and switched on.

An oil leak is usually covered up to €1,000, but you need unlimited cover for any damage to your own property and your neighbour’s property and water sources, and of course, the environmental clean-up if such a leak occurs.

Another area that needs careful consideration are flat roofs, extensions, conservatories, sheds and garages. Never assume any of these are covered.

Also check that your home policy covers all your own particular needs and requirements including cover for childminding, domestic employees, home office, etc.

An all-risks extension is required to cover your valuables when you are away from the home. Antiques and works of art always require special extensions to cover them correctly.

The Dangerous Dogs Act is the law and must be complied with accordingly. You need to make sure your dog is covered if it bites somebody.

Now, if you are leaving any workmen onto your property, then it is incumbent on you to check they have adequate insurance cover in force, and if major renovations are being carried out, to advise your insurer as you could be in breach of policy conditions.

So, if you are putting on an extension, then the builder and tradesmen all need their own cover and/or a special self-build insurance policy.

You then need to have your policy noted, as most insurers will reduce cover automatically when renovations are being carried out.

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