What you need to know about insurance

Key questions to ask when buying insurance

Insurance is peace of mind. If something goes wrong knowing that your assets and most precious items are protected can make all the difference.

It's important to know that not all insurance policies are the same. Each insurance provider and product has its own nuances that you need to understand. Being knowledgeable about what is and isn’t protected will help you get better value from your policy.

When considering an insurance policy there are several things you need to keep in mind. We’ve put together a list of questions for you to ask any insurance provider before you sign on the dotted line.

Remember: if you don’t understand something, you should always ask your insurance provider to explain it fully before you sign.

What is and isn’t covered by my insurance policy?

There are many comprehensive insurance policies on the market providing protection for all aspects of your physical and financial wealth.

Sometimes people get confused about what their policy does and doesn’t cover. Often, insurance policies use a specific value threshold for items and require they be listed separately from the rest of your contents.

For instance, you may take out an insurance policy of $40,000 to replace any lost contents in your home. But your insurance policy may require you to individually list anything that is worth more than $3,000 (or any other limit they propose).

Be careful and thoroughly document everything in your home. One tip many people use, is to go room to room and write down the value of each item. Take the time to accurately value everything you want replaced.

Does my insurance policy cover jewellery?

Sometimes insurance providers need jewellery to be listed separately from the rest of your contents.

Special items such as family heirlooms, diamond jewellery and wedding rings don’t just hold monetary value, they contain immense emotional significance. So the last thing you want to hear when misplacing one, is that your policy doesn’t cover it.

Some home and contents insurance providers require you to take out a portable personal valuable option to have your jewellery covered outside of the home. When it comes to repairs, some insurers will insist you use cheaper jewellers in their networks, which may not do justice to custom work.

Take an inventory of your valuables and have them thoroughly evaluated and covered appropriately.

What type of natural disasters am I covered for?

Although most insurers cover natural disasters such as lightning and fire, you don’t want to find out you aren’t protected from a particular natural event.

Flood or sewerage damage is a classic one that isn’t always included in insurance policies. The same goes for earthquake, smoke damage and falling trees.

Take the time to think about disasters that are a realistic threat in your area and try to secure a policy that covers you for them.

Will my policy cover a classic car?

Insurance policies for vehicles typically cover most modern cars but you may want to take out more specific policies for rarer vehicles that are harder to replace.

The maintenance and costs associated with a classic vehicle will usually be different from your everyday car and won’t be suited to an everyday policy.

This is why it’s crucial to speak with any insurance provider about what they will and won’t cover and to get it accurately valued. 

There you have it: some of the key questions you need to ask when it comes to buying insurance. 

Remember to do your research to understand your policy and don’t be afraid to ask questions and negotiate on values. If a provider can’t cover something precious to you, it might be worth considering another policy or researching specific insurance for that item.