Welcome to the second guide in our six-part series on how to get the best value home insurance on bonkers.ie. You can find the remaining guides in the series linked at the bottom of the article.
Having home insurance in place is a must for homeowners as it can provide peace of mind. Even if you don’t own a home, having contents insurance can prove extremely beneficial should something unexpected happen to your personal possessions.
Comparing home insurance policies can often be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know whether you’re getting the right level of cover for your needs.
On bonkers.ie it’s easy to reduce the price you pay for your home insurance, without affecting your level of cover, meaning you could save hundreds annually.
To make the process easier, we’ve outlined the steps involved in retrieving your home insurance quote.
Step 1 - Tell us about you
Firstly, head over to our home insurance page and answer a few questions about yourself. We’ll need to know your name, contact information, date of birth, and occupation.
Why do we need to know your occupation?
People with non-standard occupations may have to pay more for their home insurance, or may even struggle to get cover. This is because insurers may think that some jobs increase the risk to the security of your home and belongings.
People who work from home, such as childminders or those who have regular visitors to the property, may find it difficult to get the cover they need. Similarly, if you work a job that requires you to spend extended periods of time away from home, or are away during the night, you may also be deemed a higher risk as your house is more vulnerable to burglars when empty.
Step 2 - Tell us about your home
We’ll need to know the address of the property you’re looking to insure, whether you’re the registered owner, and the following:
- Year of construction: This is when the property was originally built and not when it was last renovated. Cover is only available for properties less than 100 years old.
- Your home insurance claims history: We’ll need to know about any claims made in connection with the property you’re looking to insure, or in connection to other properties owned or occupied by you, or others residing there.
- The occupancy of the property: Tell us whether the property is your main home, a holiday home, an investment property or if you are a tenant renting it.
- Type of property: Indicate the type of property you’re looking to insure, e.g. an apartment, semi-detached house, bungalow, etc.
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms: When selecting the number of bathrooms, include ensuite and any other rooms with a toilet, shower or bath.
- Type of heating system: If you have more than one heating system in your home, choose the option that acts as the main source of heating.
- Property walls: Let us know whether the walls are of standard or non-standard construction. Walls are considered to be standard construction if they’re built of brick, stone or concrete, or when the property is timber-framed, combined with any of the former. Everything else is considered to be non-standard construction.
- Type of roof: We’ll need to know how much of the total roof area is flat or of non-standard construction. A roof is considered to be of standard roof construction when it’s made of slate, tile or concrete. Other types are considered to be non-standard roof construction.
- Alarm system: Select whether your house has an alarm or not. If you only have a bell alarm system or a system with an SMS alert, then select ‘Alarmed’. If your property is connected to a central monitoring station, such as PhoneWatch, then select ‘Monitored Alarm’. All external doors and windows should be protected by alarms that comply with EN50131 standards.
Now that you’ve told us about the basics of your home, we’ll need to know the rebuilding cost to calculate your premium.
It’s vital that you insure your home for its rebuilding cost and not its market value, as these are entirely different. Usually, the rebuilding cost is less than the market value but in some cases, it could be higher. This may occur if the property includes period features or if it was built from material that is difficult to replace.
The rebuilding costs should include the cost of fixtures and fittings, such as kitchen units, built-in wardrobes, carpets, permanent structures like sheds, etc. You must also include the cost of site clearance and architects’ fees.
If you are unsure you can use the Society of Chartered Surveyors rebuilding cost calculator.
Step 3 - Add contents insurance
Before proceeding to the next step, you’ll have the option to also include contents insurance. All household goods and personal items in the home should be insured for the same amount that would be required to replace them as new. As a rule of thumb, this insurance should cover everything you would take with you if you moved out.
The best way to make sure you cover all contents is to walk through your home and calculate everything on a room-by-room basis. To determine the contents cover, you should consider what it would cost to replace the items as new.
Keep in mind that fixtures and fitting, such as built-in wardrobes, are not considered as contents.
The minimum amount of cover for contents insurance is €15,000.
Step 4 - Add specified personal possessions
At the next step, you’ll be asked if you’d like to add extra cover for specific personal possessions, including:
- Items of jewellery (e.g. engagement rings)
- Laptops and tablets
- Mobile phones
- Sports equipment
- Hearing aids
You’ll have to list each item individually, provide a description and include a valuation in the last three years for items over €6,000.
Step 5 - Add-ons and policy start date
Before reviewing your home insurance policy options, you’ll have the opportunity to include some additional extras
- Accidental damage cover: This covers unintentional damage to your property or your contents caused by the occupants of the property, e.g. knocking over the TV.
- Family personal accident cover: This provides financial support should you or a family member living in the home sustain an injury from a personal accident.
- Family legal protection: This covers the costs of legal expenses for claims made under your policy, up to €65,000. Elements of cover include contract disputes, bodily injury, property disputes and legal advice assistance.
Policy start date and declarations
When you’re happy about the details provided, you’ll be able to select your policy start date. To view your results you’ll be required to agree to relevant declarations.
Step 6 - Your results and purchase
After we receive all the necessary information, you’ll be provided with your home insurance policy options. You’ll be able to filter your results by choosing whether you want to make monthly or yearly payments, or by adjusting your excess.
When you’re reviewing your results you’ll be able to see a breakdown of the premiums and how much you’ll be saving with each policy by applying through bonkers.ie.
You’ll also have the option to purchase a policy for multiple years at a time. With multi-year home insurance, you’ll be given a guaranteed price for up to three years. Multi-year policies provide more certainty for budgeting, as well as the assurance that your premium won’t increase throughout the term of the policy.
Once you’ve selected your desired home insurance policy, you can proceed with your policy and complete your payment to be covered instantly.
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Check out our other insurance guides
If you’re searching for more home-insurance related information, look no further! We have created a range of helpful guides to help you make an informed decision:
- For a full overview of all the guides in our home insurance series, check out our Quickstart Guide.
- Are you worried you’ll need to cancel your policy? Discover all you need to know about the cooling-off period and how you can cancel your policy in this guide.
- Take a look at the most commonly asked questions about home insurance, so that you don’t waste any time searching for answers
- Here we’ve compiled a list of 9 things to consider when taking out home insurance.
- It’s possible to add specified items insurance to provide cover for your personal possessions. You can learn all about specified items cover in this guide.
Need any help?
If you require any help while carrying out your home insurance application, our expert advisors will be on hand to assist. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions. You can contact us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.