The fine print of home insurance policies is often enough to make your head spin. Words like claims, deductibles, and exclusions can be daunting. To cut through the noise, we teamed up with a leading insurance company, QIC Insured, to provide a guide (and an infographic!) on how to read a home insurance policy.
The single most important thing in any insurance policy is the insurer’s ability to handle a claim. For example, is it easy to file a claim? Is the whole process managed quickly and without hassle? Before buying or renewing your policy, you should ask the sales agent about the following:
- Find out what is required to file a claim. What steps are involved?
- Does your home have to be visited by a claims assessor if you need to file a claim?
- Do you need original receipts and/or appraisals to claim high-value items?
- Do you need a police report when reporting a loss due to criminal activity (e.g. theft or vandalism)?
- Do you need to declare your list of high valued possessions before the inception of the cover in the initial proposal?
The “fine” print most often means exclusions and it is important that you understand what type of home insurance you are looking for. For example, some home insurance policies may exclude common issues such as water leaks from coverage of high-value items like fine art or carpets. Before saying “yes”, customers should find out the following:
- Are all possibilities covered (e.g. water damage to fine art and carpets)?
- How much of the claim do you have to pay out of pocket? Most home insurance policies require you pay at least AED 1,000 for any claim settlement, only one excess will apply in the event of a claim under more than one item arising out of the same occurrence at the same time.
- The limits or sum insured of cover under each section of the policy. Such as 20% of building sum insured for the loss of rent or alternate accommodation, AED 1000 towards the replacement of locks etc.
Additional benefits of home insurance
Stand-out home insurance typically offers additional value in terms of add-on services related to the daily running of the home or covering you in an emergency. These could include any of the following:
- Alternate accommodation – compensation to pay for a hotel if your home is unlivable
- Lost rent – compensation if you rent your property but are unable to do so due to damage
- Tenant liability – protection against damage caused by tenants in a rental property
- Documents – replacement of key documents such as passports and title deed
- Personal belongings, valuables and portable equipment.