What is home insurance?
Home insurance is insurance coverage for the contents of a house. Things like clothes, furniture, electronics, etc. Household insurance is also known as "house insurance", "household insurance" or "content insurance".
Click here to read our complete article about Household insurance.
How do I know how high my insurance coverage should be?
You will need to create a list of your house contents and any valuables, including electronics, furniture, clothes, jewelry and so on, OR ask your insurance company to send over someone who will assess everything. The insurance company will then tell you for what amount they recommend insuring your household content. Remember, you don't have to agree to that amount and can ask them to insure a lower amount. The higher the amount you insure, the more expensive your policy is. Remember to update this list every year as things change.
What are the different types of household insurance?
There are primarily two types of home insurance in South Africa:
Contents insurance: covering the movable contents of a residence. This is also known as household insurance.
Building insurance: covering the physical structure.
Make sure you know which type of policy you are discussing with your insurance agent.
How do I get household Insurance?
This one is easy. All you need to do is fill in the below form and a professional agent will get back to you with a Free quote.
How often do I pay for my insurance?
You can pay monthly or yearly – both possibilities are usually offered. Ask if you get a discount for prepaying for the year. Either way, even if you pay a year in advance and decide to cancel your policy in the middle, you should still receive a refund for the remaining amount.
What happens if the value of my policy is less than the value of what I own?
You’ll be paid only up to the value of the insurance you bought. If you own R50,000 worth of merchandise, but only order coverage up to R30,000, then the maximum you can receive in case of loss or theft is R30,000.
I don’t want to insure my whole house, just some jewelry and my computer. Can I do that?
Some insurers will agree to that, but they might have conditions. For example, they might agree only if you also have your car insurance policy with them. You need to check this directly with an insurance company and don't forget to always compare between a few companies.
I don't own my house. Can a renter get household insurance?
Sure. Ask for a Renters Insurance policy. Make sure to let the company know if you change your address, as the policy is probably specific to a particular address.
Do I need to save receipts for everything I buy in order to make a claim?
It will certainly help. You may be asked to provide receipts as part of the claims process although the insurance companies have their own methods of evaluating items. Keeping an up to date inventory, taking pictures, and keeping receipts are all useful suggestions to help prove your claim in case of loss.
Do I also need receipts for things I bought 20 years ago?
It always helps to keep receipts and photos. In most cases, the insurance company will send someone to assess the contents the contents of your house shortly after you get the insurance policy and then if they see that the value is higher than what the policy covers, they will suggest that you raise the cover (at an additional cost of course).
Jewelry should be appraised by a professional – especially older, inherited items which require the eye of a professional to determine their value, but always ask the insurance company if they have their own professional who does the assessment before paying someone privately as this person might not be accepted by the insurance company.
I received a valuable gift which I want insured. I don’t have a receipt.
The insurer will need some manner to establish the value of the items. Once again, photos will help. Keeping an ad for the item from a store catalog or online store might also help establish the value.
How do I include new items in my coverage?
Once you purchase or receive the item, inform your insurer and provide them with any necessary documentation.
How do I cancel coverage for something I no longer own?
If you still want to keep your household insurance policy but just want to stop paying for a certain covered item, contact your insurer about how to adjust your premium.
How do I cancel my policy?
You can cancel a policy at any time. While some insurance companies accept telephone cancellations, we recommend a written notice.
How long does it take to settle a claim?
That depends on many factors and therefore the time could vary a lot. The type of claim (fire, theft, vandalism, etc), the value of your claim, the insurance company you are with and the availability of any documents to prove your claim all affect the time it will take from when you file a claim to when it might be paid.
What can I do if my claim is rejected?
You can always turn to the Office of the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance for assistance. Full step by step details are explained in the article How to file a complaint with the household insurance Ombudsman.
Anything else you can tell me?
Of course, to fully understand what insurance you are getting, check out our useful glossary of Household Insurance Terms and Definitions and don't forget to compare a between a few insurance companies – read our insurance company reviews.
Let us know in the comments section below if can you suggest anything to add to our list of Frequently asked home insurance questions and answers