Three important things you should know about house insurance
When you borrow money to buy a home, the lender will require you to purchase insurance. Unfortunately, many people purchase house insurance without fully understanding the features, how it really works or how they could save money.
Knowing the following three things will help you get the most out of your house insurance.
1. KNOW YOUR LEVEL OF RISK
Many New Zealand homes may be at risk from earthquakes, floods or coastal erosion. Climate change is a modern reality which is having an impact on many aspects of our lives, including how we insure our homes.
New Zealanders know the impact of climate change on our country. Rising temperatures and sea levels, changing patterns of rainfall, wind and sunshine are all factors which will affect the risk when it comes to insurance. Even features such as retaining walls and shared walls and driveways with neighbours can impact the level of risk. With recent years' events such as the Edgecumbe flood and the Port Hills fire seared into our minds, now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand. Talk to your insurer to make sure you're protected.
2. DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH COVER?
In general, New Zealand homes are under-insured. Findings from the Lloyds of London Insurance Risk Index Report showed New Zealand has the world's second-highest annual losses expected from natural catastrophes. Despite this, many New Zealanders aren't insured for the full cost of replacing their house if disaster strikes, leaving them extremely vulnerable. MAS is one of the few insurance companies in New Zealand which offers full house replacement cover even in a disaster. If your house is damaged in a natural disaster, they pay the reasonable costs for a full repair. If your property is a total loss, they pay the reasonable costs to rebuild your house in its entirety so you don't have to worry about getting the insurance value right.
MAS is a mutual insurance company, meaning it is owned entirely by its Members.
3. DON'T SET AND FORGET
If you have built an extension, modernised your house or made any significant changes to your home, don't forget to tell your insurer. Ideally, keep them in the loop right from the planning stages, well before you start work. This covers additions, renovations and even substantial maintenance projects.
As the value of your house rises, it's important to review your insurance to make sure you've still got the appropriate cover. You'll also need to make sure your contractor is covered for any damage caused to your property during the build. For example, MAS offers Contract Work Insurance, which protects you while your house is being renovated.
MAS is a mutual insurance company, meaning it is owned entirely by its Members. Founded nearly 100 years ago by doctors, for doctors, MAS covers a range of professionals across New Zealand.
MAS is known for its excellent customer service with an easy, no-fuss claims process, and Members can trust the financial advice they receive because MAS advisers aren't paid commissions.