In Kenya, if you are a homeowner, your home can be the one of the valuable assets in your portfolio that needs protection. A home insurance policy is designed to make you less susceptible to unforeseen losses. For instance, if your house is destroyed by fire, you may end up losing your largest asset. Therefore, if you want to protect your investment, a home insurance policy is a good idea.
What is Home Insurance?
Home Insurance (or sometimes referred to as Domestic Package Insurance) protects you financially against damage or loss to your house itself, and the possessions therein. In addition, it covers your liability in case of accidents in the house or around the property.
What is Covered in a Home Insurance Policy?
Home insurance policies can be different from one policy holder to the next, as they are tailored to their individual needs. However there are standard items that are covered in most policies. These are:
- The house structure: A typical home insurance policy compensates you for damages or losses caused by certain disasters mentioned in your policy. Usually, most policies do not cover for catastrophic events such as floods and earthquakes. In some cases, wear and tear of the property is not covered by the policy.
- Your individual possessions: Personal items such as furniture, sports equipment, clothes and such are covered against insured disasters. The coverage is usually 50 to 70 percent of the structural insurance in your home. Expensive items like collectibles and silverware can also be insured, but have cash limits placed on them in the event of theft.
- Protection against liability: Liability cover protects you against lawsuits for property damage or body injuries, caused by you or your family members to others. The liability part in your policy pays the cost of the defense and any litigation awards to the stated monetary limit.
- Additional Living Costs: This meets the expenses for staying away from home as a result of damages from an insured disaster. Typical expenses are restaurant meals and hotel bills. This type of cover has a limit to how much they can pay.
Common insurable items included in a Domestic Policy include:
- The buildings
- The electronics (Videos, Watches, TVs, Music Systems, Cameras etc.)
- The contents (Kitchen equipment, clothing, furniture etc.)
- Sports equipment (Squash, riding, golf etc.)
- Domestic Servants
Importance of Home Insurance
Some of the benefits of Home Insurance are:
- Property protection: Your investment will be protected against many forms of disaster and loss.
- Cheaper Premiums: Home insurance policies are less expensive compared to other general policies in the market.
- Stress free: The policy will help in reducing your stress levels as you do not have to worry about meeting the financial cost of home losses.
- Replacement Cover: Your lost possessions will be replaced by new alternatives bearing the same quality.
It is advisable for homeowners to thoroughly examine their policies and find out what is covered. For example some policies may not offer protection against natural calamities. Therefore, negotiate with your insurance provider and get to understand the policy better.