Summer is here – watch out for floods

It might be July but we’re all coping with downpours as rain wipes out the traditional British summer.

A bit of rain is bad enough but thousands of people around the country are still clearing up the damage from the downpours which has left homes flooded and hundreds of people still in temporary accommodation. The financial cost could be as much as £1 billion according to the Association of British Insurers with around 27,000 homes and 5,000 businesses suffering.

The dramatic pictures of cars submerged, dams at breaking point and people sandbagging their properties bring the issue of home insurance clearly into focus. If the worst should happen you want to know that you will be covered against for every eventuality.

Protect your property

Abbey research shows around 8,600 weather-related insurance claims were made on one recent day alone with 3,200 for flooding and 5,000 for storm damage. In most of these cases these claims will have been made against structural damage or through home buildings policies as they are known.

To insure a £250,000, three bedroom home can cost anywhere between £100 and £350 a year depending on the level of cover you require.

Which deal?

With around 230 home building policies available on the market there is no shortage of choice. Getting a policy which will cover your house comprehensively and at the right price however is a bit trickier.

The less comprehensive policies have a minimum pay out of around £30,000 which might cover a small fire but isn’t much use if your house experiences sever damage. For this reason many policies will cover your home for damages up to £500,000 or even £1,000,000, and if this isn’t enough to give you peace of mind you can always take out the Barclays Finer Home Insurance Premier which has a maximum payout of £10,000,000.

The key to finding the right policy for you is to search the market. MoneyExpert.com can help you to see what’s on offer all in one place. Once you’ve found a policy you think you can afford read the fine print. None of us like doing this but it’s where you find out what you will actually be covered for. Only a couple of policies for example will cover your garden fences against storm damage.

By reading the fine print you will also find out whether you will have to pay a charge if you decide to switch providers during your contract. Many have these charges which can be up to £25 although some will reimburse you if you switch to them.

If you are looking to get value for money then your best bet is to buy online. Most of the big and even some of the smaller names in Home Insurance allow you to buy your policy online and in you can save some cash in the process. Buying online with some for example saves you £35 off your premium.

For most of us our property is the most expensive asset we own, protecting it against damage is one of the smartest financial moves you can make.
Check out your current policy and what your getting and see if there isn’t something out there which offers better value for money and greater peace of mind.

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