Property owners will likely at some stage sell their house, consider renting it out either privately or through popular accommodation sites like Airbnb, or may even use it as a base for a business. All and any of these events will result in foot traffic at your home, with different people coming onto your premises. This requires adequate insurance.
“If you are considering any of the above ideas at home, you should make sure your insurance is updated to include sufficient cover, or you need to get insurance cover as soon as possible if you have not yet done so,” says Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure.
Cover all four corners
You may find contents insurance is the perfect solution as this usually includes third party liability, as well as personal accident cover. “If someone should get injured on your property, such as a guest or your tenant, they may try to claim against you for any medical costs,” Visser says. Imagine someone falls down a staircase with a loose railing, or slips on a rug and injures themselves on your tiled floor. Your contents insurance will usually include a sizeable sum to assist with legal or medical bills in this regard. However, you must make sure this cover is included and that it will provide an acceptable sum for what you might be expected to pay if such an accident should occur.
Cover your valuables
If you rent your house out furnished, or anticipate foot traffic from prospective buyers because you’ve put your house on the market, you also need to make sure that your insurance covers theft – and more specifically, that it is updated in line with today’s market value for replacing expensive items that may get stolen. If you are having show days, you need to be aware that your insurer may only cover you for forced entry and not for theft. “Of course, packing your valuables away is essential to protect them and request that the estate agent in your house be vigilant too,” adds Visser. “Make sure any valuables are stored in accordance with your insurance policy. For example, if you are supposed to keep your diamond earrings in the safe, don’t leave them hidden in a drawer. They are certainly more secure in the safe in any case.”
Check the fine print
Airbnb is revolutionary in the business of accommodating tourists and many people are finding success in renting out rooms or their entire properties. “If this is something you are doing, make sure that your insurance company is aware, as they may also only cover forced entry in this situation. Also look into Airbnb’s Host Protection Coverage options as a back-up,” Visser says.
Make sure you mean business
Your home may be the perfect location for a stay-at-home business. Such a situation may require specific business insurance. It is really worthwhile to make sure that you are allowed to run a business from home. Also check if your insurance covers you against all the same possibilities you could face if any person should enter your home, and if this would extend to any employees who may work from your home.
Not sure? Ask
If you have any doubts as to whether or not your plans on your property could put you at higher risk and you want to re-visit your policy, contact your insurance provider or adviser. “The sooner you get it all sorted, the sooner you are covered for anything unexpected,” Visser concludes.