Do you think that if there’s a fire or an accidental mishap, the building will reimburse you for your home theatre system and designer bag collection? Umm, not really.

Whilst it’s true that your landlord insures the building, this does not include its contents, for which you are responsible. If you’re like many renters, you probably assume that you don’t need renter’s insurance and that somehow, you’re not responsible for anything that happens whilst you’re renting.

Denial isn’t a good thing when it comes to insurance, so whether you’re a tenant or a homeowner, here’s the lowdown on the three main types of home insurance. Read on, before your first expensive brush with misfortune.

Buildings Insurance

This covers the fabric of your property, basic repairs, a complete rebuild of your home in case of a fire or a natural disaster and public liability cover in case someone injures themselves whilst on the property.

Contents Insurance

These plans are relevant to the majority of residents in the UAE as they protect what is inside the home, from furnishings and household appliances to clothing. It’s easy to forget just how often things in the home break; contents insurance is designed to make the whole process of replacing damaged goods easy and inexpensive. Whether it’s a coffee maker, a favorite pair of shoes or a piece of furniture, all these items will be safeguarded against.

Personal Possessions Insurance

The key distinction between contents and personal insurance is that the latter protects items that actually leave the home, for example, rings, bracelets, watches, sunglasses, cameras, and even mobile phones. Accidents, losses, and damages are facts of life; by buying Personal Belongings insurance you can rest assured that whatever you take with you out of the home is covered.

These policies also save you having to take out separate insurance plans on individual items; for as long as they are included in your Personal Belongings policy they will be covered.

Whether you’re shopping for Building, Contents or Personal Belongings insurance, most companies will offer a scale of plans with different price brackets, depending on the size and value of your home, its contents and your possessions.

Making a Claim

In the event of having to make a claim you will need to contact your insurer; if it involves a third party, be it an accident or a theft, the company will advise you on whether you need a police crime reference number.

Keep all your receipts as you will need to provide the insurance with these when it comes to proving the value of the stolen, damaged or misplaced goods. When making a claim on a building, surveyors from the insurance company will most likely come to assess the damage to the property in order to process the claim.

Doing your Homework

Before opting for an insurance policy, it’s worth checking the company’s small print to make sure you’re getting the best possible cover for the premium you are paying.

Pay special attention to key points such as the expected time it takes to pay claims, the number of claims you’ll be able to make and the replacement policy. Is there a value deduction for goods that are over a certain age?

Check the excess payment liable on each item. If the cost of the policy seems low, double check the excess payment as it could be high.

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