How much does home insurance cost in South Africa

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The cost of home insurance in South Africa

The cost of home insurance will vary based on your personal profile as well as the value of the property being insured.

To determine how much home insurance should be costing you, it’s best that you shop around for quotes so that you can compare them. In this article, we’ll delve into the details that answer the question of how to lower home insurance costs and how to compare various policies and quotes.

What is Home Insurance?

Home insurance is sort of an umbrella term encompassing building insurance, home contents insurance as well as portable possessions insurance. These three categories are typically covered together by a single insurance policy; known as homeowners or home insurance. Let’s take a look at these three categories in more detail.

Building insurance

A building or Home insurance

Designed to protect you from serious loss and damage to your main property as well as any outbuildings you add to your policy, building insurance is crucial to secure yourself financially. Damage and loss can result from fire, natural disasters such as floods, theft, or explosions.

The cost will be determined by the value of the property that you’re looking to insure. This type of insurance will cost more if you add additional outbuildings such as lapa's and garages to your policy.

If you’re purchasing a property, your bond provider will require that you get building insurance to protect your (and their) investment. While a bank or mortgage provider cannot force you to opt for the insurance policy of their choice or their in-house policies, they must approve your policy before your bond will be approved.

Home contents insurance

Home contents insurance covers the movable contents of your home such as furniture and appliances against theft and damage caused by natural disasters, fire, or even power surges. An asset inventory will be taken which will determine the cost of this category of home insurance. High-value items and a larger number of items will generally result in a higher premium.

Portable possessions insurance

From expensive cameras, mobile phones, tablets, and laptops to watches, jewelry, and fitness tech, portable possessions insurance will cover your movable possessions in the event that they’re stolen or damaged. Some providers can help you have such items replaced in as little as 48 hours!

Do I really need home insurance?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions regarding home insurance and the answer is yes. Not only will building insurance be required by any home loan provider but our high rates of crime force us to rely on insurance to protect our investments and valuables.

Whether it’s your flat-screen TV that you spent your Christmas bonus on, or an expensive engagement ring, suffering from a huge loss, especially when it occurs at once, is something many will not be able to recover from easily.

Home insurance lets you get a home loan protects your investment and lets you cover all your valuables so that if anything tragic happens, you know you and your family will be just fine.

In addition, should you be unable to stay in your home for whatever reason your insurer may cover the cost of alternative accommodation. This will take a lot of pressure off you and your family, especially during a crisis.

How to lower the cost of home insurance

Many insurers offer bundled home insurance packages that cover your property, its contents, and your portable possessions. In fact, some will require that you select a bundle as it will, in any event, cost the same amount.

You should also note that policies that require no excess for certain claims may cost more on a monthly basis. Also, remember that your insurer will set maximum amounts for certain items if you opt for a non-specific policy.

You should review your insurance policy and asset inventory yearly and take out any items that you either no longer have or have depreciated so much that having them insured isn’t worth it.

Finally, some insurers offer cash bonuses for those who have not claimed for a certain period of time. While this shouldn’t sway your decision to select a particular policy, this offers additional savings that will add up to a significant amount over time.

Shop around for insurance quotes

Home insurance protects your most valuable assets and gives you peace of mind, knowing that should anything happen, you’ll be able to recover but you don’t want to pay exorbitant installments only to find that you could’ve gotten the same level of cover elsewhere at half the cost.

When it comes to home insurance the cost differences from one provider to another are high. To ensure you get the most value at the best rate, you should ask for multiple quotes from a variety of providers.

When comparing these make sure that you take all factors into account including what is covered, estimated maximum loss amounts, and excess. Some providers may offer you a flat excess rate which simply means that irrespective of the claim amount your excess will not change.

Others may offer you fixed premiums for a given time period, but always note that while these offerings may seem convenient, they may just cause the cost of your home insurance to rise.

Watch out for the endless add-ons

There are many “additional cover” options that you are likely to be offered when taking out home insurance. A provider may offer you additional cover for groceries that have gone off due to electrical outages, extra cover for handbags for women, access to plumbers, electricians, and locksmiths, and roadside assistance.

While these may all be very useful in their own right, consider the type of person that you are, and what your actual, realistic insurance needs are. Having access to a handyman is great, but if your partner takes care of all your handyman needs, this additional cover will hike up your premium for nothing.

Already have home insurance?

Even if you already have home insurance, maybe you’ve even had it for many years, it pays to shop around for quotes. If you find better deals elsewhere, and you’ve verified that you’ll be getting the same level of cover, it’s best that you ask your current provider whether they’d be willing to match the better offer before changing over.

Your existing insurer may have a record of your claims (or lack thereof) and will not want to lose a loyal customer to another insurer; so many times a policy manager will be willing to negotiate. Many people have used this tactic successfully to lower the cost of their insurance and over time it’s certainly worth it.