Protect your most treasured belongings by choosing home content insurance, with a valuable difference.

South Africa's Housing Market

Renting accomodation in South Africa is very popular due a number of factors. First of all there is a huge influx of people to the cities to seek work and other opportunities. Gauteng is the most populous province due to its economic advances.

Many people are compelled by their circumstances to travel to Joburg and Pretoria for these opportunities. Other cities and towns in South Africa also experience high influx of people from rural areas who are in need of a job, business and study opportunities.

These factors create a lot of problems on the housing front. Accommodation opportunities are, in many instances, very limited. First, people have to find accommodation they can buy or rent on a monthly basis. Subsequently, depending on your financial muscles you can buy a house in areas you feel are safer and that can provide you with easy access to their work or business places.

The majority look for a place to rent whether in a back room in a location such as Soweto or in upmarket areas like Sunninghill in Northern Johannesburg. In some areas in Soweto, people rent space at the back of a yard and build tin houses also known as zozos.

This is a cheap form of rent since materials belong to the renter. Rentals have become a lucrative business in big cities due to the high demand created by change of living areas for many who head to the city to seek new opportunities.

Effects of Recession on Consumers

The trend, of renting residential properties, is also made worse by the fact that real estate prices are still very high and many people still cannot afford to buy a house of their own. The 2008 recession left many people in dire financial situations and most have not been able to recover from it since then.

Many were stripped of their life savings and others lost their main sources of income such as jobs and businesses. Some who were able to hold on to their houses have rented them out and now live in the backyards of their properties.

I have heard of cases of people moving out of their houses and renting them out to others for money. They build backrooms in the yard and live there so that they can collect rent and keep up with mortgages and still have a place to stay, however, small it may be.

Some are renting out back rooms to make extra money. There are those renting properties to make extra money and those that just want to keep their house by keeping up with monthly mortgage payments. Renting a residential property is also considered a stable investment.

In busy areas such as Cosmos city near Randburg in Johannesburg, it is difficult to find a room to rent. The demand exceeds the supply. This has been blamed for the mushrooming of shacks in the nearby neighbourhoods.

Introducing Home Contents Cover

Unfortunately, many of these informal renters as well as other renters do not take out a home contents insurance policy due to lack of knowledge. Many think that if something happens to their property the landlord will be responsible for the damage caused to their belongings.

They cannot be more wrong. The landlord is only responsible for damage to the property itself, unless it was damaged by the tenant, and they typically take out building insurance to cover themselves. Any belongings of the renter is their responsibility. Whether it is a natural disaster or man-made disaster that damages the items, unfortunately the renter takes responsibility for what happens to their goods and this is why it's important to have them covered.

Building Insurance vs Home Contents Insurance

Building cover has some similarities with home contents insurance or renters insurance. The difference is that homeowners and building insurance covers someone who owns a house. Building insurance covers smash ups set off by fire or smoke, water, building collapse etc. 

Renters insurance or home contents insurance covers contents in a rented or owned house or apartment. Home contents insurance covers the possessions of the renter or home owner against loss and/or damage instigated by robbery or an environmental calamity. This insurance also covers repairs to damaged goods and if necessary the replacement of the items that can no longer be repaired to function as expected or are stolen.

The Importance of Home Contents Cover

Do not wait too long before you take out cover for your goods. If possible, before you take the goods home, make sure they are already insured. It will make your life easier. A disaster and theft cannot be predicted, it can happen the day you move into your home or the day you buy your goods. Make sure you cover every item otherwise when you make a claim those that are not insured won`t be repaired or replaced.

How it Works

Home contents insurance pays the amount equivalent to the market value of the affected items, exactly like car insurance would pay out if your car was damaged or stolen. This conclusion is made after a few factors are taken into consideration such as the items value.

The policyholder will be granted the funds to make such a replacement or repairs if it is not necessary to replace the whole item. If you live in a communal property such cover cannot be provided to you. Renters or home contents cover is for people who live on an individual property.

It would benefit you a great deal and keep your belongings safe in either your apartment or house with the best possible security in place to ensure that your premiums are affordable. You do not know when the a disaster will happen and, as for crime, people lose their belongings every day due to theft and house robberies.

It is time you get cover for that LCD TV you are so crazy about or that new 3D DVD player you just bought? Tome to cover the couch you can`t let anyone sit on because of its worth? If so then home-contents insurance is highly recommended as it will cover you should anything happen to your goods.

A Final Note on Home Contents Insurance

Home contents insurance is more than relevant in South Africa since accommodation rental is widespread from Cape Town to Joburg and building insurance covers only the landlord's pocket. Also, looking at the crime stats, in particular house robberies, you cannot help but realise that to lose your hard earned posessions is always a possibility.

Again, although South Africa does not have too many reported natural disasters, theft is a usual occurrence and can catch you off guard if your belongings are not insured. The advantage, of having home contents insurance, is peace of mind knowing that if something was to happen to your items, you will still get the money to replace them without digging deep into your pocket or using your savings.

The best way to find an insurance provider is to compare insurance quotes online and review the inclusions and exclusions carefully before making a decision. Be wise, don’t be caught offside, get a cover for your goods today with home contents insurance, you never know when you will need it.