NEW HOMEOWNERS' CHECKLIST: 5 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

Moving house? Make sure insurance is on your to-do list...

Moving house can be hectic and stressful. There’s a lot to think about, from packing up your stuff to sorting out moving logistics and finalising mortgage details. There’s also a few insurance-related items worth adding to your checklist before you settle in…

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Step 1

Get the right home insurance in place

First things first, it’s a good idea to sort out your home insurance before the big move so you can rest assured you’re covered from day one. If you’ve lived in rental properties before, you’ve probably already had a contents policy. But as a homeowner you’ll also need buildings insurance to cover you for damage to the permanent structure of your home, your lad and the fixtures and fittings.

But it’s not just about having any old insurance in place, it’s about having the right policy and level of cover for your needs. Make sure you’ve accurately estimated the value of your contents, especially if you’ve been buying lots of new furniture. You may be left out of pocket if you’re underinsured and ever need to make a claim.
 
Has your new home got any outbuildings like a shed or garage? If so, you need to check they’re covered too. It’s also worth checking if your policy covers you for accidental damage – particularly if you’ve got young children…

Step 2

Check you’re covered on moving day

You may have home insurance sorted for once you move in, but are your contents covered in transit? Or are all your worldly goods hurtling down the motorway with no protection if anything goes wrong?
 
Lots of insurers will cover you while moving as part of your contents cover, but only if you use a professional removal firm . You may save a few pounds getting your mates to move your stuff, but it could cost you a significant sum in the long run.

Step 3

Think about changing the locks

There’s so much to think about when moving, that things like changing the locks, often get overlooked. But think about how many people could have access to your property if you don’t? It’s not just the previous owners who may not have left all their keys – they may also have given copies out to tradesmen, friends and family members or neighbours over the years.
 
Insurers won’t cover for changing locks when you move house, however locks can be changed for relatively little cost. So think about whether it’s worth it, even for the peace of mind that only the people you’ve given a key to can access your new home.

Step 4

Check security levels

Before you move in, it’s worth having a good look round to assess your new security features and check that you’ve given your home insurance provider the right information. Things like whether you have a fitted working burglar alarm or not can make a difference to the cost of your policy. You should also check whether any outbuildings are properly secured, whether any gates close and lock properly and whether there is any damage to fencing, which may make the property more susceptible to thieves.

Now is also a good time to think about whether you could boost home security in any way, from adding a light to the garden to investing in an alarm system.

Step 5

Make a maintenance plan

Most home insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by routine wear and tear,  so it’s important you keep your new home in a good state of repair.

Think about the regular maintenance you need to carry out, from clearing the gutters to checking the roof for missing tiles. Spending a bit of time each month keeping things in tip top condition can save you a lot of money in the long run.

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