Do you have home insurance, or have you thought of getting one?
Imagine coming home to find all your electronics and furniture carted away. Or you are enjoying your favourite beverage at one of the cafes in town, and someone gets away with your bag, placed “safely” under your seat. It happens to contain your valuable items like a laptop, camera, tablet or phones. Where do you begin? How do you raise money to replace all your items?
It’s quite overwhelming. I remember when I was young, thieves broke into our house at night. Luckily, and I say this in hindsight, they had locked part of the house where we were sleeping from outside. That night, we lost quite a number of electronics. To date, my mother has refused to replace these, especially the fancy Sony system that I used to blast popular local songs from. I am not sure whether home insurance existed then, and if it did, I wish we were more financially educated to have one.
But there is no reason why you should suffer the same fate. A home insurance cover, also domestic package insurance is more of a necessity. With it, you will have a peace of mind knowing your property and household goods have insurance against theft and any accidental damages, including damages from natural causes. Some insurers are even offering cover against political risks, like protests.
Benefits of a home insurance cover
- Covers more than the building – whether you are a tenant or a landlord/lady, home insurance offers coverage of more than the building. It also covers contents like furniture and electronics, making it ideal even for tenants to insure their properties.
- Offers financial security ensuring you do not spend money from your pocket to replace damaged or lost properties. Whether you have lost properties through theft or natural disasters like earthquakes and lightning, as long as you had a cover against these, you receive compensation that takes you to your previous situation.
- It’s affordable – seriously, home insurance is more affordable than I expected, especially for a tenant where you are not insuring any buildings.
- It will protect you against lawsuits from third parties in case you take covers that protect you in case you damage other people’s properties. Other covers will cater to medical fees of your domestic workers injured on the job, or when guests injure themselves when in your property.
What home insurance covers
Home insurance covers are not one-size suits all, but there are standard covers across the board. Below are some of the standard covers by many home insurers in Kenya that you should consider getting;
It offers coverage of the physical building of your home, fixtures and fittings, perimeter walls and gates and driveways. The cover can be against natural and human causes. Natural causes range from lightning, storms and earthquakes, with human causes ranging from strikes to riots. It also covers against malicious activities like gas explosions and miscellaneous causes like bursting water tanks and impacts by animals and road vehicles.
Buildings cover is ideal for homeowners, especially if it’s not under any mortgage. If your home is under a mortgage, there is a high chance you’re already paying for insurance since most mortgage companies require homeowners to have insurance.
Contents coverage allows you to insure household items like furniture, personal property and electronics. Note that the electronics under all content are usually the ones confined like fridge, cookers, among others. While the insurer requires you to list the items to insure and their value, you might be required to declare items that surpass a certain percentage of the total content insured amount. The coverage is usually against theft, natural causes, human causes, malicious activities, and miscellaneous causes.
If you are living in a rented house, your landlord/landlady is responsible for the building’s insurance. However, anything inside the house you live is your responsibility. That’s why you need content cover to insure your household properties in a rented house.
All risk covers theft or accidental damage of portable items like laptops, mobile phones, cameras, tablets, and jewellery. Like the case with contents coverage, you might have to declare the items and their values of those whose individual value is more than a particular amount set by the insurer. If you are insuring jewellery, the insurer will possibly request for a valuation certificate that certifies its authenticity and value.
Workers Injury Benefit Act (WIBA)
It covers your domestic workers like house managers, personal drivers, gardeners and guards against injuries or death arising while on duty.
Home Insurance Providers in Kenya
Now that you are ready to take a home insurance cover, it’s time to narrow down to the service providers. Most insurance companies in Kenya offer home insurance covers, with financial institutions like banks getting into the field. The below recommendations are in no particular order. I’d recommend getting quotations from several insurers to compare the premiums.
The home insurance covers buildings, contents, all risks, owner’s liability, and WIBA. It covers other additional benefits like forced ATM withdrawals and emergency rescue. I am currently using Sanlam since I used my banker, Standard Chartered Bank, to get the insurance. However, I did a comparison with other insurers and settled on them since the premium was more affordable than the competitors.
Their home insurance has all the covers mentioned above, plus occupiers liability and employers liability. They are also offering a 7.5% discount if you are willing to pay for 3 years premiums in advance. Other fascinating benefits I have seen include a consolation handbag after a mugging, grab or smashing incident.
I find their website easy to navigate, with ready-made packages on their site to guide you. You can consider which cover suits you, whether you are renting, own a home or a landlord/lady. For homeowners and renters, the covers have all the necessary covers I mentioned earlier, plus owners’ and personal liabilities.
The online proposal form is quite detailed on what they cover, from buildings to all risks, contents, WIBA and owner’s liability and occupier’s liability.
While there is no pre-packaged cover with the premium amounts online, they have broken down the different packages and what’s covered. The 4 available packages are basic, homeowner, tenant, and landlord/lady packages. Each of these shows you what it covers, like buildings, all risks and contents.
Its home insurance has all risks, contents, domestic workers, and building covers. Unfortunately, there are no pre-packaged offers on their website, but you can get in touch for more information.
Whether you are a tenant or own the home you live in, a home insurance cover is necessary. It gives you peace of mind and cushions you financially. Many insurance companies in Kenya offer home insurance packages.
But, before settling on one, try to get quotes from the many providers and compare the premiums and services. I used PesaBazaar and I received a quote with comparisons from six insurers. In the unfortunate event that you lose your property or its damaged, you will not regret having a home insurance cover.
Need extra cash to pay for the home insurance? Read more on how to make extra money