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22 May 2022

Over 73,000 Kildare homes may be underinsured by up to 30 per cent, review claims

Over 73,000 Kildare homes may be underinsured by up to 30 per cent, review claims

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Over 73,000 homes in County Kildare may be underinsured by up to 30 per cent, one insurance company has claimed.

According to a review from leading online broker Insuremyhouse.ie, half of the 73,348 homes in Kildare could be substantially underinsured, which in turn could lead to reduced pay-outs for homeowners should they suffer a claim.

The company's internal review of thousands of customer renewals has indicated that up to half of all homeowners could now be underinsured by anywhere from 10 per cent to 30 per cent.

Insuremyhouse.ie has suggested that these increases in building costs around the country are not being reflected in the rebuild cost sum insured they have placed on their home.

"Hugely financially exposed"

Commenting on the findings, Jonathan Hehir, MD of Insuremyhouse.ie said: "At renewal time, homeowners in Kildare should use the opportunity to reassess not only the cost of their premium, but also the details of what they are covered for - including the rebuild cost of their home."

"However, many will openly admit that they haven’t considered this in the recent past and so the sum insured has not changed, meaning that these people are underinsured and so hugely financially exposed in the event of a claim."

He also pointed to a statistic from the Society of Chartered Surveyors, which said that house rebuilding costs have increased by 21 per cent nationally over the last 5 years.

Mr. Hehir added: "Our experience of late shows that when homeowners do increase the sum insured on their policy, the level of increase varies from 10 per cent up to 35 per cent, and sometimes more.

"Luckily, the premiums don’t necessarily increase in proportion to the sums insured."

Advice

With rebuilding costs having increased by an average of 21 per cent since 2016 (see above), Insuremyhouse.ie are asking homeowners in Kildare to check their policies to ensure they have an accurate rebuild cost submitted.

This will allow them to avoid the potential for significant financial shortfall in the event that an insurance claim needs to be made to rebuild their home due to total loss, such as in the event of a fire.  

They explained in a statement: "When calculating the base rates for rebuilding, it’s important to be aware that costs are calculated on a total loss situation, i.e., the building has been totally destroyed and has to be demolished, the site cleared, and the house completely rebuilt."

"Another key consideration is that the costing does not include contents such as carpets, curtains, furniture, and white goods and appliances: these are covered under the contents section of the insurance policy."

Assessments

It continued: "While there are online rebuild cost calculators, a professional assessment is the safest way to avoid underinsurance: review your sums insured regularly to reflect any alterations, improvements or renovations that you may have undertaken.

"After all, for most people, their home is their most valuable possession, so it’s important to adequately insure it."

Insuremyhouse.ie also cautioned homeowners that they should be aware that if they insure their home for 20 per cent less that the cost of rebuilding it: "then any claim they have no matter how small could be reduced by the same percentage."

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Christy Ring Report

Cathal McCabe of Kildare in action against Daniel Huane of Mayo during the Christy Ring Cup Final match between Kildare and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo:Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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