5 Best Home Insurance Companies: Insure Your Household Contents

Life is unpredictable and has many people full of anxieties about the unknown. While we can’t control what life throws at us, we can stay prepared for the unexpected.

In a second, a candle toppling over could change your life instantly. It can cost you a great sum of money if your uninsured house and household contents all burn down to ashes. Home insurance assures us that we won’t be left in the cold if our house burns down.

Home insurance in South Africa can be costly and it can be difficult to narrow down what works for your needs and your wallet. A good insurance plan will set your mind at ease so you can be free to focus on living life in the present.

To help you focus on the now, we’ve put together the best home insurance companies in South Africa.

What to Look For in Home Insurance

There are many insurance companies to choose from, so before we can decide what the best home insurance plan is for you, you need to understand what home insurance entails.

Home insurance can be broken up into three categories: house insurance, home contents insurance and personal valuables insurance. Insuring your items means they are protected from unexpected loss or damage like theft or extreme weather conditions.

When these items are stolen or damaged, insurance will cover the cost or replace the item or items. Some companies even offer to pay for accommodation while you wait for your house to get fixed.

hand holding house keys

House Insurance

Before a house is a home it is a building. That is why we all need house insurance or better known ‘building insurance’ to make sure the thing protecting us is also protected from several dangers. Your house is most likely your biggest asset, so you need a good insurance policy that will protect you from these accidents and either replace or reimburse you for them.

When applying for a home loan, most banks require you to have building insurance in place first. Until you’ve paid off all your loans to the bank, the bank still owns your home and property. Naturally, they want reassurance they won’t suffer a loss in investment if the building needs repair or rebuilding. While the home loan is taken through the bank, the home insurance does not have to be through them as well.

It should cover:

  • Buildings on the property (including garages and outside buildings)
  • Swimming pools
  • Fences, walls, gates
  • Geyser wear and tear
  • Garden damage due to unforeseen events

household contents in kitchen

Household Contents Insurance

Just as we would protect the building we live in, we should protect the items inside the property as well.

We store many expensive items in our home for safekeeping, but what if our house gets burgled while we’re away? Household contents insurance covers valuables kept inside the house like electronics, furniture and appliances from loss or damage.

However, this insurance will not cover fixed components in the home like wall to wall carpets, taps, and sanitary wear items. While they are household contents, they are fixed items in the home. Therefore, these items are often covered by house insurance instead.

It should cover:

  • Loss or damage to valuables due to theft or weather conditions
  • Loss or damage due to fire
  • Damage or loss due to power surges (e.g. food)
  • Electronics
  • Home appliances
  • Furniture

Personal Valuables Insurance

Nearly every time we leave our homes, we need to take our valuable items like laptops, cameras and work equipment with us. Each time there is a risk of loss or damage to your items through everyday use. Personal valuables insurance has you covered wherever you are in South Africa.

If you are travelling internationally with these items, some insurance companies won’t insure them. Travel insurance is a better option in that case.

There are two types of personal valuables insurance- specified and non-specified. Specified items are high-cost items, like smartphones or wedding rings, which are insured individually. Non-specified items are items that might not have much value on their own, but if lost altogether, could be a significant financial loss or hassle to replace.

It should cover:

  • Handbags
  • Electronic devices
  • Bicycles
  • Expensive jewellery
  • Wallets
  • Clothes

white speaker set on a table in home

Home Insurance Calculator

A home insurance calculator assists you with a rough estimate of the value of your assets. It also tells you how much to insure them for and how much you could be paying for them.

Of course, you should always speak with a financial advisor to guide you as this is not a totally accurate figure. However, this estimate could be a starting point to help you decide on which insurance company suits you best.

The amount of insurance coverage you’ll need will depend on a host of things and will also vary from person to person.

These variables are based on:

  • Where you live
  • The sale price of buildings in surrounding areas
  • Your home’s features
  • Your home’s condition
  • The size of your property
  • How much coverage you need

It is important to know the correct prices of items you’re insuring. Paying too little for insurance could have you receiving a reduced claim payout for damaged or stolen items. Paying too much could have you overpaying for an insurance plan you don’t even need.

Companies and banks that offer home insurance calculators on their websites advise you to speak to other experts in the field before making a decision.

The features in and around your home, like expensive equipment and swimming pools, could push the replacement value up. Because of this, it is important to remember the replacement value of your home may then be higher than its market value.

home insurance calculations on laptops

Top 5 House Insurance Companies

Here are the top 5 insurance companies based on customer satisfaction and the services they provide.

Outsurance Home Insurance

Outsurance was rated the best short-term insurance company by Businesstech in 2021 based on customer satisfaction. They cover all three types of home insurance with amazing benefits for all three. They provide cover against theft, flood, fire and power surge damage.

Features and benefits:

  • Outbonus 10% of premiums after three claim-free years
  • 12-month guarantee
  • Glass and sanitary wear cover
  • Low flat excess
  • Free access to approved partners 24/7

Discovery Home Insurance

Discovery covers all three insurance types, but goes a step further and has its own plans to accommodate your needs and budget better. Their plans range from the ‘Essential plan’, which are the basics, then ‘Classic’ and finally the ‘Purple Plan’ that offers the most coverage.

Regardless of which plan you choose, they cover many assets and offer flexibility to match your needs.

Features and benefits:

  • Up to 20% supplementary accidental damage cover
  • Emergency security and alternative accommodation
  • 60 days’ unoccupied cover
  • Landslip and subsidence cover
  • Excess flexibility to an amount that suits your needs

Momentum Home Insurance

Momentum’s short-term insurance offers home insurance. They provide safety rewards for keeping safe in and around your home. They also offer a panic button that contacts armed responses on your behalf 24/7 when needed.

The plan includes home assistance which you can contact for plumbing, electronics or locksmiths emergencies at any time.

Features and benefits:

  • Up to 30% cashback on unclaimed premiums
  • 24-hour Momentum Assist for emergencies
  • Momentum Safety Alert to keep you safe
  • Temporary accommodation in case of theft or damage to property

small family laughing around supper table

MiWay

Miway boasts hassle-free methods to claim and award-winning customer service. They are the first all-inclusive insurance company in South Africa which are truly online-enabled. Their major shareholder is Santam, another big insurance company giving them support and leverage as they’re still relatively new.

Features and benefits:

  • The online application ensures an average full month’s premium after 3 months
  • Low flat access
  • Fixed premiums for 36 months
  • Free home emergency assistance
  • Add additional coverage as needed, e.g. theft cover

Old Mutual

Old Mutual offers a Full Cover that protects against theft, extreme weather, fire, landslip, subsidence and more. They also provide a limited coverage plan if you feel your house and property is relatively safe from burglary and theft. Their Limited Cover covers everything the Full cover does, except for loss or damage due to theft or burglary.

Features and benefits:

  • Fix any water or fire damaged equipment
  • Emergency assistance 24/7

So Who Is the Best Out of the Bunch?

There is no single best company for home insurance, only a company that works best for you. What you need to pay depends on a number of variables like location, income and assets.

This guide might help you narrow your options down, but it’s still advised to talk to a financial adviser first before choosing a suitable home insurance company. Remember to get home insurance that covers your house and everything in it – something you’ll find with the above companies.

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