Watch: Be aware of what home insurance actually covers – MFSA

Home insurance does not always cover both the physical structure as well as its contents. Indeed, most of the time, insurance cover for the building is separate from an insurance cover for the contents.

The two insurance covers may be taken out together or independently of each other and not necessarily from the same provider. One is also encouraged to inform their insurer of any material changes to your contents or buildings, including the sums insured.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has launched an informative campaign to raise awareness about the different types of home insurance cover available to consumers.“Achieving protection through awareness is at the core of this campaign,” commented Emily Benson, MFSA’s Head, Conduct Supervision.

What does building insurance typically cover?

Buildings insurance covers the structure of the building, plus permanent ‘fixtures and fittings’ such as baths, fitted kitchens, windows and doors, etc. The buildings insurance type of policy is typically required by banks when purchasing a property and it will be no longer in force once the loan is repaid.

If one is unsure about whether something is covered under your buildings insurance policy, one needs to check whether an item can be reasonably removed and taken to another residential property.

What does contents insurance typically cover?

Household items that can be moved from one property to another will not generally be covered by a ‘buildings’ policy, but will need to be covered under a ‘contents’ policy. Contents insurance usually covers any items which can be taken from one residential property to another, for example, furniture, TV sets, rugs and carpets, paintings, jewellery, etc.

While it is generally easy to determine whether an item is part of the buildings or part of the contents, in some cases, this is not immediately apparent.