While more Kenyans are now aware that insurance is one way to take care of life’s eventualities, there is one type of insurance many seem to overlook, namely, home insurance.
Picture this: You have just refurbished your entire house, replaced the old kitchen with a new state of the art cabinetry, complete with a new jumbo fridge and several kitchen appliances. In the living room, you have replaced old curtains with new modern ones, refurbished your seats, and fitted the walls with exquisite wall hangings.
For your refurbishment project, you may have taken out a loan or used your bank or Chama savings. You likely own a state of the art television, a music system, several laptops, and high-end phones. In your bedroom are expensive clothes and jewellery, some made of gold and silver.
Then one day, out of the blue, you get a distress phone call. It is your neighbour talking frantically. All you hear is that the house is on fire. Thinking that it is the neighbours’ house that is on fire, you console them and promise to visit them after work.
Then to your rude shock, your neighbour clarifies that it is your house on fire! You almost blackout! At this point, you sit. You cry. Then you begin to ponder. You quickly get into your car and head home to see what you can salvage.
Don’t Worry, Insurance Will Pay!
Upon arrival, you find most of the property razed down. The only comfort is that there is no loss of life since no one was home at the time of the fire. As you ponder pensively wondering what to do next, a neighbour trying to console you says; “Don’t worry, insurance will pay.”
In response, you blurt out, “I had not insured my house, neither the household items!” Then a thought rudely reminds you of the excuses you have been giving yourself every time an insurance agent talked to you about home insurance. You start rehearsing them in your mind one by one.
Here are some of the common excuses people use to postpone buying home insurance:
Excuse #1: It Is Expensive
Surprisingly, home insurance premiums are extremely low. Compare home insurance with motor insurance. To buy a comprehensive insurance cover for a car worth Sh1 million, you need a whopping Sh40,000, which is about 4% of the value.
On the other hand, an insurance premium for household goods costs just 1% of the value of the items. That means that for household valuables worth Sh1 million, you will only pay Sh10,000 per year. As you can see, home insurance is extremely affordable.
In case you own the house, you will only need to pay an additional 1.25% of the value of the house annually.
Excuse #2: It Is a Luxury
Some people argue that with so many other pressing financial needs, the last thing they would spend on is home insurance. They see it as a luxury “may do” item rather than a “must do.”
But, are you ready to lose your home or the household stuff you have bought with your hard-earned money, sometimes from your life savings? Can insuring such items be considered a luxury? No. Not at all. Home insurance is not a preserve of the rich and mighty. Everyone needs to protect their valuables.
Excuse #3: Nothing Will Go Wrong
While optimism is a great virtue, a good rule of living is to prepare for the worst, even as you hope for the best. Unfortunately, some people, just like the proverbial ostrich, bury their heads in the sand, choosing to believe that nothing will ever go wrong.
That is a dangerous stand. The best way is to transfer your liability to an insurer so that should an incident occur, it will be easy to replace your home and your household goods.
Anyone who has valuable household items or who owns a home should make home insurance a top priority. And, remember to include WIBA in your home insurance cover. WIBA stands for Work Injury Benefits Insurance. As you purchase your home insurance, ask your agent to load a WIBA rider.
WIBA is a requirement of the law. It protects your domestic workers from work-related injuries. Again, the premiums are so low, you will naturally want to add it as a rider. Depending on the company insuring, it will only cost you less than Sh1,000 for the entire year for each domestic servant – house help, guards, gardeners, and the like.
Think of how much it would cost you to take care of your workers’ medical expenses or even to compensate them for a lost limb should they get an accident while working in your
home! As they say, do not accept liability. Just buy an insurance cover for your home and household goods, and get peace of mind!
Want to know how to begin? Talk to your preferred insurance agent. At Kingvale Insurance, we have a track record for helping our clients get peace of mind through efficient, fast, and personalized customer service.
We serve with integrity with all facts on the table. Talk to us today and let’s sort out your home insurance needs.
The writer is the CEO of Kingvale Insurance, a firm that has been providing services that are dependable and world-class.