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Revealed: the biggest mistakes made by first-time buyers

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07/04/2016
Those buying their first property are neglecting vital insurances, according to a new study
Revealed: the biggest mistakes made by first-time buyers

A significant 20% of young first-time buyers (aged 25-34) have underinsured homes, according to research by Co-operative Insurance, with many purchasing either buildings or contents cover, rather than both.

A worrying one in 10 admitted to only purchasing buildings insurance after they had moved into the property, despite it being the purchaser’s responsibility to have buildings insurance in place from the date of exchange. One in five (19%) also didn’t have contents insurance in place before they moved in to a property.

And a whopping third (31%) bought furniture without bothering to measure up first, according the firm’s study of the most common mistakes made by first-time buyers.

This led to one in four (25%) struggling to get their furnishings into the property, with 16% removing a window, and 7% causing damage to their new home by moving the furniture in.

Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance at The Co-operative, said: “The research shows that there are a number of first-time buyers who may be getting their priorities wrong when it comes to moving. Buying a property is a complex process and a lack of understanding means that many people are not adequately covered when it comes to insurance.

“Making sure you have buildings insurance in place, at the time of exchange of contracts, is important because that is when you become legally responsible for the property. For example, if the property is affected by fire or malicious damage before the completion process is finalised, you could be liable for these costs without it. Each mortgage provider will have their own rules and they may check this before lending money to a potential home buyer.

“It is also wise to have contents insurance in place before you move. Often this will cover goods in transit, so it could save you money, as you may not need to purchase insurance from a removals company. Check with your insurer because there may be requirements that items of a fragile nature are packed by professionals and small high value items may not be covered, such as jewellery –you will be better off transporting these yourself.”

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