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What you'll need
- Details of the property, including when it was built.
- Details of the occupants.
- Details of how the property is kept secure.
To ensure the quote process runs as smoothly as possible, please have the following to hand:
Need to know
What is home insurance?
Home insurance cover comes in two parts – buildings insurance and contents insurance. Depending on your needs you can choose either one or both of these.
The house and buildings part of the policy includes the house as well as all fixtures and fittings, such as fitted kitchen components, bath and shower, fitted cupboards, and fitted decorative elements. Outbuildings such as garages and garden sheds are included, but not all policies cover things like fences, gates, driveways, boundary fences, and swimming pools. Buildings cover insures your bricks and mortar for events like fire and weather damage.
Contents usually includes everything in the house that a homeowner would take with them when they moved. Contents cover could protect your belongings against problems like theft, damage and loss.
Buying a combined policy from the same insurer can often be cheaper than getting two separate policies.
Am I legally obliged to have home insurance?
Neither buildings nor contents cover is strictly compulsory in the sense that it’s a criminal offence if you don’t have it. However, if you’re a homeowner, most mortgage lenders will insist you have buildings cover in place to protect their investment.
Contents insurance is not compulsory either, but is a very good idea.
You don’t usually need buildings cover if you’re renting, but you may want contents insurance to help cover the cost of replacing your things if you suffer a loss.
What does a Home Insurance Policy Cover?
While basic policies can vary, most cover damage and loss that occurs due to the following causes:
- Fire, lightning, earthquake, explosion
- Subsidence, landslip, or heave
- Storms and floods
- Malicious damage
- Theft of property, or damage caused by attempted theft
- Leaking water tanks and pipes
- Oil leaks from heating systems
- Falling trees or tree branches
- Breakage of TV, radio, or satellite receivers
- Impact from an aircraft, vehicle, or animal
For most policies, exclusions are things such as general wear and tear, costs of home maintenance, and damage or breakdown that occurs as a result of poor workmanship.
Most policies also cover a certain amount of personal liability. For example, if someone is injured while in the home and the homeowner is found to be legally responsible, insurance may cover some or all of the compensation and legal costs.
What additional optional cover is available?
Home insurance providers tend to also offer a wide range of optional coverage. For example:
- Coverage for accidental damage not covered by the standard policy, such as accidental damage caused by the homeowner, or accidental damage of possessions that are taken outside the home.
- Coverage for legal advice and other legal expenses for incidents relating to personal injury disputes, property disputes, and other specified types of disputes.
- Identity theft cover, which provides financial compensation for any costs incurred when reclaiming identity.
- Home emergency cover, for costs associated with repairs and labour. Some policies may also cover accommodation costs if an emergency forces someone to spend the night in a hotel.
What should I include in my contents cover?
As a rule of thumb, anything you’d take with you if you moved house should be included on your contents policy – including items like curtains and carpets.
It’s worth taking the time to go around your house from room to room and putting a reasonable value on everything.
Does increasing my excess make my policy cheaper?
All home insurance policies come with a compulsory excess – the amount you have to pay towards the cost of any claim.
On top of this, you can opt to pay a voluntary excess, which may bring costs down. The temptation is to set your voluntary excess high, hoping to save a few quid on your premium. This may work in the short term, but make sure you can afford to pay this excess if you have to make a claim – or you’ll find yourself short of money before your insurer will pay out.
Does home insurance apply to me if I rent?
As the owner, your landlord will be responsible for the maintenance of the building, so it’s down to them to ensure their property is protected with buildings insurance.
But you’re responsible for any contents inside that you own. If anything were to happen to your possessions, you would liable yourself for the cost of replacing them.
When should I make a home insurance claim?
You can make a claim at any time, providing the situation and the item you want to claim for are covered in your policy. For larger claims, that’s exactly why you pay your premiums. For smaller items you may need to weigh up the pros and cons before submitting the claim.
How can I reduce my home insurance premiums?
- Buying home and contents policies from the same company may provide a homeowner with a small discount.
- Some providers charge around 5% less if the homeowner could pay their premium annually rather than monthly.
- Increasing the excess on a policy might reduce the premium, but this could mean paying a little more out of pocket each time a claim is made.
- If a homeowner installs a home security system with alarms, BSI-approved locks and other components this security system could reduce the premiums on both home and contents policies.
When using the Quidco Compare service, you must take reasonable care to answer insurers questions fully and accurately and if you volunteer other information, you must take reasonable care to ensure that the information is not misleading. If any information that you have provided changes before you take out your insurance, during the life of the policy or at renewal you must inform the insurer or broker of the change. If you deliberately or carelessly misrepresent any information in relation to this insurance, then your policy may not pay all, or part, of a claim and could in certain circumstances be avoided altogether.