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Your home may well be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make, so it stands to reason that you’re going to want to protect it with the best home insurance policy you can find. However, that doesn’t mean you want to pay over the odds for your home insurance – which is where we come in.
Quotezone.co.uk’s free online home insurance comparison system can help you compare quotes from over 50 different providers in a matter of minutes, making it much more likely that you’ll find a cheap home insurance policy.
We compare home insurance quotes for everything from terraced homes to detached houses, and from studio flats in the heart of the city to beautiful bungalows in the heart of countryside, and you’ll have the option to choose a buildings insurance policy, a contents insurance policy or combined buildings and contents insurance.
Home Insurance Guide
Many kinds of insurance are optional, but most homeowners consider that having home and contents insurance is a must even though it isn’t a legal requirement.
In fact, although it isn’t required by law many homeowners are contractually obliged to take out a basic home insurance policy if they have a mortgage, because insurance for the building will often be required as part of the loan agreement.
Home insurance in the UK typically includes two separate policies, one of which covers the house and buildings, and one of which covers the contents. Homeowners could choose to buy both from the same provider, but may also buy the policies separately from different providers.
- 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.
- Contents usually includes everything in the house that a homeowner would take with them when they moved.
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.
Special Coverage and Optional Extras
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.
How to Compare Home Insurance Policies
Making home insurance comparisons might be easier online, but it’s still important to be thorough when shopping for insurance. It might not be as simple as to buy the home insurance that’s the cheapest, it could be wise to check the level and type of cover of each policy as well.
Looking closely at what’s covered in the policy, and not making any assumptions about what’s covered as standard could be a wise step. For example, few policies cover damage caused in the home by the homeowner, or cover loss or damage to personal items that are taken out of the home. And if the home is let to tenants or stands empty, coverage may be restricted.
Another difference is new-for-old versus indemnity cover. With new-for-old, the policy covers the replacement cost of possessions and the cost of building a new home. With indemnity cover, depreciation is factored into payouts. Indemnity policies are cheaper but don’t provide the same level of protection as new-for-old cover.
How Much Insurance Does a Homeowner Need?
The amount a homeowner is insured for is the maximum amount their insurance provider might pay out if the home and its contents are completely destroyed by an event that is covered by the policy. So the primary concern for the homeowner could be to make sure that this sum might actually cover the costs of rebuilding the home, and of replacing all of their possessions with new items. This is the main reason why new-for-old is usually superior to indemnity insurance in terms of the level of coverage it provides.
Note that some insurance providers offer a different kind of policy with levels of insurance, rather than basing the insured sum on a valuation or appraisal. This is also known as bedroom-rated cover, because the coverage level is typically determined by the size of the house, using the number of bedrooms it has as a guide. For example, a policy might automatically provide a maximum cover of £500,000 for the home and £50,000 for the contents. In this case, as with other kinds of home insurance, it’s still likely to be the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that the policy limit is high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding and replacing.
For any given policy, there is typically a limit that applies to valuable items such as jewellery, art, and ornaments, and sometimes electronic equipment. If a homeowner’s standard policy doesn’t cover the value of their valuables, they may need to purchase extra insurance to make sure they’re fully protected.
Tips to Reduce 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.