Sergei in foreground looking concerned at Carl the Wombat who has just accidentally smashed a TV whilst playing a video game. Carl waving in background
A living room with smashed wide screen TV on wall Sergei in foreground looking concerned at Carl the Wombat who has just accidentally smashed a TV whilst playing a video game. Carl waving in background

Home insurance

Don't stress, protect your home for less

  • Meerkat your home insurance to save up to £159[1]
  • Protect your home and belongings with the right cover
  • Plus, enjoy fantastic rewards, on us*

[1] Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during November, 2022. 51% of customers could achieve this saving on their Buildings and Contents insurance through Compare the Market.

We compare prices from 41 trusted providers[2], including:

See a full list of our home insurance providers

[2] Correct as of December 2022.

What is home insurance?

Home insurance (or house insurance) is designed to financially protect your home and belongings. For example, if your home is damaged or destroyed in a fire, having the right insurance could mean the insurance provider will pay to replace your belongings and repair or rebuild your home. 

Buildings insurance and contents insurance are the two types of home insurance, and you can choose to buy them separately or combine them into one policy.

Do I need home insurance?

Neither buildings insurance nor contents insurance are a legal requirement. But by having both, you could have financial protection for your property and belongings in case something unexpected happens. Those who might need home insurance include:


If you own your home, you’re responsible for insuring the building and your belongings inside it. If you have a mortgage, your mortgage provider might insist that you have buildings insurance in place for the length of your mortgage. You can buy buildings insurance from any provider, not just your mortgage provider. If you’re lucky enough to own a second home, you’ll probably want to insure that too.


If you’re a tenant renting your home, you’ll only be responsible for protecting your personal belongings. The building itself is the responsibility of your landlord.

Find out more about rental contents insurance


Landlords are responsible for insuring the building they own and rent out. If you let a furnished property, you can also protect your belongings against damage or theft through a landlord policy.

Find out more about landlord insurance


If you’re a student living in halls of residence or shared accommodation, you might want to cover personal items like laptops and gadgets.

Your parents’ home insurance policy may already cover your personal items, but don’t assume this is the case. Ask your parents to check whether you’re covered by their policy, as well as any restrictions or limits listed in the policy wording.

Find out more about student contents insurance

Holiday homeowners

If you have a holiday home, you might need to take out specialist cover. You can compare holiday home insurance with us, but you’ll need to specify how many days a year the property will be empty. It can be more expensive than regular home insurance but will give you the protection you need.

Find out more about holiday home insurance

What type of home insurance do I need?

There are two types of cover available – buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can buy these separately or combine them into one home insurance policy from the same provider.

Buildings insurance

This could cover the cost of repairing damage to the structure of the property, including the roof and walls. It can also cover any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as windows or kitchen units.
Homeowners and landlords will need this type of insurance.

Find out more about buildings insurance

Contents insurance

This could cover the possessions inside your home against damage or theft. It typically protects furniture, home appliances, clothes and carpets. It can also cover high-value items in the home, such as jewellery and bicycles.
Anyone with belongings they want to protect should consider this type of insurance.

Find out more about contents insurance

Combined home insurance

You can get both buildings and contents insurance under one policy from the same provider. This can make it more convenient if you need to make a claim.
Combined insurance can often work out cheaper than taking out separate policies. But you should always compare house insurance quotes to make sure it’s the right option for you.

What does home insurance cover?

Your exact level of cover will depend on the provider and type of policy you choose. But most home insurance policies will generally offer similar types of protection and come with common exclusions.

What’s typically covered?

  • Fire damage 
  • Flooding and storm damage
  • Burst pipes 
  • Falling trees/branches, aerials or satellite equipment
  • Subsidence
  • Vandalism and theft

What’s typically not covered?

  • General wear and tear
  • Routine maintenance 
  • Damage caused by negligence
  • Storm damage to fences 
  • Pest infestations 

How much does home insurance cost? 

Buildings and contents insurance could cost up to £151 per year. That's just £12.55 per month[3]

Buildings insurance could cost up to £121 per year[4]

Contents insurance could cost up to £63 per year[5]


The cost of home insurance is determined by a number of factors. With buildings insurance, the price is calculated according to how much your house would cost to rebuild. It also considers other factors, such as your postcode.

With contents insurance, the value of your possessions and where you live are the main considerations. In both cases, whether you’ve made claims in the past will also be taken into account.

Start a quote

[3] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £150.58 for their buildings and contents home insurance & 51% of our customers were quoted less than £12.55 per month in November, 2022 for their home insurance based on the monthly cost when paying for the policy in one annual payment, excluding any interest charged on instalment payments.

[4] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £120.84 for their buildings home insurance in November 2022.

[5] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £62.56 for their contents home insurance in November 2022.

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How can I get cheaper home insurance?

There’s a few simple steps you can take to try to reduce your home insurance costs.

1. Shop around

Every time your contents and/or buildings insurance policy comes up for renewal, run a new house insurance comparison at Comparethemarket. After all, even the best house insurance providers can raise their prices over time. You may find another provider that can offer you a cheaper policy, but with the same level of cover.

2. Consider a combined policy

If you’re looking for value for money, the best home insurance for you could be a combined contents and buildings policy. If you get a combined policy, the provider will likely give you a discount.

3. Boost security

Consider adding high-quality locks to your doors and windows, and installing a burglar alarm and smoke alarm.

4. Avoid instalments

If you can afford it, paying your premium upfront in one go usually cuts the cost of home insurance. If you opt to pay in monthly instalments, you might be charged interest on top.

5. Increase the excess

If you’re willing to raise the amount you contribute towards a claim – the excess – you’ll usually pay a lower premium. But don’t opt to pay more excess than you can afford, should you need to claim.

6. Build up a no-claims discount

Arguably the best house insurance saving comes from a no-claims discount. If you don’t make a claim on your home insurance, you could be rewarded with a discount on your next premium.

Generally, the longer you go without claiming, the more you can save on your house insurance cost. And you’re likely to be able to carry over the discount if you switch to another insurance provider, so make sure you include this when you get a quote.

Why use Comparethemarket?

We compare 73[6] leading provider products from some of the best home insurance companies

Get a price in minutes

Save up to £159[7] by switching

Start a quote

Correct as of December 2022.

[7] Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during November, 2022. 51% of customers could achieve this saving on their Buildings and Contents insurance through Compare the Market.

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What factors affect the cost of home insurance?

The general rule of thumb is that the greater the risk of damage or loss involving your home, the higher your premiums are likely to be. Many things can affect those risks and how much you’ll pay, including:

  • Property size - the rebuild costs of a larger property are likely to be higher than for a smaller home.
  • Property location - crime rates, area affluence and flood risk can all affect the cost of your insurance.
  • Property age – older homes often have features or use construction materials that are expensive to replace. They may also have outdated plumbing and electrical systems.
  • Home security - having a burglar alarm, high-quality door and window locks, and smoke detectors make you less risky in the eyes of insurance providers. Find out how to secure your home while you're out.
  • Building materials and roof type - properties built from non-typical materials and listed buildings can be more expensive to insure. A thatched roof can also be considered more of a risk for insurance.
  • Value of your posessions - the more valuable the items you want to cover, the more you’ll have to pay.
  • Policy add-ons - cover for accidental damage and home emergency cover won’t usually be included as standard. You may have to pay extra to add to this cover to your policy.
  • Claims history - if you haven’t made any recent claims, you’ll often be rewarded with a no claims discount.
Author image Alex Hasty

What our expert says...

“Household budgets are being squeezed from rising living costs and, with home insurance premiums on the rise, it’s vital that households look for savings wherever possible. With the difference in cost between the average and cheapest home insurance premium increasing, this means homeowners could make greater savings when switching ahead of renewal. ­­­­­­Shopping around online remains one of the best ways to cut the cost of insurance and households could save significantly if they switch to the cheapest motor and home insurance providers.”

- Alex Hasty, Insurance and finance expert at Comparethemarket

What do I need to get a home insurance quote?

When you start a home insurance comparison with us, it’s a good idea to have some basic information about your property, including:

  • Your current home insurance policy documents
  • Details about your property
  • The rebuild value of your home
  • The level of cover you need

We’ll ask you questions to make sure we have all the information we need, including your personal details, to provide you with a list of suitable quotes.

Start a quote

What home insurance add-ons are available?

By paying a bit more, you can add optional extras to your policy to give you even more protection. You’ll want to keep your policy affordable though, so think carefully about what you need. Add-ons include:

Home emergency cover

Provides immediate help in an emergency situation if there’s a risk of further damage to the property or a risk to family members’ health and safety.  For example, a broken boiler in the winter or a leaking pipe.

Learn more about home emergency cover

Accidental damage cover

This could cover mishaps caused by you or your family that result in unforeseen damage. For example, spilling red wine on the carpet or putting your foot through the ceiling from the attic. If you have a cat or dog, you might also want to think about getting accidental damage pet insurance.

Learn more about accidental damage cover

Personal possessions

This offers cover for items you carry outside the home, such as mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets, if they get lost or are stolen.

Learn more about personal possessions cover

Legal expenses 

This will typically cover your legal costs and expenses if you get into a legal dispute with a tradesman or neighbours. It’s sometimes included as standard on home insurance policies.

Learn more about legal expenses cover

Alternative accommodation

This is usually included as standard, but in some cases you may have to add it to your policy. It could cover you if your property becomes uninhabitable due to flooding, fire, subsidence or storm damage. Your insurance provider will pay for temporary accommodation so you have a roof over your head in an emergency.

Learn more about alternative accommodation cover

What other types of home insurance are available?

A standard home insurance policy may not be right for everyone. Depending on your circumstances, you might need to consider these types of specialist home insurance:

Listed buildings insurance

This is for people who live in a building of special historical or architectural importance. Listed buildings can be expensive to repair because they’re usually made with less common materials and may need the expertise of specialist tradespeople.

Unoccupied property insurance

You might need this if you’ve inherited a house, you’re taking an extended business trip or you’re moving out while renovating. Most providers won’t insure properties that are left unoccupied for more than 30-60 days at a time.

Rental home insurance

If you rent your home, you’ll insure it differently, with the focus being on your contents, rather than the building.

Landlord home insurance

If you’re a landlord who rents out a property, you’ll need landlord home insurance to cover the building and your own contents. You should also consider rental protection, also known as rent guarantee insurance, to protect you from periods of unoccupancy or tenants who can’t pay their rent.

Holiday home insurance

If you own a second property as a holiday home, you’ll need a specialist home insurance policy to protect it both when you’re there and when you’re not.

Non-standard home insurance

This can cover any home that doesn’t conform to regular standards. For example, if you’ve built your home from scratch or you’ve bought a house in the countryside with a thatched roof.

You might also need non-standard insurance if you or someone in your household has a criminal conviction.

Student home insurance

If you’re off to uni and living away from home, you should think about getting cover for your student house or halls of residence. Student home insurance can cover your belongings while you’re away, including any expensive gadgets.

Temporary home insurance

Is your house being renovated, or you’re going on an extended holiday or business trip? These are just some examples of when you should consider taking out a temporary home insurance policy. This is because your standard home insurance may not cover these situations. 

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Frequently asked questions

Can I change my home insurance excess?

With compulsory excess, your insurance provider sets the amount, and you can’t change it.

With voluntary excess, you can change the amount. By raising your voluntary excess, your premiums are likely to be cheaper. But don’t set it too high – you want to make sure you can afford to pay both the compulsory and voluntary excess if you need to make a claim.

Find out more in our guide to home insurance excess.

Do I get a credit check on a home insurance quote?

Yes, when taking out a home insurance policy, insurance providers will carry out a soft credit check before they offer you a quote.

Does my credit score affect home insurance?

Having a poor credit score may affect the cost of home insurance. But you should still be able to find an insurance provider with a policy and price that suits you.

Are valuables only protected inside the home?

For your valuables to be protected outside your home, you’ll need personal possessions cover.

Check your policy to see if this is included and add it as an extra if necessary. Any high-value items (individual possessions worth more than £1,500, for example) may need to be listed separately on your policy.

When would I need home insurance add-ons?

If you think your standard policy doesn’t give you enough cover in specific areas, you might want to add it on. For example, adding accidental damage will typically cover things like red wine spilled on a sofa.

Adding cover for personal possessions outside the home could cover items like your mobile phone when you’re out and about. Remember, adding extras will add to the cost of your insurance policy.

What kind of door locks do I have?

Home insurance providers need to know which types of door lock you have, because some are considered more secure than others. 

  • Five-lever mortice locks are often found on wooden front doors and need a key to lock and open them.
  • Multi-point locking systems are commonly found on uPVC doors. If you need to lift up the handle to lock the door, you probably have one of these.
  • Night latches are mounted on the surface of a door, so aren’t as secure as other types of lock. They automatically lock the door when it closes.

How much home insurance cover do I need?

You’ll need enough buildings insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your property from scratch if it was destroyed.

When comparing home insurance through Comparethemarket, we’ll calculate your home’s rebuild cost using information from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. The Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) is another tool that can be used to estimate rebuild costs.

Can I get home insurance during building works?

Yes, but you’ll need to let your home insurance provider know that work is being carried out.

It’s likely you’ll have to pay more for your insurance during the construction work and there may be restrictions placed on your cover. You might also pay more for your insurance after the work is complete if your home improvements add to the value of your home.

If you’re carrying out large-scale renovations to your home, you might need specialist insurance to cover you during the work.

Are leaks covered by home insurance?

Most buildings insurance policies will cover you for burst pipes and water leaks as standard. This is usually classed as an ‘escape of water’, whether it’s caused by burst pipes, blocked drains or a leaky washing machine. 

If you make a claim for an escape of water, you might find you have to pay a higher compulsory excess. That’s the fixed amount you have to contribute towards the claim. Check your policy documents for details. 

What home insurance do I need if I’m renting?

If you’re renting a property, you’ll need tenants’ insurance to cover your contents. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to have buildings insurance in place.

Can I get home insurance if I live in a flood-risk area?

It can be difficult to get buildings insurance if your home is in an area prone to flooding, but the government’s Flood Re scheme should be able to help. It was set up to ensure people in high flood-risk areas can still get cover for their homes at affordable prices. And you can still get a quote with us if you live in a flood-risk area.

What home insurance do I need if I live in a non-standard property?

If you live in an unusual property, like a prefab home or a cottage with a thatched roof, it usually won’t be covered by a standard home insurance policy. You’ll need to take out specialist non-standard home insurance, which protects homes built with non-typical construction materials.

How do I estimate the rebuild cost of my home?

We have a calculator to help you work out the rebuild cost when you get a quote with us. Your home insurance needs to cover the cost of rebuilding your home, not its market value.

You can also find the rebuild cost of your property in your home survey or by using the rebuild calculator on the Building Cost Information Service website.

Can I get home insurance if my home has subsidence?

If your home has a history of subsidence, you may find it more difficult or expensive to insure. Your home insurance policy should cover the cost of repairing damage to your house caused by subsidence, but make sure to check this. Also, most insurance providers apply a higher compulsory excess for damage caused by subsidence.

Can I insure an unoccupied property?

Standard home insurance policies typically cover properties that are left unoccupied for up to 30 days or, in some cases, 60 days. If you’re planning to leave your home empty for longer than that, you’ll need to take out unoccupied home insurance. This can cover you for up to 12 months.

Are farmhouses covered under home insurance?

Standard home insurance doesn’t cover agricultural buildings and livestock, so it’s unlikely to be suitable. This applies even if a farmhouse is on a farm that’s no longer in operation.

Comparethemarket doesn’t offer a comparison for farmhouse insurance, but there are many reputable specialist providers to choose from.
Your farmhouse is part of your business, so you’ll need specialist farm insurance for it. This is often packaged with business insurance, like employers’ liability and loss of revenue cover as well as cover for farm buildings, including the structure and contents of your home.

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Page last reviewed on 01/02/2023
by Alex Hasty