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Can I have two home insurance policies on one house?

Taken out a new home insurance policy when you already have one? Find out why overlapping policies could cause a financial headache and what you can do to rectify the situation with our guide.

Taken out a new home insurance policy when you already have one? Find out why overlapping policies could cause a financial headache and what you can do to rectify the situation with our guide.

Written by
Anna McEntee
Insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
Last Updated
20 OCTOBER 2022
3 min read
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What counts as having two home insurance policies?

Although most people buy bundled buildings and contents insurance with one provider, it is possible to arrange them separately with different providers.  

What you don’t want to do is double up on either and end up with two contents policies or two buildings insurance policies. 

Not only will this cost you more money, but it could also be an administrative headache without actually increasing the amount of cover you have.

Will I get paid twice if I’m double insured and need to make a claim?

Sadly not. Claiming the full amount from more than one insurance provider is fraud – you can only make one claim

If you’re double insured and you make a claim, the two insurance providers might decide to use something called a contribution clause. This means they split your claim between them and pay a proportion of it each. As well as being admin heavy for you, it could also mean your premiums go up when it’s time to renew your home insurance. This is because you’d lose your no-claims discount with each insurance provider. 

A contribution clause will be outlined in your policy documents. It will explain how much of the share your insurance provider will pay in the case of double insurance. 

Did you know?

Doubling up – having two different insurance policies that cover the same thing – doesn’t just happen with home insurance. It’s also a common problem with car and travel insurance. Although it’s not illegal, the cost of double insurance and the administrative problems when you submit a claim can create an unnecessary headache that could easily be avoided. 

Whenever you take out an insurance policy, always check the terms and conditions to find out what’s included and whether you need to cancel the cover manually once it expires. 

How to avoid having two home insurance policies

You could accidentally end up with double cover for your home if you buy a new policy and your old one renews automatically. 

  • Check whether your home insurance policy renews automatically. 
  • Make a note of your renewal date and put time aside to compare quotes before your policy ends – you may find you can get a better deal if you switch insurance providers.
  • If you switch home insurance providers, make sure you tell your old provider that you aren’t renewing. 

If you discover you have two home insurance policies running at the same time, it may keep things simpler if you cancel one. 

Before you cancel, check the terms of cancelling and see which policy offers the best value. 

You can contact each insurance provider to see if they’ll refund part of the premium. You should get all your money back if you cancel within the 14-day ‘cooling off’ period – that’s 14 days from the day your policy starts or when you receive your policy documents, whichever is later. 

Find out more about cancelling your home insurance policy. 

What about moving to a new home?

If you’re buying a new property, you could have two home insurance policies running at the same time – one for the old property and another for the new. 

Once you’ve exchanged contracts on a property, you become its legal owner and you’re obliged to go through with the sale – even if there’s an unforeseen event, such as a fire or a flood.  

This is why mortgage lenders will typically require you take out buildings insurance as soon as contracts are exchanged.  

Once you move to your new home, you’ll need to either cancel the home insurance policy on your old home or transfer it to your new property, if your provider will allow that. Your premium will be recalculated for the new property. 

If you’ve decided to switch to a new insurance provider for your new home, you’ll need to cancel your old policy. Check whether you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee so you can factor that into the cost. 

Second homes and rental properties

Second home or a rental properties need insuring too. If you own another property, you’ll need a separate policy in addition to home insurance for your main residence. 

Specialist landlord insurance is available if you receive a rental income on your second property. 

You may also need specialist insurance for your second home if the property is: 

  • Not your primary residence 
  • Left unoccupied for long periods of time – usually more than 30 days 
  • Let out as a holiday home 
  • Used as a holiday home by friends and family. 

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Anna McEntee - Insurance expert

Anna’s all about delivering fantastic insurance products at a great price. Value is the most important thing for Anna, as she cuts through the jargon and finds what’s most important and worth your hard-earned money.

Learn more about Anna

Rachel Lacey - Insurance and money expert

Rachel’s a self-confessed money nerd who’s been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She spent 17 years writing for Moneywise, including a few years as Editor, and likes making complicated subjects like insurance, pensions, investing and tax, easy for people to understand.

Learn more about Rachel