Keeping track of your home insurance paperwork

Home insurance documents are vital for making claims, understanding your policy and even checking whether you’re insured in the first place. Here’s why it’s important to be organised. 

Home insurance documents are vital for making claims, understanding your policy and even checking whether you’re insured in the first place. Here’s why it’s important to be organised. 

Chris King
Home insurance expert
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Posted 23 DECEMBER 2021

What types of insurance paperwork are there? 

The paperwork you’re sent when you buy insurance varies among providers and can have different names, but may include: 

  • key facts guide or summary of your insurance
  • policy schedule
  • important information about your policy
  • product information
  • terms and conditions
  • provider contact details 

Some insurance providers might include most of this information in one booklet, while others may send separate documents.

Why is insurance paperwork important? 

Insurance paperwork is important because it sets out the rules for your policy and defines what you can claim for and what you can’t

If you face an incident where you need to make an insurance claim, such as a flood, burst pipe or burglary, you’ll need information from your paperwork, your insurance provider contact number, policy number and details on how to make a claim.

How will my insurance documents be sent?

Some insurance providers will give you the option of being sent your documents in the post or getting them via email. Other providers now have a customer area on their website where you can log in to see all your documents.

What should I do with any insurance documents I’m sent?

If your documents are sent through the post, make sure you keep them somewhere safe. Likewise, if your policy is emailed to you, keep the email. It might also be worth downloading and filing the documents on your computer. 

If you’re sent reminders to renew your policy, use them as a prompt to compare prices and cover to make sure you have the right policy for you – particularly if you’ve made changes since you bought your last policy, such as adding a new extension or acquiring valuable possessions. 

Top tip
It’s a good idea to scan and save things like receipts and valuation certificates relating to your home contents insurance – that way they’re safely stored on your computer if anything should happen to the originals.

How can I check if I have home insurance?

If you think you have a home insurance policy, check your email or your bank and credit card statements to see if you can trace your policy. If you can’t find an email, check in your junk mail/spam folder, as it might be there.

If you know the name of the provider you bought home insurance from, they should be able to track down your policy from your personal details and postcode.

Unfortunately, unlike for car insurance, there’s no central database that holds details of all home insurance policies in the UK. 

Did you know?
If you create an account with Compare the Market, you’ll be able to store policy documents and old and new quotes, and create reminders for your MOT or insurance renewals, for example. It also means you’ll be able to easily find out who you’re insured with.

Do landlords need to keep home insurance records for longer? 

If you’re a landlord, you should keep proof of payment for home insurance for longer. It’s an allowable expense that’s tax deductible, which you can offset against your tax bill. HMRC generally expects self-employed people to keep records for at least five years after the 31 January submission deadline for the appropriate tax year. 

For self-assessment, you should keep your records for at least 22 months after the end of the tax year your tax return is for. For example, if you send your 2020-2021 tax return online by 31 January 2022, keep your records until at least the end of January 2023. 

Limited companies need to keep records for six years from the end of the last company financial year they relate to, and even longer in some cases.

Frequently asked questions

What other documents should I keep?

If you have high risk items and valuables, it’s important to keep any original receipts as proof of ownership, should you need to make a claim. 

You’ll also need to keep updated valuation certificates for expensive valuables, like jewellery, antiques and rare collectables

You might also want to consider taking photos of important items and keeping them with the rest of your insurance paperwork.

When else might I need to have my insurance documents to hand?

You’ll need your insurance documents to hand if you ever need to make a claim. You might also need them if: 

  • You’re applying for a mortgage – most mortgage providers require you to have buildings insurance as a condition of their offer.
  • You need to fill out a self-employed self-assessment tax return – if you have business insurance, you can claim it back as an ‘allowable expense’.

Can I keep my insurance documents online?

Yes, many insurance providers offer secure online portals – either through their website or via a downloadable app – which allow access to your insurance documents online. 

You’ll be able to view, download, print and save your documents, so you’ll always have access to your policy. Some providers also let you make changes to your policy and update your details via the online portal.

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