A simples guide

How much am I covered for?

If you’ve got home insurance, you may be wondering how much you’re covered for.  If you were to develop some damp in your bathroom, will it cost you to get it sorted? If you have a kitchen fire, will you be cleaning up the mess? In the event that you have to deal with misfortune in the home, it’s good to know that you’d be covered.


And what’s more, according to The Money Advice Service the average home in the UK has contents worth £45,000, so it’s good to know you’re insured if any unsavoury characters sneak into your home and make off with your HDTV.


Whether you’re covered or not largely depends on your policy and what type of insurance you have. There are two main types of home insurance: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

What does buildings insurance cover me for?

Building insurance generally just covers you for damage to the structure to your home. This includes the floors, walls and roof and generally your conservatory and the garage, but you’ll need to check with your insurer that these are included because it can vary between companies. What events are covered also varies, but generally you’ll be covered for at least the following:

  • Natural events like storms, or floods
  • Subsidence
  • Vehicle collisions with your property
  • Falling trees
  • Water damage from leaking pipes
  • Oil leaking from your heating system
  • Fire and smoke damage



What does contents insurance cover me for?

While building insurance covers you if your home starts falling away in a landslide, it won’t be any help if you’re possessions float away in a flood.

Contents insurance is what you need if you want to know that your possessions are covered. That pretty much includes anything that’s not physically part of the house, for example:

  • Your beds, sofas and other furniture
  • Books, records, DVDs
  • Kitchenware
  • TVs, games consoles
  • Toys, ornaments and antiques
  • Clothes and jewellery

Partial to diamonds or pearls? Ask your insurer if these types of items are covered as standard or whether you’ll need to declare them. Whilst you may not necessarily need separate cover, you might want to take out separate specialist cover for items of high value that you want them to be covered outside your home.  

Contents insurance protects your possessions from:

  • Natural events like floods and storms
  • Fire damage
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Accidental damage

It does not cover:

Lost or stolen items away from your property. If you want your camera covered while backpacking across Peru, you may need to take out separate travel insurance to give you the best cover.

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New-for-old contents insurance cover

Some of your more well-worn possessions may not be worth a great deal in their current condition, but replacing them with new ones if they were  damaged could cost quite a bit. Many insurers take this into account, and offer contents insurance policies that provide new-for-old cover on many items. So if water damage wrecks your TV, you’ll be able to get the latest equivalent model as a replacement. Other items like clothing or bed linen won’t be replaced new for old though, your insurer will make a reduction for wear and tear, so remember to check your policy.

Look out for policy excesses

When you’re thinking about your home insurance policy, check the policy excess. The excess is the amount you pay towards a claim, if you make one. In most cases, the insurer will specify a compulsory amount. But you might be able to lower your premium by paying an additional voluntary excess on top of the compulsory excess. So instead of paying the first £250.00 of any claim, you may opt to pay the first £500.00 of any claim, and reduce your monthly payments. But remember that you’ll need to find the money to cover the excess if you ever need to claim, so make sure you’ll definitely be able to afford the total amount.

At comparethemarket.com, we compare policies from a range of insurance providers across the market so you don’t have to. It means shopping around for the right home insurance for your property needn’t be a headache. You can compare quotes now and make sure that you’ve got the right level of cover at the right price for you.

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