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Insuring your first home

Insuring your first home

Putting that first foot on the property ladder is a major financial commitment, so you’ll want to make sure your investment is properly protected. Here’s our guide to the ins and outs of home insurance when it comes to buying your first house.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 16 JULY 2020

Home insurance for first-time buyers

Once you’ve got your mortgage sorted, part of the house-buying process includes getting home insurance. As a first-time homeowner, there are two types of cover you’ll need to consider: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Buildings insurance

While home insurance isn’t a legal requirement, your mortgage provider will most likely insist you have adequate buildings insurance in place, as a condition of their offer.

Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home, including fitted kitchens and bathrooms, against damage caused by:

  • flooding
  • subsidence
  • fire
  • storms
  • burst pipes and water damage
  • theft

Most policies will also cover outside structures such as garden walls, fences and garages.

Buildings insurance will cover the rebuild value of your home if it’s destroyed beyond repair. For that reason, it’s important to make sure you’ve got an accurate idea of the cost of rebuilding your home from scratch, rather than its market value. Rad our guide for more information on how to calculate the rebuild cost of your home.

Contents insurance

Contents insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your home contents if they’re damaged, destroyed or stolen. ‘Contents’ are defined as anything you’d take with you when you move – such as furniture, clothing, jewellery, appliances and entertainment equipment. In other words, your household belongings.

According to Compare the Market data, the average monthly cost of contents insurance is £5.75**. While contents insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. You can buy buildings and contents as two separate policies, or you can combine them into a single policy. If you’re looking to save money on your home insurance, a combined policy could work out cheaper.

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £5.75 per month for their contents insurance based on the monthly cost when paying for the policy in one annual payment, excluding any interest charged on instalment payments. Based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.

Optional extras

When buying your home insurance, there’s often the option to add additional cover to your policy, which might include:

  • Accidental damage - this covers damage to your property or contents that’s the result of an accident. For example, if you spill red wine on your carpet or break a window.
  • Legal expenses - covers the cost of legal expenses relating to your property, such as claiming compensation after an accident in your home or boundary dispute costs.
  • Cover away from home - covers your belongings if you take them out and about with you, such as a laptop.
  • Home emergency cover - covers the cost of emergency repairs and labour if you have a burst pipe, for example.

Optional extras will likely increase the cost of your annual premium. Availability and cover levels of optional extras vary among providers so, before you buy, check the policy covers what you actually need.

Other insurance to consider when buying a house for the first time

If you’re taking out a mortgage for the first time, it could be worth considering additional insurance to protect your mortgage repayments. This might include:

  • Life insurance - to cover your mortgage in the event of your death. This could be particularly relevant to those living with a family.
  • Critical illness cover - typically bought as an add-on to a life insurance policy, this provides a lump sum payment that could help pay off your mortgage if you’re diagnosed with a serious condition, such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer.
  • Income protection - a tax-free monthly income if you become ill or are injured, and unable to work.

Where can I buy home insurance?

Buying your first home doesn’t come cheap, so you’ll want to save money where you can. Shopping around and comparing quotes is one of the ideal ways to find a good deal on your home insurance.

Comparing with us could save you up to £145*** on your buildings and contents insurance. And if you’re setting up utilities, we can also help you find great value energy deals.

Start a quote today, and see if you could cut some of those first-time buyer costs.

***50% of people could achieve a quote of £145.00 per year for their buildings and contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.

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