Home insurance for a council house

Do I need home insurance for my council house?

There are two types of home insurance - buildings insurance and contents insurance.

As a council tenant, you don’t need to worry about buildings insurance – that’s the council’s responsibility. This means their insurance can pay for repairs if your home’s structure, fixtures or fittings –  the bath, sink, toilet and fitted kitchen cupboards for example – are damaged because of a fire, storm or flood. You shouldn’t need to buy this insurance as it should already be included in your rent.

But if you want financial protection for the possessions you keep in your home, you’ll need contents insurance.

This can pay out if items like your furniture, laptop, TV, carpets and clothes are damaged or stolen.

Is the council responsible for contents insurance?

No, the council isn’t responsible for your contents insurance. If, for instance, a storm created a leak in the building’s roof, the council’s buildings insurance would likely cover repairs to the roof. But it wouldn’t cover your computer if it was damaged by the leaking water. Contents insurance is something you’d need to buy yourself if you want cover for your home contents. 

Where can I buy contents insurance for my council house?

Many councils offer tenants the option of taking out contents insurance through them. Before you do that, you could try comparing quotes to see what deals are available. You can’t assume that the council’s deal will be the cheapest or the best value – or that it will necessarily give you the cover you need.

Do I really need contents insurance?

Think about the stuff you have in your home. How much would it cost to buy your possessions again if they were damaged or stolen? If you couldn’t afford to replace them,  then it’s definitely worth considering contents insurance.

How much contents insurance do I need?

There’s no set amount – it depends on how much your possessions are worth. To help you work it out, take a look at our handy guide to valuing your home contents. You can also use our home contents calculator when you get a quote.

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Frequently asked questions

Is council home contents insurance cheaper?

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that it will be. How much you pay depends on how much your possessions are worth, the size of your home, where it is, and the insurance provider and policy you choose.

What about insurance if I buy my council house?

If you buy your council property it’s very likely you’ll be a leaseholder. In this case, the council will arrange the buildings insurance. This will be included in the annual service charge. You’ll still need to arrange your own contents insurance if you want it.

If you buy your home as a freeholder, or you buy the freehold later, you’ll be responsible for buying buildings and contents insurance. Also, your mortgage provider will probably insist you have buildings insurance.

Will contents insurance cover me if the council damages my property?

If a tradesman working for the council damages your property – a plumber accidentally disconnects a pipe and you have a flood, for example – you may be able to claim on your council’s insurance. See further details on GOV.UK

If you do the same thing yourself, the council’s insurance may not cover you. But you might be able to make a claim for damage to your possessions under your own contents insurance policy if you have accidental damage cover.

How much does contents insurance cost?

Get contents insurance from £61 a year^^ 

^^ 50% of people could achieve a quote of £60.48 per year for their contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in June 2021.

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What do I need to get a quote?

Want to compare quotes for council home insurance? Compare the Market can help. Just give us a few details about you and your home, and we’ll gather quotes from some of the UK’s most respected home insurance providers.

Let’s get started and see if you can save.

Chris King

From the Home team

What our expert says

“With council house insurance, your buildings insurance should be taken care of, but it’s really important to think about cover for your possessions. If something happened to them and you didn’t have contents insurance, you could end up seriously out of pocket.” 

Why use Compare the Market?

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**Correct as of June 2021.

***For the period 1st March to 31st May 2021, 1,019 people responded to the question “When completing a quote using CtM, how did you find it?”  972 responded with ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ (95.4%).

****For the period 1st March to 31st May 2021, 1,019 people responded to the statement “I think the prices provided by CtM are….”  936 responded with ‘competitive’ or ‘very competitive’ (91.9%).

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