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Home insurance

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What is home insurance? 

Home insurance is made up of buildings insurance and contents insurance, which can be bought separately or together from the same provider.

Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home as well as any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as your fitted kitchen and bathroom.

Contents insurance protects your belongings within your home.

What does home insurance cover?

It will typically protect your home and your possessions inside it against theft and damage due to:

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?

Buildings insurance covers the physical structure of your property, which includes the roof, walls and floors, while contents insurance covers the items inside it, such as your furniture and clothes.

Buildings insurance also includes any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as your kitchen and fitted wardrobes. Outside structures, like fences, garages and sheds are usually covered too, as are pipes, cables and drains connected to your home (provided they’re your legal responsibility).

Contents insurance covers anything within your home that you can remove and take with you to another property, so your clothes, furniture, fridge and television (carpets are also usually included). Just be aware that there are some exceptions to this rule, so always check what’s included within the definition of ‘contents’ in your policy booklet.

What type of home insurance do I need?

It’s essential to have the right type of home insurance. If you own your home and have a mortgage, then your mortgage provider will usually insist you have buildings insurance in place (which you can buy from any provider) for the length of your mortgage.

While neither buildings insurance nor contents insurance are a legal requirement, it’s always advisable to have both to protect your property and belongings in case anything unexpected happens – for example, you have a fire or your home is burgled.

I’m renting
If you’re renting, then buildings insurance is usually the responsibility of your landlord. It’s advisable to have contents insurance to protect your personal belongings.

I’m a landlord
Landlord insurance can include buildings insurance to cover a property that you own and rent out. You can also take out contents insurance to cover your belongings against damage or theft if you rent out a furnished property.

I have a holiday home
Holiday home insurance is split into buildings and contents insurance. It can be more expensive than regular home insurance as insurance providers can consider holiday homes to be a greater risk to insure. This is because they’re often left unoccupied and problems like a burst pipe might go undetected for longer and cause more damage than in an occupied property.

Got some questions? Our Home insurance FAQs and Home insurance glossary should give you the answers you’re looking for.

How much is home insurance?

According to comparethemarket.com data, the average price of combined buildings and contents home insurance is £144**. The average price of buildings insurance for a year is £111***, while the average annual premium for contents insurance is £70****.

The easiest way to find the right level of cover for you at a price you can afford is to use our home insurance comparison service.

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £144.00 per year for their buildings and contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2019.
***50% of people could achieve a quote of £111.00 per year for their buildings home insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2019.
****50% of people could achieve a quote of £70.00 per year for their contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2019.

How can I save money on home insurance?

You could cut the cost of home insurance by: checking you have the right amount of insurance, taking out a combined policy, increasing your voluntary excess, building up your no claims bonus and installing a security system.

Check you have the right amount of home insurance
When you take out buildings insurance, make sure it’s based on the cost of rebuilding your home and not the market value of your home (the rebuild cost is likely to be a lot less than the market value). If you don’t know what the rebuild value of your house is, we’ll help you to work it out when you start a quote with us.

When you take out contents insurance, try to be accurate when you work out the total value of your possessions. If you overestimate, you could end up paying for more insurance then you need. Read our guide on how to estimate the value of your home contents for more information. If you start a quote with us, you can also use our calculator to help you work out the total value.

Take out combined building and contents insurance
Buying both buildings and contents insurance from the same provider could save you money as you’re likely to benefit from a cheaper price than buying them separately.

Increase your excess
Check your voluntary excess – increasing it might help to cut the cost of your premium (although that’s not always the case). Most importantly, make sure you’re happy with the amount you decide on as that’s what you’ll need to pay if you make a claim.

Build up a no claims discount
If you don’t make a claim on your insurance, you could receive a reduction in the following year’s premium when you come to renew it – this is known as a no claims discount. Check out our guide How do no claims discounts work for home insurance? for more information.

Consider installing a security system
Your insurance provider might lower your premium if you fit an appropriate security system. Find out more in our guide Are security systems worth it and can they reduce my insurance?

You’ll find more cost-cutting ideas in our guide How to save money on your home insurance.

Can smart home devices save me money on my home insurance?

If you install smart technology in your home, you could reduce the risk of being burgled or your home being damaged or destroyed by fire, which could cut the cost of your premium.

There’s a range of smart technologies currently on the market, such as security systems, heating devices (which could help protect against the risk of pipes freezing and bursting in winter), fire alarms and water detection systems.

If you’re considering installing any smart technology, always check with your insurance provider first as to how it could affect your premium.

What do I need to get a quote?

When you start a home insurance quote with us, it’s a good idea to have some basic information about your property, including:

  • your current home insurance policy documents.
  • details about your property.
  • the rebuild value of your home.
  • the level of cover you need.

We’ll ask you questions to make sure we have all the information we need to provide you with a list of suitable quotes, which will also show you optional extras you might want to consider, such as accidental damage.

All set? Start your home insurance quote now

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