What is home insurance?
Home insurance (or house insurance) protects you from insured events that damage your home or your belongings. If your home is damaged or destroyed in a fire for example, then having the right insurance could mean the insurance provider will pay to replace your belongings and repair or rebuild your home.
Home insurance is made up of buildings insurance and contents insurance, which can be bought separately or together from the same provider.
How much does home insurance cost on average?
A combined buildings and contents home insurance policy could cost from £142 per year**. Buildings insurance could cost from £110** per year, while annual contents insurance could start from £70**. All prices are based on Compare the Market data in February 2020.
**50% of customers could achieve a quote of the above amounts based on Compare the Market data in February 2020.
Frequently asked questions
What does home insurance cover?
It will typically protect your home and your possessions inside it against theft and damage due to fire, flood, storms, subsidence, burst pipes and water leaks.
Want to know more? Read about:
What’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?
A (very) quick definition:
- Buildings insurance covers the physical structure of your property, which includes the roof, walls and floors.
- Contents insurance covers the items inside your home, 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). Find out more about buildings insurance.
Contents insurance covers anything within your home that you could remove and take with you to another property – so your clothes, furniture, fridge and television (carpets are also usually included). There are some exceptions to this rule, so always check what’s included in the definition of ‘contents’ in your policy booklet. Find out more about contents insurance.
Do I need to have home insurance?
Neither buildings insurance nor contents insurance are a legal requirement. On the other hand, it’s always advisable to have both. It means you have protection for your property and belongings in case something unexpected happens.
If you own your home and have a mortgage, then your mortgage provider may insist you have buildings insurance in place for the length of your mortgage. You can buy this insurance from any provider, not just your mortgage provider.
What type of home insurance do I need?
Buildings or contents insurance – or both? It’s essential to have the right type of home insurance for your particular situation, so here are the basics in a nutshell.
- If you own your own home, you’re responsible for both buildings and contents insurance. Like we said earlier, it’s advisable to have both.
- If you’re renting, then buildings insurance is usually the responsibility of your landlord, but it’s advisable to have contents insurance to protect your personal belongings. Find out more about rental contents insurance.
- If you’re a landlord you’re responsible for buildings insurance to cover the property you own and rent out. If you rent out a furnished property, you can also take out contents insurance to cover your belongings against damage or theft. Find out more about landlord insurance.
- If you have a holiday home, both buildings and contents insurance can be more expensive than regular home insurance. This is because holiday homes are often left unoccupied, meaning problems like a burst pipe might go undetected for longer and cause more damage. Find out more about unoccupied property insurance.
How can I save money on home insurance?
There are several simple things you could consider to help cut your home insurance costs:
- check you have the right amount of insurance
- look at combining buildings and contents insurance into one policy
- increase your voluntary excess
- build up your no claims bonus
- install a security system
For more detail and other cost-cutting ideas, read our guide: How to save money on your home insurance.
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, but don't worry we help you with this. You can find out more in How do I calculate the rebuild cost of my 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. The list will also show you optional extras you might want to consider, such as accidental damage insurance.