What is unlimited home insurance?
An unlimited home insurance policy means just that: there’s no limit to how much you can claim on your buildings insurance if you had to extensively repair or rebuild your home. And unlimited contents insurance means you don’t have to worry about your possessions being underinsured.
Unlimited home insurance holds real value for those with large, expensive homes or properties in flood risk zones, for example. There’s a downside though – you could end up paying more than you need to.
Do I need unlimited home insurance?
If you own a home that would cost an especially large amount of money to rebuild – perhaps it’s listed, very big or designed by a famous architect – unlimited home insurance could be worthwhile.
Unlimited buildings insurance also means you won’t have to recalculate the amount of cover you need if you extend or improve your home. However, you’ll still need to let your insurance provider know if you’re making significant changes to your home, including renovations, building additions and large maintenance projects. You could invalidate your cover if you don’t inform your provider.
But before you splash out on an unlimited buildings insurance policy, shop around to see what cover is offered by standard buildings insurance policies – you could find one that meets your needs for less.
Can I get unlimited contents insurance?
Unlimited contents insurance is sometimes called ‘unlimited sum insured’. It means that potentially all your home contents are covered by the policy. But make sure you understand what you’re buying as some policies will still contain limits. For example, there will be a single item limit – the amount the policy will pay out for an individual item that’s not listed separately.
Unlimited contents insurance is likely to cost you more than standard contents insurance, but it takes away the worry of being underinsured. If you’ve insured your possessions for less than their full value and you have to make a claim, you might not get the full pay-out.
Just be aware that many insurance providers won’t offer unlimited contents insurance, so you may need to shop around to find one that does.
What are the benefits and downsides of unlimited home insurance?
To help you decide whether unlimited cover is necessary for your home, here are some pros and cons to consider:
- No overall claim limit.
- No need to spend time calculating the total value of your possessions for contents insurance. And if you buy new items (within the single item limit), you don’t have to keep revising the amount you’re insured for.
- Your home will continue to be covered even if the rebuild value goes up – for example, if you add an extension.
- It could be worth it if the value of your home is very high or hard to calculate - perhaps because it’s a listed building.
- Unlimited home insurance is typically more expensive than standard cover.
- A standard buildings policy might be more than enough to cover the rebuild costs of your home, so unlimited buildings cover could mean you’re paying for more than you need.
- Not many insurance providers offer unlimited contents insurance, so it might be difficult to find a combined unlimited buildings and contents policy.
- Unlimited home insurance might not be 100% unlimited – there may still be limits on some aspects of cover.
Is unlimited home insurance really unlimited?
Some unlimited contents policies might refuse to pay the full value of single items worth more than a set amount unless they are listed separately on your policy. This could be an issue if you own valuable pieces of jewellery, art or antiques.
Check to see what the single item limit is when you’re comparing. One advantage of unlimited policies is that the single item limit can be set higher than on standard home insurance policies, so may well be enough to cover expensive jewellery, for example.
If you do have items worth more than the policy’s limit, you’ll need to inform your insurance provider so they can be listed individually on your policy and insured to their full value. Alternatively, you might want to look for specialist art and antiques insurance.
Likewise, if alternative accommodation cover is included in your unlimited buildings insurance policy, read the small print to check what you’re covered for. Although you might assume the costs of temporary accommodation are unlimited, in most cases the policy wording will say you’re covered for ‘the costs of a similar temporary accommodation’ to what you have now.
If you choose to pay for add-ons to your policy, such as legal expenses cover and home emergency cover, these may include caps on the maximum you can claim for.
Always check the terms and conditions before you buy. Don’t just assume your policy is 100% unlimited.
How much does home insurance cost?
51% of our customers could get buildings and contents insurance for
51% of our customers could get contents insurance from
51% of our customers could get buildings insurance from
51% of people could achieve a quote of £151.96 per year for their buildings and contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in March, 2022.
51% of people could achieve a quote of £57.06 per year for their contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in March, 2022.
51% of people could achieve a quote of £117.95 per year for their buildings home insurance based on Compare the Market data in March, 2022.
What do I need to get a quote?
We’ll need some basic information about your home, including:
- Details from your current home insurance policy documents
- Details about your property
- The rebuild value of your property – you can work this out using our calculator when you compare
- The type and level of cover you want.
Once we have the information we need, we’ll be able to give you a list of quotes to compare.
Why use Compare the Market?
We compare 64 home insurance products from leading providers
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95.6% of customers found our home insurance experience easy or very easy
Correct as of March, 2022.
For Home, for the period 1st June to 31st August 2021, 818 people responded to the question
When completing a quote using CtM, how did you find it?” 782 responded with ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ (95.6%).
What our expert says...
“Some home insurance policies will offer unlimited cover for buildings but not for contents. This is worth bearing in mind if you’re looking for a combined policy. You may need to consider what contents limits you’d be happy with if you opt for a combined buildings and contents policy.”
- Chris King, Home insurance expert
Frequently asked questions
How do I decide if unlimited cover is right for my home?
The best way to see what home insurance will work best for you is to compare what’s out there. When you compare with us, we’ll ask you for some details about your home, including the rebuild value – you can use our calculator when you get a quote – and how much cover you need. We’ll then show you a range of quotes available for your property.
It’s important to get your home insurance right, so take the time to check the cover limits and work out if it’s enough. If you can’t find a standard home insurance policy that will cover you, you many need unlimited cover.
How do I know how much buildings insurance I need?
Your buildings insurance needs to cover your home’s total rebuild cost. That’s how much it would cost to rebuild it from the ground up, in the same location, if it were destroyed. It includes everything from architect’s fees to site clearance costs. The rebuild cost isn’t the same as your home's market value – in fact, it’s often less.
We can help you estimate the rebuild value of your house using the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) when you compare buildings insurance with us. Alternatively, you can use the BCIS rebuild cost calculator. If you decide you need the rebuild costs of your home expertly valued, you can pay a chartered surveyor to help you.
If you opt for unlimited buildings insurance, you won’t need to make this calculation. An unlimited policy should cover you for all the rebuild costs – other than any exceptions set out in the policy.
Read our guide to calculating the rebuild cost of your home for more information.
What does buildings insurance cover?
Buildings insurance protects the bricks and mortar of your house – as well as your fitted kitchen and bathroom, and often outbuildings – against:
- Theft and vandalism
- Fire, flood, earthquakes and explosions
- Storms and weather damage
- Fallen trees or lamp posts
Read our guide to what home insurance will cover you for, and what it won’t for more information.
What isn’t covered by buildings insurance?
Regardless of whether it’s an unlimited policy or standard cover, most buildings insurance won’t pay out for:
- General wear and tear
- Storm damage to gates and fences
- Damage from insects or birds.
Always check the policy documents to be sure what is and isn’t covered.
Will buildings insurance cover me to completely rebuild my home?
To compare buildings insurance, you’ll need to know your home’s total rebuild cost. That’s how much it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch. Most buildings insurance policies will set a limit on their cover, so if the rebuild value of your home exceeds the set limit, you’ll need to look for a policy with a higher limit or start looking at unlimited home insurance policies.
When you compare with us, we’ll only show you home insurance policies that work for your home, but you should always read the terms and exclusions of any policy carefully before you buy to make sure your home is fully covered.
How do I know how much contents cover I need?
When you get a quote with us, you’ll have the option to use our contents calculator to help you understand how much cover you need.
Otherwise, you can go from room to room with a pen and paper and add up the value of your home contents. If you don’t want to spend time doing this, you can opt for an unlimited contents policy – where there is no overall ceiling on what you can claim. But remember, you’ll still have to know and list all your belongings that are worth more than the single item limit on your chosen policy.
Is unlimited contents insurance worth it?
It could be if your possessions are worth a lot. But the chances are most homeowners could find a cheaper deal by opting for a standard contents policy. Just be sure you’ve accurately worked out the value of the contents you want to insure and if you have expensive items, you've chosen a policy with a high single-item limit or arranged extra cover.
Do I need combined unlimited building and contents insurance?
It depends on your home. You can find combined unlimited cover for your home if that’s what you need, although your options may be limited. In some situations, you may be better off buying your buildings and contents insurance separately and only paying for the unlimited cover you need.
For example, if you live in a listed building that would be expensive to repair, unlimited buildings cover may be necessary to cover the rebuild cost, but you may still be fine with a standard contents policy. Or alternatively, if your home would be covered by a standard buildings insurance but you have expensive contents, such as a valuable art collection, you may be better off insuring them separately under a specialist contents policy instead.
Where can I get buildings and contents insurance?
We can help you with that. It takes just a few minutes to compare quotes from a range of trusted UK insurance providers, using our handy comparison tool.
Please note that you can’t select unlimited cover when you compare home insurance with us. You can choose buildings insurance cover up to £999,000 and contents insurance up to the value of £200,000 - and you may find that the list of quotes we give you includes providers offering unlimited cover.
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