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 – the price. You could end up paying more than you need to for your home insurance.
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 should 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. However, make sure you understand what you’re buying as some policies will still contain limits on particular items.
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.
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. This could be a problem if you own valuable pieces of jewellery, art or antiques that are worth more than what’s known as a single item limit – the maximum a policy will pay out for just one item.
If this is likely to be an issue for you, 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 within 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, like 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
Frequently asked questions
What are the pros and cons of unlimited home insurance?
- No overall claim limit.
- No need to spend time calculating the total cost 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.
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.
Don’t forget that the value of your house will rise (or fall) over time with inflation – so you might need to revisit the valuation. 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
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.
How do I know how much contents cover I need?
There are plenty of online contents calculators to help you estimate the value of your home contents. 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 out 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 valuables, you've chosen a policy with a high single-item limit or arranged extra cover.
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.
How much does home insurance cost?
Half our customers could get buildings and contents insurance for
Half our customers could get contents insurance from
Half our customers could get buildings insurance from
**50% of people could achieve a quote of £146.36 per year for their buildings and contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020.
***50% of people could achieve a quote of £68 per year for their contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020.
****50% of people could achieve a quote of £114.56 per year for their buildings home insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020.Start a quote
What do I need to get a quote?
We’ll need some basic information about your home, including:
- 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 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 74 home insurance products from leading providers^^
Get a quote in 12 minutes^^^
96.2%^^^^ of customers found our home insurance experience easy or very easy
^^Correct as of November 2020.
^^^On average it can take less than 12 minutes to complete a home insurance quote through Compare the Market, based on data in November 2020.
^^^^For the period 1st September 2020 to 30th November 2020, 1,785 people responded to the question “When completing a quote using CtM, how did you find it?” 1,717 responded with ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ (96.2%).
From the Home team
“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.”