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Can I have two home insurance policies?

Can I have two home insurance policies?

There are circumstances in which you’ll need two home insurance policies. However, the majority of people only need one and, in fact, it can cause administrative and financial headaches if you double up. Here are the key points to consider.

Chris King
From the Home team
3
minute read
posted 22 OCTOBER 2019

What counts as having two home insurance policies?

While you can buy separate buildings and contents insurance for your property, what you don’t want to do is double up on either of these. As well as costing you extra money, it can complicate making a claim on your home insurance as you’ll be dealing with two insurance providers.

If you make a claim, the two insurance providers might decide to use something called a contribution clause, which means they split your claim between them and pay a proportion of it each. As well as being an administrative headache for you, it could also mean your premiums go up when it’s time to renew your home insurance.

How to avoid having two home insurance policies

You could accidentally end up with two home insurance policies if you forget to cancel a policy that’s automatically renewed, while taking out a new policy with another provider.

Check whether your home insurance policy renews automatically and, if it does, see if you can choose to opt out of this. Make a note of the renewal date and put time aside to compare quotes before your policy ends – you may find you can get a better deal if you switch insurance providers. Then make it clear to your previous provider that you’re not renewing if you find a quote that suits you better.

If you discover you have two home insurance policies running at the same time, you can contact each insurance provider to see if they’ll refund part of the premium.

What about moving to a new home?

If you’re buying a new property, you can have two home insurance policies running at the same time – one for the old property and another for the new.

Once you’ve exchanged contracts on a property, you become the legal owner of the new property and you’re obliged to go through with the sale – even if there’s an unforeseen event, such as a fire or a flood. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have home insurance in place as soon as contracts are exchanged. You’ll only need buildings insurance for the new property until you move in, then you’ll want to consider contents insurance too.

Once you move to your new home, you’ll need to either cancel the home insurance policy on your old home or transfer it to your new property, if your provider will allow that. Your premium will be recalculated for the new property.

If you’ve decided to switch to a new insurance provider for your new home, you’ll need to cancel your old policy. Check whether you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee, so you can factor that into the cost.

Second homes and rental properties

A second home or a rental property will need insuring too. Specialist landlord insurance is available, and you may need specialist insurance for your second home if the property is:

  • not your primary residence
  • left unoccupied for long periods of time – usually more than 30 days
  • rented out
  • used as a holiday home by friends and family

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