Everything You Need To Know Abut Your Home Insurance

 

Home Insurance is a necessity. Whether you live in a one-bedroom flat in the city or a 4-bedroom semi-detached house in the suburbs, it’s important to have the right protection in place for when the unexpected happens. Whether that be damages to your property caused by fire or a storm, or you have your possessions stolen, home insurance will cover you in those events.

Not only is it a necessity to have Home Insurance to protect your home and your possessions against damage or theft, it’s important as all mortgage companies require you to have insurance for the full or fair value of the property your purchasing. Failure to have a policy in place could mean that they won’t provide you with a loan.

Let Kompare walk you through everything you need to know about home insurance.

 

What Is Home Insurance?

Home Insurance is a type of insurance that protects your property and your possessions.

Surprisingly, if you own your home outright there’s no legal obligation for you to possess Home Insurance. However, if you’ve worked hard to get into a position to own your home, it’s better to take out a policy to have comfort in knowing that if something were to happen to your property, you’ll be covered.


What Is Buildings Insurance?

This helps cover the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your home and it covers the cost of rebuilding your house from the ground up. If there is damage to the walls, windows or roof, as well as fittings such as baths, toilets or kitchens, Buildings Insurance will help you cover the costs of the repair work.

Depending on the policy you take out with your provider, you may also be covered for structures around your home like garages, fences and driveways. Please check with your insurer though as each provider is different.

What Does My Buildings Insurance Cover?
Generally speaking, you will be able to claim if your home is damaged by any of the following:

  • Vandalism

  • Subsidence

  • Falling trees

  • Fire, smoke, explosions

  • Vehicle collisions

  • Water damage

  • Natural events such as storms and floods


What Doesn’t Buildings Insurance Cover?
Typically you won’t be covered for any general wear and tear to your property. Each policy will have its own exclusions and you won’t be able to claim for them. Exclusions usually include damage caused by:

  • Leaking gutters

  • Pests such as insects and birds

  • Frost UNLESS it causes damage from a burst pipe

Exclusions vary from provider to provider so make sure to read through your policy carefully.


Are There Different Types Of Buildings Insurance?
There are and it’s important to get the right type of cover. There are two types of Buildings Insurance; Sum-Insured and Bedroom-Rated. Let’s get into what the difference is.

Sum-Insured
Put simply, you calculate the cost of rebuilding your home. This is the Sum-Insured.

The sum that you calculate of rebuilding your home from the ground up will not be the same as your home’s market value. So this could be higher or lower depending on the estimation.

It’s wise to have a chartered surveyor estimate the Sum-Insured price of your property. As the cost of rebuilding increases regularly, you might want to have a new survey every few years to make sure the details on your policy is accurate.

Bedroom-Rated
Your insurance company estimates the cost of rebuilding your home based on the number of bedrooms the property has. With this information, they provide a sum insured to protect you against under-insurance.

This is now becoming one of the most popular Building Insurance policies to take out. Almost half of Bedroom-Rated policies have a sum insured of £250k or more.

 

Having a tough time deciding which one is right for you? The decision usually comes down to cost versus convenience.

Sum-Insured insurance is usually tricky to calculate and more often than not, you’ll have an inaccurate estimation. If you do take out this type of insurance, it means you only pay for the cover you need.

If you opt for Bedroom-Rated insurance, understand that you might end up paying more than you need to.

 

What Is Contents Insurance?

This will help cover the cost of replacing your possessions in your home if they are stolen, damaged or destroyed in any way. As a general rule, your contents are the items that you would take with you if you moved home. If you end up making a claim, your insurance provider will settle this on either a ‘new-for-old’ or ‘indemnity’ basis.

Settling it on a new-for-old basis means that your provider will pay for a brand-new product of equivalent value if that item is damaged or stolen. Settling on a indemnity basis means that they take into account wear and tear on the items that you claim for, which will reduce the payout out you receive.

What Does My Contents Insurance Cover?
All your personal belongings, or anything that’s not physically attached to the property. This includes:

  • Clothes

  • Furniture

  • Jewellery

  • Electrical goods

Accidentally damaged your own possessions? It happens but please be aware that insurers provide very limited cover for any accidental damage. You’ll typically have to purchase it as an add-on to the policy.

You will also see that you can include ‘Personal Possessions Cover’ as an add-on for your policy. This will cover items you take outside of your home. Items such as:

  • Laptops

  • Cameras

  • Jewellery

  • Mobile Phones

 

What Doesn’t My Contents Insurance Cover?
As with everything, there will be a number of items or instances where your insurance will not help you. It completely depends on the policy. This could include:

  • Wear and tear

  • Structures such as walls and the roof – you will need to cover these under a Buildings Insurance policy

  • Damage to your computer caused by a virus

Your mortgage provider won’t insist on taking out Contents Insurance like he would with Building Insurance but it’s a good idea in case the unexpected happens to your possessions. You will have an excess on your policy which is the minimum you will pay every time you make a claim.

 

What Is Combined Insurance?

It’s costly to have two separate policies to cover both your buildings and possessions. There’s way too much paperwork involved. That’s why insurers are now offering Combined Insurance to help homeowners have protection for any damage to either their property or their possessions and it’s all under one policy.

 

Do I Need To Take Our Home Insurance If I’m A Landlord?

Your mortgage provider will insist you take out buildings insurance if you take out a buy-to-let mortgage with them. You may want to consider a Landlord Insurance policy as typically normal Home Insurance will not offer you the right cover.

Please note that if you own the building, you’re not legally obliged to have Buildings Insurance. Yet, by not going so it will mean that you’re liable for the full cost of repairs. If you’re renting a furnished property, ensure that you get Contents Insurance for expensive items such as washing machines and fridges.

 

I’m Renting – Do I Still Need Home Insurance?

Your landlord will be responsible for insuring the building if you’re privately renting. It’s very rare for any tenants to take out Home Insurance if they’re renting, but it can happen. Speak with your landlord to understand what it and isn’t covered.

However, you may want to take out your own contents insurance as your landlord will not provide this for your own belongings.

 

How Can I Make My Home Insurance Cheaper?

There are several ways to cut the cost of your Home Insurance. Whether you take out a Combined policy or individual policies, you can save by doing the following:

Paying For Your Insurance Annually
Even though it’s more expensive in the short term paying your insurance in one full lump sum, it can save you money. If you pay in monthly instalments then your provider will often charge you interest, which will make it more expensive over the course of 12 months. If you can afford to pay it upfront, do so.

Improving Your Home Security
If it’s possible to upgrade your home security, it will make a difference to your insurance. Increasing your security will improve your chances of getting better premiums from providers as you’ll be less of a risk. Consider installing secure locks for your doors and windows, or a burglar alarm.

Increase Your Excess
You will be set a compulsory excess from your insurer which is a fixed amount that you will have to pay toward the cost of repair or replacement if you make a claim. If you choose to increase how much you will pay in the event of a claim, this will reduce the cost of your premium. Please make sure that you can afford to pay the excess.

Build Up Your No Claims Bonus
If you fail to make any claims on your insurance, no matter how big or small, then you will build up your no claims bonus. By going a certain amount of time without making any claims, your insurer will often offer a no claims discount on your premium.

 

Where Can I Get A Home Insurance Quote?

If you’re looking to purchase a home for the first time or looking to see if you can get a better premium, it makes sense to kompare quotes from multiple brokers. That’s where we come in.

Start a quote with us today and we’ll help you find the suitable broker and a suitable price. Kompare works with the leading UK Home Insurance brokers to bring you the most competitive prices available to you.