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What are the different types of home insurance policies?

There are 2 types of home insurance policies -

  • Buildings insurance – protects the structure of your house/ building. Depending on your insurer your building insurance policy may cover garages, green houses and sheds. However the gate and fences of the property are not covered.

  • Content Insurance – protects personal belongings against theft, and damages against fire and flood. There are two types of content policies 1) New for Old – pays out full amount or a new replacement 2) Indemnity- provides cover against wear and tear on your items.

Is my garage and shed considered a room under my home insurance policy?

No, garages and sheds aren’t considered as rooms under UK home insurance policies however, a conservatory is and therefore a conservatory has the same level of cover as the rest of the property.

Should I buy a joint policy for both buildings and contents cover?

It depends on your personal preferences and circumstances, however if you are a homeowner then it may be good to get a joint policy as it could be a cheaper option for you and you will only have to deal with one cover provider.

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Buildings/Content Insurance

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Why you should use Free Price Compare

What’s the best way to get cheaper home insurance packages?

It is a requirement from all mortgage providers for homeowners to have buildings insurance, but every household should also have contents insurance too. Whilst it adds to the monthly bills, it's a good idea to protect your home and the items within it, with a home insurance policy. If an unfortunate incident were to occur that's covered in the policy, like a fire, or a burst pipe, the insurance provider will pay-out for the damages. There are steps you as an individual can do to help reduce the premiums paid to insurance providers, whether you own the property or are a tenant. Having house insurance is essential to protect your home from risks such as fire, flood, subsidence, theft, and other emergencies.

  1. Invest in home security A home that has double locked doors, window locks, burglar alarms and security cameras are likely to attract lower premiums than houses that lack such security features
  2. Increasing the excess on the policy Increasing the excess will reduce the premium, but do not set your excess at a level that would detract you making a claim should you need to.
  3. Pay annuallyMonthly DD payments may carry interest plus admin charges, by paying annually, there will be no interest and admin charges may be waived
  4. No claims bonusAs with car insurance, the longer you go without making a claim, the greater likelihood the premiums will be lower when you are looking for a new home insurance policy
  5. Search the market The UK has a lot of providers, Free Price Compare lets you search multiple suppliers at the same time, saving you both time and money

What sort of information will be required to get a home insurance quote?

Property information

  • What’s the address of the property?
  • The age of the property?
  • The number of rooms?
  • If you have a flat roof ?
  • The number of people who live in the property?
What sort of information

What the full reconstruction cost of your home?

You can use the online estimator for this, this isn’t the value of the property on the sales market and you will only receive the actual reconstruction cost should the house need to be rebuilt and not the exact figure you have entered.

What’s the value of contents inside your home?

This is what value you would put on the contents inside your home, including the furniture in your living room. The greater the value of the contents, the higher the premiums will be. When you are valuing the contents, think of the cost of carpets, your bathroom, kitchen, and any items that would move if you flipped your house upside down.

What current home security features do you have in place?

Homes with security features are less likely to be robbed or burgled. Double lock doors and lockable windows will deter break ins as will alarms and cameras

What past claim history do you have?

Normally this information is found within the renewal documents sent by the current home insurance provider

What further additional cover is there?

Accidental Damage Cover is one of the most popular add-ons, accidental damage cover protects you from any damage caused to your property or possessions. Usually, any damage caused by children is compensated, although most home insurance plans will not cover any damage caused by pets.

  • Alternative / Temporary Housing cover If you home is too damaged to be habitable, by adding alternative housing cover to your home insurance policy, your insurance provider will pick up the cost of the temporary housing while your damaged house is being repaired.
  • Bicycle cover add-on It is possible to add bicycle cover to your home insurance policy, so in the event its damaged or stolen whilst it was securely locked inside or outside your property, your insurance provider will reimburse you for the loss, or cost of repairs if damaged.
  • Legal Cover This add-on will cover you should someone take legal action against you due to them being injured in your property
  • Home Emergency Cover You can bundle in a home emergency cover plan with some policies. The breakdown cover will offer repairs to a broken boiler* (under 10 years old), faulty electrics and leaking pipes. The approved technician will be qualified and from an approved list provided by the insurance provider
  • Cover for Personal Possessions Contents cover will insure losses for valuables lost, damaged or stolen from inside and outside of the home. Personal possession add-on will extend coverage so you’re covered almost everywhere
  • Single Item Cover Typically, the single item limit is £2000, so if you have jewellery, art work, electronical or sport equipment that exceeds this you will need to get single item cover for these, and then you can decide if you want this in the home or for outside the home too.
  • No Claims bonus protection With each passing year as long as there is no claim made, you’ll be accruing a bonus which will give you a discount on the premiums you pay. However, once you make the claim, your premium on your renewal is likely to increase. However, most insurers will allow you to protect your no claims bonus by paying slightly more on your policy

Is home insurance a legal requirement?

No, it isn’t, however most mortgage lenders make it a requirement and it is widely recommended. Without insurance you’ll have to cover all expenses in the event of a fire, theft and damages

Is home insurance expensive?

The cost of home insurance varies depending on several factors, such as the age and build of the property, as well as its locality. Unfortunately, houses in flood plains will have higher insurance costs due to the increased flood risk. However, it is important to note that the cost of insurance is still much cheaper than having to rebuild your property or replace the contents inside.

How much cover does home insurance provide?

Contents cover will cover contents up to the agreed value in the policy. Buildings cover will cover your home against major damage caused by fire, flooding or other mishaps.

Should you pay monthly or annually?

Paying monthly will certainly spread the cost, but this could be more expensive as insurance providers may charge interest, admin fees and also run a credit check. Annual payments will avoid these hurdles.

What are the excesses involved?

The insurance provider will have two forms of excess, compulsory and voluntary. The compulsory excess is paid no matter what when you make a claim, the voluntary excess can be anything from £0 to whatever you want it to be. By increasing your voluntary excess will lower the monthly premiums but make sure you can afford the combined excesses and it doesn’t make it not worth making a claim.

What is meant by a single article limit?

This refers to the maximum a provider will pay for a single item that is lost or stolen. The amounts paid out will vary greatly between insurance providers

Not sure if your home is insured?

Sounds like a funny question, but many people will take out a policy and then forget about it. The quickest and easiest way is to check your bank statements to see if there are any debit entries from an insurance provider

How do you make a claim?

If your house has been burgled or if you need to make a home insurance claim due to weather damage, call the police and an officer will give you a crime reference number. Then call your insurance provider to update them of the incident and initiate the home insurance claim process. Proof of purchases and value may be required to make a claim on items, so it is best to keep your receipts safe.

Should you inform your home insurance provider if you are doing major works?

Yes, as failing to inform your insurer could invalidate your policy. Insurance providers will not care if you are repainting your bedrooms but will want to know if you are having an extension or changing the structure of your home.

Can your valuables be protected inside and outside the home?

Contents insurance will only cover goods lost, damaged or stolen inside the home. If you want to extend cover outside the house, then you’ll need to add personal possession cover

Will home insurance cover sheds, outbuildings and garages?

Typically, most insurance providers will cover garages and outbuildings with building insurance and then you will need contents insurance to cover sheds. However, its best to check with your insurer that your policy does cover (sheds, building and garages)

What further additional cover is there

If your house is on flood plain, is it possible to get insurance?

Yes, especially since the Government introduced the Flood Re scheme which makes it far easier to find an insurer who will cover homes in flood prone areas. However, the premiums are likely to be much higher

Does flora and fauna impact on home insurance cost?

Believe it or not they do, as they could do real damage to the structural integrity of a property. A tree close to the property could damage the foundation of a building with its roots or if there is high winds, toppling on to your home.

Home Insurance Frequently asked questions

Home insurance is a type of property insurance that covers private residence against damage due to natural or man-made reasons. The insurance policy may offer separate or combine cover for the building and its contents. It may also have liability insurance for accidents within the house or the policy territory.

Taking out adequate Home insurance offers protection for your property and its contents. You can take out buildings insurance, contents insurance or both. See our beginners’ guide to home insurance.

Buildings insurance offers protection for the permanent structure of your home and any fixtures and fittings that are permanent and not free standing; this might include fitted furniture, including kitchens and sanitary ware.

You will not be able to get a mortgage unless you have proper home insurance cover. Even if you are the sole owner of the property, you will need suitable protection for your investment or real estate.

When you take out contents insurance it means your personal possessions and valuables are covered against accidents, theft and loss.

If you need both buildings and contents insurance as a renter, buying a joint policy will almost certainly be the cheapest and most convenient way to insure both. Tenants Insurance, sometimes called renters insurance, protects your contents if you live in a shared home or flat. Your landlord usually covers your buildings insurance. You must first take into account factors such as whether you own or rent the property and what you are looking to benefit from home insurance

It is one kind of an add-on in the home insurance policy. It includes cover for all the portable items which one uses outside the house and overseas. The items included are handbags, mobile phones, tablets, and the likes. It is also known as a risk add-on or risk extension. Insurance providers will charge extra payment for such a modified cover or the away from home cover. However, every portable thing will not be covered in this extra cover. You need to check with your home insurance provider about what is included under this add-on and what is not. Additionally, you can also consider adding Family Legal Protection, which provides legal advice and guidance for dealing with legal issues, and representation where appropriate, to ensure comprehensive protection for your priorities. This add-on also offers up to £100,000 in legal costs for you, your partner, and anyone in your family that lives with you, for each claim you make.

The rebuild value of your home is different from the market value if you were to put it up for sale. You can get a quote on our site and it will give you a choice of entering your own cost for rebuilding or getting an estimate; either way you can get help from a calculator on the Building Cost Information Service website.

Yes! If your house remains unoccupied for a period of 28 consecutive days or more than your service provider may charge extra money on the actual premium amount. This is because an unattended property is susceptible to the risk of thieves and damage of any kind.

You can easily do this by using our contents calculator. You can go around your home and estimate the value of all the items in each room – allowing for new for old cost – and total them up to make the full cost of replacing. Read our article for tips on getting it right when it comes to heating.

In the part where it asks you about the type of door and window locks you have during the quote process, there are images which will help you to compare the locks in your property with the accepted standards. You can read and see more here about locks and home insurance.

Your home insurance policy is a comprehensive cover for the building structure or its contents or both. Despite that, there are number of exclusions which you need to consider while buying the insurance. The providers may not cover the following:

High value items: Most insurance providers have a set limit for the cover of high value possessions, including expensive jewellery or electronic gadgets. If there is any possession that is costlier than this amount, like a valuable piece of jewellery or a high-end electronic device, then you need to consult your policy provider and check if they offer a cover for it or not. You can find cover limits and exclusions for high value items in the insurer Policy Booklet and Overview of benefits. Life insurance can provide additional protection for your valuable possessions, ensuring that they are covered in the event of theft, damage, or loss.

A home based business: Most providers will not entertain any liability that crops up from a home based business. Damage to the business equipment may not be covered under the home insurance policy unless there were special provisions declared while buying the policy.

Subletting the home: Losses incurred due to theft or other damages may not be covered if you let or sub-let your home. It is considered only if there are signs of a forced entry into the house.

Pair of furniture: You may not be able to get a payoff if a single part of the pair or furniture set gets damaged. The policy cover will pay only for the cost of replacing the damaged part.

The exclusions may vary with the policy provider. So, better check with your insurer while buying the home insurance policy.

Excess is the amount you pay towards any claim made by you on the home insurance policy. In case of a £1200 claim, if you have £200 excess then you receive only £1000 from your provider.

There are two types of excess:

Compulsory excess: This amount is decided by the provider. You have to pay this much in the beginning of the policy and the amount cannot be modified.

Voluntary excess: In this case, the amount of the excess is entirely your choice. If you have extra funds, then you can pay voluntary excess. Your insurer will charge lower premiums if you pay a larger excess.

You can give the first year in which the foundations were first laid; you don’t have to list any subsequent rebuilds, renovations or extensions. If you are not aware of the year, check with your mortgage valuation or a previous survey. If you’re still unsure, you can enter your closest estimate.

You can cancel by informing your insurance provider. This you can do by writing to them with the exact reasons for discontinuation of the policy. It is advisable to have a new policy in place while or before saying no to an existing home insurance cover.

There are two ways of cancelling a home insurance policy:

Cancel during the ‘cool off’ period: The first fourteen days of the policy are known as the cool off time. This period starts from the day the policy is due to begin or the day when you receive the policy documents. When you cancel it during the ‘cool off’ time, you get a full refund of the money you have paid except the set up charge which would be around £15.

Cancel during the ‘cool off’ period: The first fourteen days of the policy are known as the cool off time. This period starts from the day the policy is due to begin or the day when you receive the policy documents. When you cancel it during the ‘cool off’ time, you get a full refund of the money you have paid except the set up charge which would be around £15.

These are any windows, skylights or roof windows such as a first-floor window above a flat-roofed, single-storey extension. They are windows that are located at ground floor or basement.

You need to compare the policy of all home insurance companies to find the best home insurance price. Check in details the discounts they offer, the exclusions laid out by them, their compulsory excess and their premiums. Depending on the type of cover, the policy amount may vary. For comparing various home insurance providers in the UK, you can rely on Contact us by calling on 0203 4757 476 or hit the Compare Online button on the home insurance page of our website.

Home Insurance Comparison

Page last updated on: 30/05/2024

Page reviewed by: Shay Ramani

4000+ reviews