1. What is Home Insurance?
Home insurance cover comes in two parts – buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can choose either one or both of these based on your needs.
Buildings cover insures your bricks and mortar for events like fire and weather damage, while contents cover could protect your belongings against problems like theft, damage, and loss.
Buying a combined policy from the same insurer can often be cheaper than getting two separate policies.
2. Is it essential to have home insurance?
If you’re a homeowner, most mortgage lenders insist you have buildings cover in place to protect their investment.
You don’t usually need buildings cover if you’re renting, but you may want contents insurance to help cover the cost of replacing your things if you suffer a loss.
3. Do I have to get my buildings insurance through my mortgage provider?
No – unless it’s a specific requirement of your mortgage contract.
By being the only insurer offering you building cover when you’re arranging your mortgage, there is less need for them to competitively price your insurance policy.
4. What is accidental damage cover and do I need it?
Most insurers define accidental damage as an unintentional one-off incident that harms your property or its contents.
Most standard policies cover key items like home entertainment, but there may be varying exclusions depending on your insurer.
Your need depends on your circumstances – many accidental damage claims come from people with young children.
It’s also important to know what’s covered under your standard policy. Checking the small print is the best way to make sure you’ve got adequate cover.
You can often save money by shopping around with a price comparison site to get a range of quotes from a number of insurers.
5. Why would I need to take out a joint home insurance policy?
Adding a joint policyholder allows the other person to make a claim, so it’s not only you who can deal with communications with your insurer.
Under some circumstances, it can also lower your premium.
6. Can I get a buildings insurance policy if I don’t own the property?
Only the owner of a property can buy the buildings insurance. If you’re not the building owner but you’re worried about appropriate buildings insurance, you can check with the building’s proprietor or landlord to check this cover is in place.
If you’re a tenant, you make want to look at contents insurance to make sure your personal possessions are covered.
7. What should I include in my contents cover?
As a rule of thumb, anything you’d take with you if you moved house should be included on your contents policy – including items like curtains and carpets.
It’s worth taking the time to go around your house from room to room and putting a reasonable value on everything.
It’s easy to underestimate the value of your contents, but it’s important to make sure you’re not underinsured.
8. If I don't let my insurer know about changes could this affect my cover?
For example, if you’ve told your buildings insurer that your roof is in good repair, they will base your premium on the known risk of storm damage happening to the average roof.
But if, in fact, your guttering is already falling off, or your tiles are coming loose, then there’s a greater than average risk of damage happening during a storm – something your insurer hasn’t covered against on your original premium.
You ensure higher risks at a cheaper price, by not revealing the full details,
9. Does home insurance apply to me if I rent?
As the owner, your landlord will be responsible for the maintenance of the building, so it’s down to them to ensure their property is protected with buildings insurance.
But you’re responsible for any contents inside that you own. If anything were to happen to your possessions, you would be liable for the cost of replacing them if you didn’t have contents insurance.
10. Can I cover myself against damage by pets?
Most home insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by pets as standard.