A guide to home insurance

If you couldn’t afford to rebuild your house from the ground up and replace everything in it, you need buildings and contents insurance.

The right policy provides the peace of mind that your property and belongings are covered against loss, theft or damage. 카지노사이트

In this guide, we look at home insurance policies and outline the different types of cover you can choose from.

What is home insurance?
Home insurance is designed to cover the costs of any unavoidable damage to your home, and of replacing your possessions.

There are two main types of home insurance: contents and buildings cover. You can take out each type separately or choose a combined policy from the same insurer that covers both.

Buildings and contents insurance: what’s the difference?
Very simply:

Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home and fixed fittings
Contents insurance covers your possessions inside the property
What does buildings insurance cover?
Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing damage caused by fire or smoke, storms, floods, falling trees, subsidence or vandalism.

You should have enough buildings insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home from scratch.

Anything that is part of the fabric of your property should be insured, such as:

The physical structure, such as the walls, ceiling and roof
Permanent fixtures such as a fitted kitchen and bathroom
Some policies will cover outside structures such as garages, sheds, and fences – but not all
What does contents insurance cover?
Contents insurance covers the cost of replacing belongings inside your home if they are stolen or damaged by, say, fire or flood.

There are two main types:

An indemnity policy. Pays out for the value of your item taking into account wear and tear. So for example, a claim for a rug bought for £500 five years ago would lead to a payout of a smaller amount than that.
A new-for-old policy. The payout would be enough for a brand new rug.
Should I consider flood insurance? Find out when you need insurance to protect your home from flooding. 안전한카지노사이트

The following are covered as standard in contents policies:
Furniture – for example, beds, sofas or wardrobes
Cookware and glassware
Soft furnishings such as curtains
Flooring materials – carpets and rugs
Removable fittings you would take with you if you moved, such as curtains and rugs
White goods such as fridges, washing machines and dishwashers
Electronic goods – TVs, laptops, phones and games consoles
Leisure products such as toys, sports equipment, bikes and books
Art and jewellery
Clothes and shoes
Garden equipment – for example, tools, lawnmowers, garden furniture
If you own valuable items such as artwork, sports equipment or musical instruments, you may need to pay higher premiums to insure these to their full value.

Some policies also cover you for loss outside the home of possessions such as mobile phones, cameras or jewellery. But you may pay more for this.

Accidental damage or home emergency cover are usually optional extras.

Do I need home insurance?
It is not a legal requirement to have home insurance. But it will give you peace of mind that your home and possessions are protected if disaster strikes.

In any case, if you are taking out a mortgage, most lenders will insist on seeing proof that you have buildings insurance before they will lend to you.

Types of home insurance for specific circumstances
Home insurance is worth careful consideration if you are a:

Flat sharer
Holiday homeowner
Anyone owning or renting a property should consider taking out cover. 카지노사이트 추천

But there are some more specialist types of home insurance. We outline these below.

Landlord insurance
A standard buildings insurance policy usually won’t be suitable if you are a landlord, because other people will be living in the building – not just you, the policyholder.

However, there are policies created specifically for landlords that might cover multiple properties on one policy and that insure against events such as:

Public liability, if a tenant is injured because of an injury in your property that is judged to be your responsibility, such as a loose paving stone
If there is a fault in your property, such as a burst pipe, that affects a neighbour
Damage to furnishings. And the cost of alternative accommodation for tenants if the property is not fit to live in because of an insured event such as fire or flood.
You can also choose add-ons. These may cover for loss of rent, malicious damage or legal expenses.
Tenants’ insurance
As a tenant renting a house or flat, you won’t normally need buildings insurance because this will be your landlord’s responsibility.

Instead, look at home insurance for renters, often called tenants’ contents insurance, which will cover your belongings.

You may pay more for this if you live in a house-share where people are coming and going and your stuff could be at greater risk of theft.

You can also get tenants’ liability insurance. This covers you if you damage fixtures, fittings and furniture in the property, so you can avoid losing your deposit.

Student contents insurance
The advice service Save the Student reported in September 2021 that 36% of students have been the victims of theft in halls of residence or shared houses.

They are seen as prime targets for thieves because there will be a lot of high-value items, such as laptops, phones and bikes, all in one place.

Some of these possessions may also get left in communal areas, and some student houses may not be fully secure.

That’s why specialist student contents insurance exists – to protect those essential items you may not be able to afford to replace.

Look for a policy with “walk-in theft” cover if your bedroom door doesn’t lock – no forcible entry has to occur to make a claim.

Your parents’ content insurance policy may also cover some of your valuables away from home, so check this too.

Listed buildings insurance
There is a certain prestige that comes with living in a listed building. But the flipside is that restrictions on these character homes can make them expensive and time-consuming to repair.

A listed buildings insurance policy takes this into account, giving you the right level of cover should your property suffer damage and need specialist materials and labour to repair it.

It can also include alternative accommodation for you in case you can’t live there while repairs are being carried out.

High-value home insurance
If your home and its contents are worth a lot, not only are you potentially at greater risk from theft, but standard home insurance policies might not give you a high enough level of cover.

Some policies, for example, will only let you claim up to £1,000 to replace an individual item.

If you have got several items worth more than this, such as jewellery, watches, fine art or antiques, it’s probably worth considering a specialist high-value home insurance policy.

Just like with a standard policy, you can get buildings and contents cover separately, or choose one policy that includes both.

Some of these high-value policies offer protection for homes worth £1m upwards, and some offer unlimited cover.

High-net-worth contents insurance might cover you for valuables worth £100,000-£250,000 or more, or allow you to claim for £5,000 or more per item, for instance.

Insurers may require individual items to be professionally valued before they agree to cover them.

Non-standard construction
Some properties – those with thatched roofs, timber frames or anything outside the usual brick construction – are often deemed more damage-prone and expensive to repair, so can cost more to insure.

If you own such a property, you may wish to look at specialist insurers that deal specifically with non-standard houses.

Holiday home insurance
If you have a second home, whether you let it out to guests or not, it may be left empty for long periods.

This puts it at greater risk of vandalism, burglary and undetected damage caused by, say, a burst pipe – so having holiday home insurance is probably sensible.

If you have guests staying, there is also a greater risk of damage, and you may need public liability insurance in case they injure themselves in your property and it is seen as your fault.

Unoccupied home insurance
Insurers don’t like properties to stand empty for more than 30 days at a time because this increases the chances of burglary or undetected damage to a building.

However, there is a specialist type of protection for unoccupied homes, known as empty home insurance. This covers a vacant property for longer than a general home insurance policy – usually 3 to 12 months rather than 30 days.

It could be useful if a property is empty because it’s up for sale, awaiting probate, between tenants, or being renovated.

Below we answer frequently-asked questions about home insurance.

Does home insurance cover storm damage?
Most building and contents insurance should cover storm damage to the property and your belongings inside however you need to check the policy carefully.

There is a chance your provider could refuse to pay out based on their definition of a storm, which generally involves a one-off event with violent winds accompanied by rain or snow, that can damage property.

You may also have a claim rejected if your property was in a state of despair or already damaged before the storm struck.

What is Act of God insurance?
You need to watch out as some policies won’t pay out for so-called acts of God. These are generally natural events that is outside of human control and that could not have been predicted. These can include floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and storms.

As to whether your insurance covers ‘acts of Gods’ depends on the definition by your insurer, so you need to check the terms and conditions of your policy carefully.

For example, Aviva state: “The wind speed or gust should normally exceed 55mph (48 knots) to be a ‘storm’ but we take other factors into consideration such as where the property is sited”

As a landlord, what insurance do I need?
While not legally required, it’s recommended that a landlord takes out specific landlord insurance, which can cover not just their building and fixtures and fittings, but also rental income, public liability and accidental damage.

You may need landlord insurance to be approved for a buy-to-let mortgage.

What insurance do you need for a mortgage?
Most mortgage lenders won’t approve your mortgage unless you have buildings insurance in place from the date of exchange.

But both buildings and contents insurance are always recommended.

What is the difference between home insurance and mortgage insurance?
Home insurance protects your property and the possessions inside it, while mortgage insurance (known as mortgage payment protection insurance) covers your mortgage repayments in case you become ill or lose your job.

Find out more here about the benefits of mortgage payment protection insurance here.

How do I find the best home insurance deals?
From January 2022, a rule change means insurers won’t be able to charge more to an existing customer renewing a home insurance policy than they would to a new customer taking out an equivalent policy.

But that doesn’t mean you should just renew with your existing insurer, as another provider may be cheaper. Always shop around for a better deal.

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