What is home insurance?

Home insurance (or house insurance) protects you from insured events that damage your home or your belongings. For example, if your home is damaged or destroyed in a fire, having the right insurance could mean the insurance provider will pay to replace your belongings and repair or rebuild your home. 

Home insurance consists of buildings insurance and contents insurance, which can be bought separately or together from the same provider.

What does home insurance cover?

There are two types of cover available, buildings insurance and contents insurance.

 Buildings insurance – covers the structure of the property and the fixed fittings inside your home. It protects your home from things like fire, flood, storms, falling trees or vandalism. Also, it may cover you for things like subsidence, water damage and burst pipes.

Contents insurance– is a type of home insurance that could cover the cost of replacing your possessions in your home if they’re stolen, destroyed or damaged. It can be bought as a standalone policy or with buildings insurance, as a combined home insurance policy.

What’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?

Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing any damage to the structure of your property. This includes things like the roof, walls and floors as well as permanent fittings and fixtures, such as windows or fitted kitchens. Contents insurance covers the cost of damaged, destroyed or stolen items inside your home, such as your furniture, jewellery and clothes.

Do I need to have home insurance?

Neither buildings insurance nor contents insurance are a legal requirement. But by having both, you’ll have protection for your property and belongings in case something unexpected happens. 

If you own your home and have a mortgage, your mortgage provider may insist that you have buildings insurance in place for the length of your mortgage. You can buy this insurance from any provider, not just your mortgage provider.

What type of home insurance do I need?

You might need buildings or contents insurance – or both. Here are the basics in a nutshell.

  1. If you own your own home, you may want to take out both buildings and contents insurance. This is because you’re responsible for any damage caused to your home.
  2. If you’re renting, buildings insurance is usually the responsibility of your landlord. However, you may want to purchase contents insurance to protect your belongings.
  3. If you’re a landlord, you’re responsible for buildings insurance to cover the property you own and rent out. If you rent out a furnished property, you can also protect your contents against damage or theft through a landlord policy.
  4. If you have a holiday home, you may want to take out both buildings and contents insurance. Be mindful it can be more expensive than regular home insurance, as holiday homes are often left unoccupied. 

What’s covered by contents insurance?

Home contents typically covers everything you’d take with you if you moved and also usually includes your carpets too. There may be some exceptions to this rule so you’ll need to check the details of individual policies to be sure – look for the definition of contents in your policy booklet.

What do I need to get a quote?

When you start a contents insurance quote with us, it’s a good idea to have some basic information about your property, including:

  • your current home or contents insurance policy documents
  • the value of your contents
  • details about any high-value items over £1,500
  • if you want to insure a bicycle worth £350 or more
  • the level of cover you need and any additional cover
  • how long it is since you’ve made a contents claim
  • what type of locks your property is fitted with and other property security details
  • personal information

We’ll ask you questions to make sure we have all the information we need to provide you with a list of suitable quotes.

The list will also show optional extras, such as accidental damage insurance.

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