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Home sweet home; there are few things more valuable in life than our own personal space or the home we make for our families.
Our place to live is often the most valuable commodity in our lives and the contents within are frequently not just expensive, but of great personal value.
At moneysupermarket.com we recognise the need to protect your home, which is why our price comparison tool allows you to compare home insurance quotes (also known as ‘house insurance’ or ‘household insurance’) from more than 60 different home insurance companies to get you the best home insurance price available. However, before you use the tool it is vital to know exactly what you are looking for and what you need from your policy. That is why we have compiled an exclusive guide to home insurance to point you in the right direction.
It’s easy to think that bad things happen to other people and not ourselves, but the facts suggest that isn’t a risk we can afford to take. In the UK, one in three of us will get burgled at some point in our lives yet about a quarter of households are not protected by any form of home insurance. With other unfortunate occurrences such as flood/storm damage, fire and more, threatening our homes and their contents, by not having insurance we are leaving ourselves open to serious financial loss.
Home insurance can now offer something for everyone with insurance for homeowners, tenants and landlords. Increasingly, mortgage lenders will insist that you have buildings insurance to obtain a mortgage.
Insurers will need a lot of information including the construction date and materials for the building, and different insurers might not insure unusual properties such as prefabricated buildings and thatched cottages. Insurers also need to know about the local lie of the land to assess the flood-risk.
Buildings insurance is of vital importance – for example, if your house burnt down do you have the money to cover your losses? Mortgage providers insist that you have building insurance so that in the event of a disaster it can be repaired or rebuilt, as lenders don’t want to be left without security for their loan.
As well as the structure, buildings insurance also covers permanent fixtures and fittings including baths, toilets and fitted kitchens, bedroom cupboards and interior decorations. The test is whether or not the fixture can be removed and taken to a new home, for example fitted cabinets. Policies will also usually cover outbuildings such as garages, greenhouses and garden sheds but might not cover boundary walls, fences, gates, paths, drives and swimming pools.
For landlords, building insurance is crucial, as it is for all homeowners. For tenants, building insurance is usually covered by the landlord and only contents insurance needs to be considered.
Contents insurance gives protection to anything that is not a fixed part of your home, for example your appliances, electronic goods, furniture and clothing. Most home contents insurance policies will even cover the contents of your fridge and freezer. Policies are advisable for homeowners and tenants while landlord contents insurance can be limited if the property is let unfurnished or part furnished.
The cheapest contents insurance available is indemnity insurance, which will replace, for example, a five-year-old carpet with one of the same age. A more expensive option is the ‘new for old’ policy that replaces the old carpet with a brand new one.
Your home contents insurance could also include cover for some items you take away from the home such as bicycles or prams and even the contents of your handbag. Clothing items, watches and mobile phones can also be covered along with sports equipment – though this is not usually covered when it is in use. The key is to check your policy and never assume that items are covered.