There are a number of features to look out for when deciding which home insurance policy is suitable for your situation. Here are a few of the most common features to consider to make sure that you find the right policy for you.
Buildings insurance is one of the main types of cover in any home insurance policy. It covers damage caused to your property, including the permanent fixtures and fittings so that you do not have to pay expensive repair costs should the worst happen.
Typical events which may be covered on a buildings insurance policy include damage caused by:
- Burst pipes
- Falling trees
When working out the amount of cover that you require, you need to work out the rebuild value of your home, which is different to the total (or market) value. One place to find out the rebuild value is the website of the Association of British Insurers. Alternatively, you could get a builder to come and inspect your home and give you a quote for rebuilding it.
Owner’s liability may or may not be covered on a standard buildings insurance policy. This provides financial protection should you find yourself responsible for causing injury or damage to a person or property.
If your property is so badly damaged that you cannot occupy it then some insurance policies may provide you with alternative accommodation. The details of this may vary from policy to policy, so make sure you know exactly what is covered when you purchase your home insurance.
Contents insurance usually provides cover for all of your belongings inside your home against theft, loss and damage caused by fire, storms, leaks and other events. You usually need to work out the total cost of replacing your contents with new items. Make sure you update this value regularly, especially if you buy any expensive new items. Remember that the pay-out is often limited for each item, so even if you have an item worth £5,000 in your home, it may only be covered up to £2,000. Check the details of the policy if you are unsure.
Items Which May Be Covered
Contents cover varies from policy to policy, but it may include cover for:
- Frozen food
- Money and credit cards
- Contents from the garage and shed
- Garden furniture
- Downloaded content
- Damage to your garden, trees, and plants
Things to Consider
It is important to read the small print of any policy because there are often situations in which you may not be covered. For example, if you leave your property unoccupied for more than 30 days your insurance may not provide cover for any damage or theft to the property or contents.
You may also want to look into ways to cut the cost of your insurance. Installing a burglar alarm, increasing the voluntary excess, and purchasing buildings and contents insurance from the same provider, may all help you to reduce your premiums.
Choose Your Cover Carefully
Even if you do not want to spend lots of money on your home insurance, remember that if you just look for the cheapest policy this may not be in your best interests. Instead, compare a number of policies to find the one which is most suited to your situation, even if it turns out not to be the cheapest one you can find.