Finding The Right Home Insurance - Why Is Home Insurance Important?
For most of us, our homes are the biggest investment we will ever make, and insurance cover is there to protect you from the costs of maintaining your home or covering repairs if any damage or accidents happen.
What Types Of Home Insurance Can I Choose From?
There are multiple types of insurance; here we explain the most common. If your home does not fall into any of these categories, or you have specific requirements such as a listed building, TPOs, or live in a conservation area, drop us a message and we will put together a tailored package for you.
The main types of home insurance are:
Buildings & Contents Insurance
Buildings Insurance Explained
Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home – as a building, so usually excludes most decorating and internal repairs that might be required. Your cover should provide for the cost of completely rebuilding your home.
Factors included in buildings insurance are:
- Rebuilding the structure of your home
- Repairing your roof, walls and windows
- Replacing fitted kitchens, bathrooms and WCs
- Sometimes policies include driveways, garages and external fencing
The type of incidents covered by buildings insurance usually include:
- Fire damage, including smoke and water damage
- Vehicle collisions with your home
- Acts of vandalism or criminal damage
- Damage caused by trees or other falling debris
- Natural disasters, including flooding and storms
- Subsidence and damage to your property foundations
What Are Sum Insured And Bedroom Rated Buildings Insurance?
Buildings insurance has two different types of cover; these are called sum insured, and bedroom rated.
Sum insured covers the cost of rebuilding your home from scratch, including professional fees and clearance works. Indexed policies help to estimate the cost to rebuild over time.
Bedroom rated means that the cost of a rebuild insured for is calculated against the number of bedrooms in your home. This policy type can either be positive or negative, since it avoids underinsuring, but can be more expensive than necessary.
Contents Insurance Explained
Contents insurance covers the belongings within your home if they are stolen, damaged or destroyed.
The type of contents you insure can include:
- TVs, computers and electrical equipment
- Kitchen appliances
- Valuable possessions such as antiques
Contents insurance can cover a fixed value, allow you to replace items like for like, and may require disclosures of possessions over a certain value.
Building And Contents Insurance Explained
Buildings and contents insurance combines both types of policy, to protect your home itself and your possessions within it.
Why Should I Take Out Home Insurance?
Most of us would not be able to cover the cost of rebuilding our homes should they be destroyed – for example, by a fire. Therefore, home insurance is vital to protecting you against the financial impact of losing your home.
Most mortgage lenders require any applicant to have a buildings insurance policy in place as a bare minimum, so insurance is a requisite to secure lending against your home.
Is Home Insurance Necessary If I Do Not Have A Mortgage?
If you own your home outright, then you will not be required to hold home insurance by a mortgage provider. However, it is still worth considering since if your home becomes irreparably damaged you will need to have some way of financing those costs.
Do I Need Insurance If I Lease or Rent My Home?
Whether a rental tenant needs their own insurance will depend on your lease with your landlord, and what cover they provide.
If your landlord provides building insurance as part of your lease, then you may need to only consider contents insurance. If you live in an apartment or flat, then you might be responsible for providing insurance for the parts of the property that you are legally responsible for.
Contents insurance is rarely a requirement, but is a valuable product to protect your most treasured belongings, and allow you to replace them should they ever be stolen or destroyed.
What Does Home Insurance Exclude?
What your policy covers will depend on the terms of your cover, so it is essential to understand exactly what you are covered for, and what is excluded.
Most buildings insurance policies do NOT cover for:
- Wear and tear
- Bad construction work or DIY
- Piping damaged by frost
- Pet damage
- Acts of God
Most contents insurance policies do NOT cover for:
- Undisclosed high-value possessions
- Equipment you use to work from home
- Damage caused by a sub-letting tenant
If in any doubt about what insurance you need, how much it should cost, and where to find the best cover for your home and belongings, give our expert insurance team a call. We scour the market for the very best deals and provide quotes tailored to your requirements.
Home Insurance FAQs
Can I Buy Home Insurance Through A Comparison Website?
Yes, you can, but we would not recommend it. This is because comparison sites have a limited number of vendors who pay commission to advertise there and represent a very small sector of the market.
Most comparison sites provide generalised quotes, and will not take into consideration any specific requirements you have. We work with many clients who have purchased insurance online, only to find that when they need it, it does not provide any cover, excludes the reasons they need to apply or pays out an insufficient value.
Are Combined Buildings And Contents Insurance The Best Option?
It depends on your circumstances; if you rent your home and the landlord provides buildings cover then you should not pay out for duplicate buildings insurance.
However, you should always consider insuring your possessions, and if you are a homeowner then should think about securing robust protection for your property.
Can I Get Home Insurance If I Live In A Flood Area?
Yes, you can – insurance cannot be refused for applicants from a high-risk flood area. This is because the flood protection schemes in those areas are provided by the government and are intended to protect your home.
However, you will likely find that insurance premiums in high-risk areas prone to flooding are higher than in low-risk areas.
Does Buildings Insurance Cover Subsidence?
Subsidence can be one of the most expensive gradual damages to a property, and most insurers will cover this. However, you should check carefully the excess in place, and how much you would be required to pay towards the repairs.
This insurance may cover your property itself and not any surrounding areas, such as your garden, garage or driveway, so check what is and is not covered before purchasing any policy.
Does Home Insurance Cover Leaking Roofs?
It depends what has caused the leak; if inclement weather or a falling tree has damaged your roof, then it will probably be covered.
However, many insurers exclude wear and tear so if your roof has started leaking due to falling into disrepair over time, it may not be insured.
Do I Need Home Insurance And Business Insurance If I Work From Home?
If you work from your home, then you must disclose this to your home insurance provider.
Most providers will not increase their premiums as a result but will need to be updated with any changes to how you use and live in your home to ensure that your insurance is not rendered void in the event of a claim.
Can I Take Out Insurance Against A Holiday Home?
Many home insurance providers cover main residences and do not insure holiday homes. This is because they are trickier to maintain, may be empty for significant proportions of the year and can be let out to short-term holidaymakers.
However, if you have a holiday home and need insurance to protect you from the costs of repairing it, give us a call. Revolution Finance Brokers work with specialist insurers to provide robust protection to make sure you can repair and rebuild your holiday home should it ever become damaged.
As A Student In Halls, Are My Possessions Still Covered?
The short answer is – probably not. Contents insurance will include provisions for when you take an item away from your home, but if you are living in halls then your family contents insurance will probably not cover you.
If you will be living away from home for any period and need cover to protect your belongings, give us a call and we will be delighted to run through the options.
When Is Specialist Home Insurance Necessary?
Most insurers cover standard homes; those made with typical materials. Homes made from more unusual materials will need specialist cover to adequately provide for the cost of replacing or rebuilding all or any part of the property.
- Thatched roofs
- Flat roofs
- Concrete properties
- Homes constructed from pre-fabricated steel
- Properties with wooden or timber frames
What Does Accidental Damage Cover Provide?
Accidental damage is usually an optional extra, so make sure to check whether it is included in your standard policy or not.
As the name suggests, accidental damage covers you for accidents that damage your home – such as a DIY accident that breaks through a pipe.
Are My Possessions Covered By Contents Insurance When I Am Away From Home?
This depends on your policy. Some insurers recognise that insured possessions such as jewellery or laptops will be taken out of your home from time to time.
However, if you tend to take insured items away from your home regularly, then we recommend taking out personal possession insurance to provide you with continual cover.
What Is Excess On An Insurance Policy?
The excess is a value that you pay towards the costs of a claim, and the higher the excess you offer, the lower your premiums will be.
Can I Renew My Home Insurance Automatically?
Revolution Finance Brokers never recommend automatically renewing your insurance. Typically, premiums rise each year, and by shopping around you can secure the best deals on the market.
Most providers offer competitive offers to attract new clients, to switching your provider can provide a significant cost saving for the year to come.
Does My Insurance Remain Valid When I Am On Holiday?
Most home insurance policies cover your home when you are away on holiday for up to one month. However, if you expect to be away from home for a longer period then you need to check what cover your insurer provides.
If you travel regularly or expect to be away from home for long periods, get in touch and our team will put you in touch with providers who specialise in insurance for people with multiple homes, or who are frequent travellers.
Does Home Insurance Cover My Bike?
Check your policy to see what cover is provided for your bicycle. These are one of the most commonly stolen items, and so you may need to provide security such as a certain grade of bike lock to make sure that your bike is covered.
Are Trees Covered By Buildings Insurance?
Yes, trees on your property are covered by your insurance. You must declare any trees that are within 5 metres of the external walls of your property, including overhanging branches. A TPO (tree protection order) may impact the value of your insurance since these trees can only be cut back or cut down with express permission.
Will My Insurance Change If I Build An Extension?
Yes, you must tell your insurer if you build an extension to your home – even if it is a conversion of an existing internal space.
Will My Insurer Cover Me If My Pet Damages My Home?
Most insurers exclude damage caused by pets.
Where Is The Best Place To Buy Home Insurance?
Revolution Finance Brokers are experts in the world of insurance – from specialist products for unusual homes, through to securing the best deals on the market to provide our clients with savings on their cover.
Give us a call, and we will ask about your home, possessions, and what cover you feel is right for you, and then find you the best policies to provide this cover at the most competitive cost.