Home cover comes in two distinct types. The first is buildings insurance which covers the fabric of your house - the walls, the roof, windows etc. The other form of home cover is contents insurance which insures your personal possessions contained within the house. People often choose a combined buildings and contents insurance policy as it is convenient and it can also mean policy discounts.
By taking out home cover, you'll be covered against a range of risks, the specifics of which will be described in your policy. You will be covered for loss or damage to your property in the event of a fire, explosion, lightning, earthquakes, storms, floods, theft, vandalism, falling trees, water leaks and subsidence. Accidental damage to underground pipes and cables will normally be covered too.
Your buildings insurance policy will also insure you against anyone being hurt or injured whilst they are visiting your property due to your negligence. For example, if they tripped and fell on a broken paving slab, you would be covered against being sued.
Typically your home insurance will not cover accidental damage to your buildings or property, though you can purchase it as a separate home insurance option.
There will usually be a policy excess – the amount of money which you will pay in the event of you having a claim. On a home insurance policy this will typically be around £100 for any claim except for subsidence, where it will usually be £1000.
Storm and flood damage to fences is not usually covered as part of your home insurance and it is usual for there to be no cover for theft or for water bursts if your home is unoccupied for an extended period of time, such as longer than a month.
On the contents insurance side of things, there will be limits on the amount that you may claim for the loss of money (typically £300) or credit cards (typically £500) and there will be limits to the amount that you can claim for on a single article.
As you might expect there are a number of factors that go into making up a home insurance quote. It depends on the total value of the buildings and contents you want insured, where you live etc. What we can tell you is that in 2015, the average price paid by a Coversure customer for home insurance was £284.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to home insurance. Better buildings insurance policies will have cover for broken sanitary ware and will pay for alternative accommodation if your home becomes uninhabitable.
Some contents home insurance policies offer 'new for old' cover, which means that your possessions will be replaced as if they were new. If the policy does not have 'new for old' cover, you will be reimbursed for the cost of a lost or damaged item, less an amount to allow for wear and tear. Often insurers will offer to replace valuable items such as jewellery or electrical items like televisions or cameras directly from appointed suppliers. This can be advantageous, but you never have to take up this offer and may take the cash value instead.
Some contents insurance policies include cover for bicycles and freezer contents - normally up to a limit of £500 - but some home insurance policies exclude bicycles and freezer contents altogether, or it is an option that you have to pay extra for.
You may have to declare that you own items which are valuable and these might be anything more than £1000 in value. These will be insured under a separate section of the policy for 'all-risks' and will be specified individually. For valuable jewellery, or works of art, you may have to get an independent written valuation before the items can be covered.
Some policies index-link the cover (that is their value linked to the rise in retail prices) so that you don't have to think about reviewing the cover every time the policy comes up for renewal.
Building societies and banks will often lead you to believe that you must purchase household insurances from them. This is not the case, but they should be mentioned on the policy as having an interest in the property. They may charge a fee for checking that a policy not supplied by them is suitable, though Coversure can arrange to have this fee deducted from your first year's premium.
Accidental damage cover is normally sold as an optional extra to your home cover. This will cover you in the event that you accidentally break an item and is subject to the normal excess of your home policy.
All-risks insurance can be added to your contents insurance and is worth considering. This will cover your belongings when you take them outside the home. This sort of cover is sometimes called valuables insurance and covers theft, loss or accidental damage. It will also cover high value belongings such as jewellery if you take them on holiday, which would not normally be covered by a travel policy because the individual item limit on your travel insurance would be exceeded.
This is just an introduction to home insurance and is not intended to be representative of the covers or restrictions offered by any particular insurance or that all insurance provide the protection described. You can get a recommendation for a particular insurance to suit your own circumstances by talking to the skilled staff at any Coversure office.
If you want our best price for your insurance or just want to make sure you have exactly the cover you need, it’s best to talk to your local Coversure office who will have access to our latest schemes and discounts.
Simply enter your postcode and find the contact details for your local office.