Home Insurance FAQs

Searching for home insurance can be a difficult task and it’s important to get the right type of cover, giving you the peace of mind that your home and possessions are protected.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of commonly-asked questions, to help you to get to the bottom of the jargon and pick the cover that suits you.

There are two types of home insurance policies: buildings insurance and contents insurance. Buildings insurance covers the physical structure of your home while contents insurance covers your possessions. Both buildings and contents insurance can be bought separately or can be combined into one policy.

Buildings insurance offers you protection against damage to the physical structure of your property, i.e. your walls, roof and windows. It is a mandatory condition of any mortgage agreement. It also covers any permanent fixtures in the home which cannot realistically be removed and taken elsewhere, such as fitted kitchens and bathrooms.

Contents insurance offers you protection against the loss or damage of the possessions in your home, taking in everything from jewellery and works of art, to computers, consoles and TVs.

Buildings insurance is based on the estimated cost of rebuilding your home should it be destroyed. This should include everything from the cost of clearing the site and all professional fees, to the purchase of materials to rebuild the property and any labour costs.

It’s important to note that this amount will differ from the market value of a property, and could be higher or lower. This is because the rebuild value accounts for the correct cost of the building itself, rather than the desirability of the land it’s built on.

If you want to work out what level of buildings insurance you need, you can use the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) online calculator.

No. While buildings insurance is a condition of any mortgage agreement, there is no obligation to purchase your policy from the same provider.

This depends largely on the value of your possessions. It’s worth building an inventory of your contents from room to room and recording their value to come up with your total. This should include items such as your furniture, carpets, curtains, TVs as well as personal possessions such as jewellery, clothing, cameras and gadgets. Also, don’t forget about any contents you keep in your shed or garage. Get a better view of the value of those things that truly make your house a home with our Home Contents Calculator tool.

Boiler cover is not generally offered with a standard home insurance package. You can protect yourself against issues with broken boilers, as well as other problems with your plumbing or electricity, by taking out an additional home emergency policy

Buildings insurance means you are covered in the event of damage to any permanent fixtures and fittings in your home – roughly translated as items which cannot easily be picked up and transported elsewhere – which includes fitted kitchens .  However, this doesn’t include items such as pots and pans, microwaves and kettles, and freestanding appliances which would only be protected by contents insurance.

It’s possible that your home insurance will protect you against damage to a mobile phone if it’s the result of a fire, flood, or water leak. However, accidental damage such as dropping the phone, or losing it away from home, may not be covered and you may need to take out Accidental Damage and/or Personal Possessions cover. Some policies include this as standard and some offer it as an optional extra. If you’re in doubt, speak to your insurer for clarity.

Water damage is usually split into two camps: flooding and an escape of water. Flooding refers to an event that has taken place outside the home such as a river bursting its banks. An escape of water, on the other hand, refers to things like water escaping from or freezing in a water or heating installation, drainage installation, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer or fixed fish tank.

Home insurance to suit your needs