Home Insurance Reviews

There are three main types of home insurance – buildings, contents, and buildings and contents combined.

If you live in a rented house or flat you don’t need to worry about buildings insurance, it is your landlord’s job to sort that out (you might want to make sure they have!). Contents insurance, however, is your responsibility. Owner-occupiers are likely to need both buildings and contents insurance.

You can judge a policy by the amount it pays out for the core features of buildings and contents cover, how quickly companies pay out, how easy the claims process is and how much cover you’re getting for things like valuables, accidental damage or bike cover.

The best home insurance policies also include alternative accommodation for you and the inhabitants of your home if it needs to be rebuilt. But it can vary widely from company to company.

With buildings insurance, you need to insure your house for the amount it will cost to rebuild, which is likely to be different to its market value. It can be less than you expect because the market value of the property is often much higher than the cost of the construction.

For contents insurance, it is important not to under-insure; that is to buy a policy thats cover is lower than the value of your possessions. Many people simply under-estimate the value of everything they’ve built up over the years while others forget that some items, like inherited jewellery or collections, can increase in value.

To be safe, go through your house room by room, round everything up and don’t forget about smaller items, such as clothes and toiletries. They may not be worth much individually but if the worst happens and you have to replace everything in your house, you will be surprised how quickly it adds up.

It is possible to get separate, dedicated policies for high-risk, high-value items such as gadgets, watches and engagement rings. So it is worth comparing the cost, particularly since your home insurance no claims bonus would be unaffected if you claim on a different policy for a high-value item.