If you’ve found yourself needing to work from home because of Coronavirus, you don’t need to tell your insurer. For new quotes, when you’re asked questions like whether you run a business from home and when people are usually at home, just answer them as you normally would.
Most insurers cover office work from home anyway, and your employer should have insurance for any equipment they’ve sent you home with.
Find quotes by answering a few details about you, your home and your possessions.
The type of property, number of rooms and a few structural details.
Your occupation, any dependents you have and details of previous claims.
The amount it would take to rebuild the property if it was demolished.
The cost of replacing the entire contents of your home as new.
What locks you have and if you have any burglar alarms or smoke detectors.
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Home insurance offers financial protection against damage to your property and possessions. It'll usually cover things like fire, theft, flooding and subsidence.
It can also help to cover the cost of damages caused by accidents and home emergencies – depending on the cover you choose.
It comes in two parts, buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can buy them separately or together as a combined policy.
Buildings insurance covers damages to the structure of your home and its permanent fixtures and fittings. This includes things like your windows, flooring, walls and roofs. Garages, sheds and fences may be covered too.
It'll cover you for unexpected damages like fire, storms and floods, but not for damages caused by poor workmanship or general wear and tear.
Each insurer covers risks to your home differently, so check you’ve got the cover you need on the policy you choose. Look at how insurers treat fallen trees, leaking roofs or damp, for example.
Contents insurance covers you for the loss, theft or damage of your personal possessions and valuables. This includes things like your furniture, kitchen appliances, electricals, clothes, jewellery and ornaments.
Exact cover can vary so it's worth checking your policy. You may not be covered for accidental damage for example.
Single items are only covered up to a certain amount. You'll see this called a 'single item limit', and it's usually £1,000.
That means if the cost of your claim for one item exceeds the limit, you'll usually have to cover the remaining cost yourself.
If you have items worth more than the single item limit, list them separately on your policy to have cover for their full value. Things like jewellery, mobile phones and bicycles generally need listing separately on your policy.
A combined buildings and contents insurance policy covers the structure of your home and your belongings.
If you need both, then taking out one policy with the same provider usually works out cheaper.
It can make things simpler if you need to make a claim too. For example, if there’s a fire it’ll be far easier reporting it all to one insurer instead of two.
Home insurance isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good idea to have some protection in place. Think about whether you could afford to replace your home or possessions if the worst happened.
If you have a mortgage your mortgage provider will insist on having buildings insurance as a condition of the loan. Insuring your belongings is a more personal decision. Again, you’d have to find the money to replace your things if something happened and you didn’t have contents insurance.
If you rent your property, you won’t need buildings insurance - that's your landlord's responsibility.
If you’re a student living away from home, contents insurance for expensive kit could come in handy. Share houses regularly get targeted by thieves, and you could be protected against theft.
It’s worth double checking if your kit is covered away from home under your parents’ home insurance first, before you buy cover you don’t need.
According to our data, a combined home insurance policy costs £151.50 a year.
Individual cover is often cheaper that a combined policy, but you won’t get the same amount of cover.
What it'll cost you depends on how likely the insurer thinks you are to claim, the value of your building or contents and how extensive your cover is.
They use a whole host of factors to price your insurance - home security, risk of flooding and subsidence all count.
Shopping around for quotes every year isn't the only way to save. Our home insurance expert, Ryan Fulthorpe, has five more tips that could help keep costs down:
Get insurer-approved locks for your home, as well as smoke and burglar alarm systems
Check for hidden expenses on home insurance. A more expensive policy could work out cheaper when admin fees are factored in
A higher excess can make your quotes cheaper, but keep it affordable in case you need to claim
Overestimating the value of your contents and the rebuild cost of your home will increase your premium. But if you're in any doubt, it's better to overestimate than underestimate
With monthly payments, you'll have to pay interest and sometimes a finance arrangement fee, so it'll be more expensive
You can add optional extras to your home insurance policy if you need them. You’ll have to pay extra for them, so think about whether they’re worth the extra cost.
This'll cover you for claims due to accidents in the home like a spilt glass of wine on a rug or a smashed window. Damage caused by children is usually included, but rarely pets and amateur DIY.
This’ll protect you against things like boiler breakdowns, electrical failure and blocked drains. It’ll cover the cost of calling out an approved tradesman to get your services up and running again, as well as any replacement parts needed.
Help for the costs of being sued and/or making a claim against someone else. Personal injury claims and property disputes with neighbours are times you may need to use it. The amount of legal cover you can claim varies a lot, and you aren’t guaranteed legal help. Check the small print and look out for exclusions.
Standard contents insurance will only cover your items while they’re in your house. If you want cover when you're away from home, you’ll need personal belongings insurance. Policies can provide damage, loss and theft cover for things like jewellery, bicycles and mobile phones.
Renewing your home insurance every year with your existing insurer is almost always more expensive than switching to a new one.
It’s an easy trap to fall into – as many as 2/3 customers renew every year and end up paying more.
But you don’t have to. Compare with us and you could find cheaper quotes.
If you need something more specific than standard buildings and contents insurance, there are plenty of different types of home insurance available.
Tenants insurance is home contents insurance, but for renters. You don’t need buildings insurance – that’s your landlord’s responsibility.
If you let a property, you’ll need the right insurance to look after the occupiers of the property - and the building itself. Landlord insurance offers cover for buildings, contents, landlord liability and alternative accommodation.
Jewellery, watches and valuables can be covered for theft under your home contents insurance, or by a separate jewellery insurance policy. You'll need to list valuables worth more than £1,000 separately - and look out for cover away from home.
Cover for properties left unoccupied for more than 30 days can be costly and hard to find. Specialist unoccupied property insurance helps you find cover for properties left vacant for up 12 months
This is specialist cover for holiday homes. Generally, you can't cover a second home that’s rented, or left empty for long periods of time, with standard home insurance.
Flood risk insurance can be a valuable investment for those looking to protect their home and contents from damage by flooding
The insurance you need depends on whether you’re renting, a leaseholder, or own the freehold. The block needs to be covered by buildings insurance, but that’s the responsibility of the freeholder. It’s up to you if you have contents insurance or not.
If your property has a history of subsidence, getting insurance may be tricky and you’ll probably need to go to a specialist provider.
Thatched roof properties are at an increased risk of fire damage, so you’ll usually need specialist insurance. The policy will have particular exclusions, and the insurer will have expectations around precautions you’ll need to take to maintain your roof.
Protection for your brand-new home. Make sure you’ve also got a guarantee from the builder where you can raise any issues or snags for a fixed period after completion.
The value of contents on an average home insurance policy is about £46,000.
Most insurers will offer you around £40,000 cover for your contents, which for some is enough, but if you think you need more or less change it.
Take a walk around your house and look out for high-ticket items - fridges, TVs, even a wardrobe full of clothes. Your contents insurance is there to cover the cost if you had to buy those items again today.
It's important to itemise anything worth over £1,000. If you don't, your insurer won't pay more than £1,000 for it - this is known as the single item limit. Keep hold of receipts or valuation certificates for these items. Check cover limits for cash too - it's usually between £500 and £1,000 and you can't increase it.
We’ve got a contents calculator you can use to help you work out how much cover you need.
The things we own change, and so does their value. If you buy any expensive items - like gadgets or jewellery - you’ll need to tell your insurer if you want them covered too.
The amount of buildings cover you need is based on the rebuild cost of your home. This is the amount it would take to rebuild the property if it was demolished. The figure is likely to be less than the price you'd get if you sold your home.
To find your rebuild cost you can:
Insurers will want to know what type of locks you have. It’s so they can assess how secure your home is. Your doors will probably be fitted with either a 5-lever mortice lock, or a multi-point locking system, depending on whether they’re wooden or uPVC.
Our video will help you work out which your doors are fitted with.
Alternatively, read our guide about the different types of house locks to find out.
Excess is what you have to pay towards the cost of a claim. Home insurance excess comes in two parts: voluntary and compulsory.
Compulsory excess is set by the insurer and depends on your likelihood of making a claim.
Voluntary excess is the amount you choose to pay towards a claim on top of the compulsory excess.
Let's say something was stolen from your home worth £450. Your compulsory excess was £150 and the voluntary was £100. You’d have to pay £250 to claim, and your insurer would cover the other £200.
Choosing to add a voluntary excess usually means lower premiums. Keep it affordable though, in case you need to claim.
You can, but you’ll need to tell the insurer about any building work or home renovations that are underway or planned to take place during the policy period. Insurers need to know about:
If you don’t tell your insurer about structural building works, and something goes wrong, it’s very unlikely your insurer will help you with any of the costs, and your policy could be invalidated.
You don’t need to tell them about simpler refurbishment works, though. Things like redecorating or fitting a new bathroom or kitchen are fine to do without telling your insurer.
No. When you compare with us, insurers run a soft credit check. It’s just to check the details you’ve given are accurate. Because it’s a soft search, it doesn’t leave a mark on your credit file or affect your score.
If you choose to pay monthly for your home insurance, you’re taking out a credit agreement. Your insurer will usually run a hard check at that point, which will be recorded on your credit file.
To make a claim on your home insurance, you'll need to contact your insurer. They'll ask you for evidence to support your claim - things like crime reference numbers, photos, receipts or witness statements.
If you cancel your policy within the first 14 days, you'll generally be able to cancel without a charge. This is known as the cooling-off period.
If you're looking to cancel outside of this window, you may incur a charge from your insurer, though it's worth checking your policy documents.
They can, or they might refuse to offer you a renewal quote at the end of your policy. It’s fairly rare and would usually only happen if you’d failed to keep up with repayments or lied about something when you were getting cover or making a claim.
If your circumstances change, your existing insure might refuse to renew your policy too. For example, if your home has subsidence issues, you have a new criminal conviction, or you’ve lost your job.
 Price savings are based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence, conducted between 1 February to 29 February 2020: It compared 33 insurers from our panel and found 51% could save up to £102.63 with us on their buildings and contents insurance. Last checked March 2020.
 Based on www.reviews.co.uk: 94% of customers who left a review recommended us. Our average rating of 4.6 out of 5 is from 2,335 people who left a review for home insurance comparison only. Last checked in March 2020.
 According to GoCompare data from 2019, 899,366 people received a home insurance quote via GoCompare. Last checked March 2020.
 There are 67 active home insurers on the panel at Gocompare.com. Last checked April 2020.
 * Between 1 Jan-31 Mar 2020, 52% of customers were quoted annual buildings and contents insurance premiums of £151.50 or less with Gocompare.com. 52% of customers were quoted annual buildings only insurance premiums of £110.50 and 51% of customers were quoted annual contents only insurance premiums of £65.50 or less. Last checked May 2020.
 Sector Views 2020. Financial Conduct Authority. Retrieved 20-02-2020.
 The insurance loyalty penalty: unfair pricing in the home insurance market. Citizens Advice. Retrieved 12-05-2020.
 The average value of possessions insured on home contents insurance policies purchased via GoCompare between 1 Jan-30 April 2020 was £46,009.. Last checked May 2020.
Page last reviewed: 17 May 2020
Next review due: 17 June 2020