Home insurance

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[1]25% could save up to £111.48

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GoCompare data September 2017 to September 2018

What's home insurance?

Home insurance compensates you for things like fire damage to your home, or theft of your belongings. It'll pay out to replace your property or repair your house if something unforeseen happens.

Home insurance comes in two parts, buildings insurance and contents insurance, which can be bought separately or together on a single policy.

If it’s something you’d take with you if you moved house, it’s classed as contents. If it would stay behind, it’s probably buildings.

Do I need home insurance?

Legally, you don’t. 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 you taking out building insurance as a condition of the loan.

You don’t have to take out insurance if you own your home outright. But if your home was damaged by fire or flood for example, you’d have to find the money for repairs yourself.

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.

How much is home insurance?

The cost of your home insurance will depend on what your policy covers you for, the rebuild value of your property, plus other factors specific to your home and possessions. The cost will also change if you want a combined buildings and contents policy, or separate buildings and contents policies.

In May 2019, the average price paid for an annual buildings and contents home insurance policy purchased through GoCompare was £183.55. The average price of a buildings only home insurance policy was £120.38, and a contents only policy was £79.[2]

What’s covered by home insurance?

It depends on whether you take out buildings insurance, contents insurance or both.

Buildings insurance
Contents insurance
Combined insurance

Buildings insurance protects the structure of your home and its permanent fixtures and fittings - things like fitted kitchens, flooring and bathroom suites.

You can expect to be covered if things go wrong with your roof, walls or ceilings. But not as a result of shoddy workmanship or dodgy DIY.

To get the right amount of cover, you’ll need to work out the rebuild cost of your home. When you get a quotes with us, we’ll help you calculate it.

Each insurer will cover risks to your home in slightly different ways, so check you’ve got the cover you need on the policy you choose. Look at how your home insurer treats fire damage, theft and flooding.

Some policies also include personal liability insurance, which covers the cost of claims that someone else makes against you for injury or damage while visiting your home.

Leasehold flat owners don’t need buildings insurance as it’s the responsibility of the freeholder for the building.

Renters don’t need it either - it’s your landlord’s responsibility.

Find out more

Key points

  • Covers the building, not your possessions
  • If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist you have it
  • Leaseholders and tenants don’t need it

Contents insurance covers your personal possessions and valuables. It’s up to you whether you insure your possessions, but if you couldn’t afford to replace them, it’s worth it.

You’ll need to work out the value of items you own. Our contents calculator can help you add them up.

If you own something that’s worth more than £1,000, such as your laptop or jewellery, you’ll need to list it separately on your policy.

Most insurers will also ask you to list bicycles separately too, although some will cover lower-value bicycles in the same way that they cover other possessions in your home.

Find out more

Key points

  • For your possessions, not the building
  • Usually provides cover against fire, theft and vandalism
  • Accidental damage cover is sometimes included or can be added at extra cost

If you need buildings and contents cover, then taking out one policy for both with the same provider can be cheaper.

It can make things simpler if you need to make a claim too. If there’s a fire it’ll be far easier reporting it all to one insurer instead of two.

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Key points

  • Protects your home and its contents
  • Can be cheaper than taking out separate policies
  • You won’t need this if you’re a tenant, just contents insurance

What do I need to get a home insurance quote?

Just pop in a few details, and we’ll find your quotes. We’ll need to know:

  1. Details about your property

    Your address, when it was built, how many rooms you have and a few structural details

  2. The rebuild value of your home

    If you’re not sure, find out how to estimate rebuilding costs

  3. The value of your personal belongings

    Use our contents calculator to work it out

  4. The security of your home

    What locks you have on your windows and doors

  5. Who lives with you

    And when they’re usually at home

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In 2018, 70% of people said they last switched their home insurance more than a year ago[3]

Are you missing out on cheaper premiums?

Get cheaper home insurance

The average combined buildings and contents policy costs £183[2]

Cut the cost even more with our top tips

  1. Improve your home security

    Get insurer-approved locks for your home or an alarm system

  2. Join Neighbourhood Watch

    If a scheme’s active nearby

  3. Increase your excess

    It can make your quotes cheaper. Just remember to make sure you can afford the higher excess if you ever need to claim

  4. Pay annually

    Pay annually rather than monthly to avoid interest charges

  5. Check your rebuild cost

    Don't overestimate the rebuild cost of your home

  6. Watch out for admin costs

    Check for hidden expenses on home insurance. A more expensive policy could work out cheaper when admin fees are factored in

  7. Protect your no-claims discount

    Decide whether you could pay for a small claim yourself - it might be cheaper to protect your no-claims discount in the long run

  8. Buy a combined policy

    Choose a buildings and contents insurance policy if you need both

  9. Compare next year

    Watch out for your renewal date and shop around before your insurer auto-renews your policy

Additional cover for your home

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.

Accidental damage cover

This’ll cover you for mishaps like burning a hole in the carpet with the iron or spilling a drink over the TV.

Damage caused by children is usually included, but rarely pets.

You can add accidental damage cover to buildings insurance, contents insurance or both.

More about accidental damage cover >

Home emergency cover

This gives you a fast response and extra cover for things like your boiler, electrics and drains. You’ll get access to approved tradesman to get your services up and running again quickly.

You can add this to your home insurance or take out a dedicated stand-alone policy.

Check if you’re already covered though. Sometimes it’s part of a package with your bank account..

More about home emergency >

Legal protection

Legal expenses protection covers the cost of being sued or making a claim against someone else.

The amount you can claim varies and you aren’t guaranteed legal help. Check your policy to find out exactly what’s included and what you can claim for.

More about legal protection >

Cover away from home

Your possessions will be covered when they’re inside your house, but you can also get extra cover for them when you take them away from home, including for your jewellery, keys and mobiles phones.

For items worth more than £1,000 you’ll need to list them separately to get cover away from home.

More about cover away from home >

The best way to save is to always shop around

94% would recommend us

94% of our 2,250 home insurance customers on www.reviews.co.uk would recommend us (February 2019)

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Meet our insurers

The right home insurance for you

There are lots of different types of home insurance policies - choose the right one for you.

Tenants' insurance

Tenants’ insurance is home contents insurance, but for renters. You don’t need buildings insurance – that’s your landlord’s responsibility.

Find out more >

Landlord insurance

If you’re letting, you’ll need the right insurance to look after both your tenants and the property.

Get cover for buildings, contents, accidental damage, landlord liability and alternative accommodation.

Find out more >

Student home insurance

Policies designed specifically for you if you live in halls or a house share. But you can also look at standard contents insurance too.

Find out more >

Insurance for flats

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. So, if you’re the freeholder for your building, or you own a share, it's your responsibility. It's up to you if you have contents insurance or not.

If you rent your flat, or you're a leaseholder, you'll probably only need to take out contents insurance.

Find out more >

Holiday home insurance

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to cover a second home left unoccupied for periods of time with regular home insurance. Plus there are additional risk factors if you let it out too. So there are specialist holiday home insurers who can offer you quotes.

Find out more >

New build home insurance

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.

Find out more >

Listed building home insurance

You need to tell your insurer if your home’s listed and you can do that easily when you get a quote with us.

Make sure you declare an accurate rebuild value - It might be more than you think for a listed home.

Find out more >

Non-standard home insurance

If your home isn’t standard build - such as brick walls with a tile roof - you might need specialist home insurance. Features like a flat or thatched roof are treated as non-standard construction by insurers.

Find out more >

Gadget insurance

Gadget insurance covers mobile phones, laptops, cameras, tablets, and GPS devices. They might already be covered by your home insurance though, so check before you buy extra cover.

Find out more >

Jewellery insurance

Jewellery, watches and valuables can be covered for theft under your home contents insurance or by a separate jewellery insurance policy.

Make sure expensive jewellery is covered by single-item limits.

Find out more >

Home appliance insurance

Household appliance insurance covers white goods like cookers, fridges and washing machines, and some electronics. And it’s often cheaper than buying individual extended product warranties.

Find out more >

Over 2,250 home insurance customers rated us on average

4.65

2,333 home insurance reviews on reviews.co.uk as of February 2019

Real customer reviews

I got a great deal for house/contents insurance and saved £100

Easy to navigate and very good layout and it helped me save £70.00 on my contents insurance, which makes me very happy.

Managed to insure my property for half the cost of my present insurer's renewal price.

Simple to use. My house insurance quote was £300 cheaper than my original quote.

Comparable offers enabled me to make decision on placement of home and contents insurance and made saving over existing provider.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is a leak covered by home insurance?

    It can be. Frozen and burst pipes are a major source of home insurance claims, but cover varies enormously from policy to policy. You should also check if you have trace and access cover on your home insurance, as this can be invaluable if you need to find and repair a leaking pipe.

  • Is my home already insured?

    If you think you've already bought home insurance, but can't track down the details of the insurer, check your bank account statements and emails for evidence of the purchase.

  • How do I make a home insurance claim?

    Here are the four stages on making a claim on your home insurance:

    If you're burgled, first call the police for a crime reference number.

    Next, ring your insurer's hotline to submit a claim.

    Collect receipts and take photos as evidence of your claim.

    If repairs aren't urgent, make sure your insurer agrees to any work beforehand.

  • Can I get home insurance if my property has subsidence?

    Getting insurance for properties with subsidence history is tricky - you’ll probably need to go to a specialist provider. Most policies will cover loss and damage caused by subsidence, but don’t tend to cover the cost of preventing more subsidence.

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News and articles on home insurance

[1]25% of customers who provided their buildings and contents insurance renewal price saved up to £111.48 with Gocompare.com (01 Oct 2018 to 31 Dec 2018)

[2]From 1 May-31 May 2019 the average price paid out of all annual combined buildings and contents home insurance policies purchased through GoCompare was £183.55. The average price of a buildings only home insurance policy was £120.38, and a contents only policy was £79

[3]Based on a survey of randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists, conducted by Bilendi on behalf of GoCompare. The survey was conducted among 2,001 respondents on 14 December 2018

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