Home insurance covers you for things like fire damage to your house, or theft of your belongings.
It comes in two parts, buildings insurance and contents insurance, which can be bought separately or together on a single policy.
What your policy covers depends on whether you take out buildings insurance, contents insurance or both combined.
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.
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.
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, like 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.
A combined buildings and contents insurance policy will cover both the structure of your home and your possessions.
If you need both 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. For instance, if there’s a fire it’ll be far easier reporting it all to one insurer instead of two.
The average combined buildings and contents policy costs £183
Cut the cost even more with our top tips
Get insurer-approved locks for your home or an alarm system
If a scheme’s active nearby, sign up and your insurer might give you a discount
A higher excess can make your quotes cheaper, but make sure you can afford the higher excess if you ever need to claim
It’s worth paying annually rather than monthly if you can afford to to avoid interest charges
Don’t overestimate the rebuild cost of your home
Check for hidden expenses on home insurance. A more expensive policy could work out cheaper when admin fees are factored in
Decide whether you could pay for a small claim yourself - it might be cheaper to protect your no-claims discount in the long run
A buildings and contents insurance policy can be more affordable if you need both
Watch out for your renewal date and shop around before your insurer auto-renews your policy and increases the price
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 will cover you for unintentional mishaps like spilling a glass of wine on a rug or dropping a laptop. Damage caused by children is usually included, but rarely pets and amateur DIY.
More about accidental damage cover >
Homes that have no heating in the winter, no running water or electricity, or that are structurally unsafe can be classed as uninhabitable. Alternative accommodation cover on your home insurance will provide you somewhere to stay in an emergency.
More about alternative accommodation cover >
Many insurers cover bicycles as standard but it's not always the case. Some insurers only cover theft or damage to your bicycle at home, so you might want extra cover.
More about bicycle cover >
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 >
This gives you extra cover for things like your broken boilers, 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.
More about home emergency >
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.
More about legal protection >
There are many types of home insurance policies, each with various levels of cover. Find and choose the house insurance policy that suits your requirements.
Tenants’ insurance is home contents insurance, but for renters. You don’t need buildings insurance – that’s your landlord’s responsibility.Find out more >
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.
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 >
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.
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 >
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 >
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.
If your home isn’t standard build - like 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.
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.
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.
Household appliance insurance covers white goods like cookers, fridges and washing machines, and some electronics.
It’s often cheaper than buying individual extended product warranties.
94% of our 2,250 home insurance customers on www.reviews.co.uk would recommend us (February 2019)
2,333 home insurance reviews on reviews.co.uk as of February 2019
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.
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.
If you own your home, it will only be insured if you’ve insured it yourself. If you live in a rented or leasehold property, it’s the landlord or leaseholders responsibility to take out buildings insurance, however there is no legal requirement for them to do so.
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.
25% of customers who provided their buildings and contents insurance renewal price saved up to £102.95 with Gocompare.com (01 Jun 2019 to 31 Aug 2019)
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
On 14 December 2018, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,001 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
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