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  • We’ll refund up to £250 of your excess if you make a claim. Excludes accidental loss or damage claims^

What’s home insurance?

Home insurance, also known as house insurance, covers loss and damage to your house and household contents.

For instance, if your home is damaged by an event like a fire, your home insurance may cover the cost of any repairs or replacements needed.

Home insurance comes in two parts, buildings insurance which covers the physical building and contents insurance which covers your belongings.

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Home insurance companies we work with

We want you to find the right home insurance at the right price. That's why we search for quotes from over 60 UK home insurers[3] including:

What type of home insurance do I need?

There are two types of home insurance: buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can buy them individually or together as a combined policy. Which type you'll need will depend on your circumstances.

  • Buildings insurance

    • Covers the structure of the property and its permanent fixtures and fittings e.g. fitted kitchens and bathrooms.
    • It may also cover driveways, patios, walls, fences, and any outbuildings including garages.
    • Most mortgage providers expect you to have it. If you're renting you don't need it.

    Find out more about buildings insurance

  • Contents insurance

    • Covers the damage or theft of your household items e.g. your home appliances, furniture and jewellery.
    • Accidental damage and items outside the home aren't covered but can be for an extra cost.
    • Each item is only covered up to a limited amount. You'll see this called a 'single item limit', and it's usually £1,000.

    Find out more about contents insurance

  • Combined home insurance

    • 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.

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Buy home insurance with us and we’ll refund your excess if you make a claim. Excludes accidental loss and damage claims^

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^Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Excludes accidental loss or damage claims. Full T&Cs apply.

What does home insurance cover?

Each provider will list their own coverage and exclusions in the policy documents. Only 82% of home insurance claims are successful,[4] so it’s important to understand your cover.

What’s usually covered?

  • Fire damage, explosion, lightning or earthquakes
  • Storm and flooding from external water sources
  • Burst and frozen pipes
  • Malicious damage
  • Subsidence, heave or landslip
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Falling trees, branches, and TV aerials
  • Impact by vehicle, aircraft, animal or flying objects

What’s not covered?

  • Gradual wear and tear
  • Accidental damage
  • Loss of items on your person while you're away from your home
  • Mechanical breakdowns
  • Damage as a result of poor workmanship
  • Cover for items worth more than the single article limit
  • Loss or damage if your home’s been left unoccupied
  • Losses caused by negligence
home insurance man in kitchen

What details do you need to get a quote?

Before you compare quotes with us, it’s a good idea to have some details about you, your home and your possessions at the ready. We’ll need to know things like:

  1. Property details

    The type of property, when it was built, distance from water and any previous history of flooding or subsidence.

  2. Personal details

    Things like your date of birth, the number of people in your home, whether you’re away for long periods of time and details of previous claims.

  3. Home security details

    What locks you have and if you have any burglar alarms or smoke detectors.

  4. Buildings cover you want

    The cost of rebuilding your home from scratch. This is usually less than the market value. If you’re not sure, we can help you to estimate your rebuild cost.

  5. Contents cover you want

    The value of the entire contents of your home. We've got a contents calculator to help you work this out.

How much is the average house insurance in the UK?

The average price paid by GoCompare customers for a combined home insurance policy is just under £176 a year.[5] Buildings-only or contents-only cover is cheaper than a combined policy, but you won't get the same level of cover.

Things like the location and size of your house can also impact how much your home insurance costs.

Here’s the average cost of home insurance by policy according to GoCompare data:

Type of policy Annual cost
Buildings insurance £130
Contents insurance £77
Combined insurance £176

What affects the cost of my home insurance?

Your home insurance costs will depend on how likely the insurer thinks you are to make a claim, the value of your building or contents and the level of cover you choose.

Insurers use a whole host of factors to calculate your insurance including:

  1. Size

    The bigger your home, the more it’ll cost to

  2. Location

    Affluence, crime rates and the likelihood of flooding can affect the cost of your cover.

  3. Age

    Homes that are older such as listed buildings are more likely to have unique features or building materials that are hard to replace. Not to mention old electric and plumbing systems and might need a specialist listed building insurance.

  4. Security

    Good security, such as window and door locks and things like burglar alarms and smoke detectors can mean insurers view you as less of a risk, so you might get cheaper quotes.

  5. Building materials

    If you have a non-standard home it could cost more to rebuild. Even thatched or flat roofs can be considered more of a risk.

  6. Value of possessions

    If you have lots of valuable contents to insure, this will cost you more.

  7. Add-ons

    Extra cover like accidental damage and home emergency cover isn’t always included as standard, so adding this will up the price.

  8. Claims history

    If you’ve not claimed recently – or ever – you could be offered a no claims discount.

Why compare home insurance with us?

Free £250 home excess cover, only with GoCompare^

If you need to claim on your home insurance - for example, if your building is damaged by subsidence or your possessions are stolen - your free home excess cover will refund up to £250 of your excess.

There’s no hidden charge. But you won't be covered for things like accidental loss such as leaving a laptop on a train or accidental damage, such as spilling wine on your carpet or drilling through a pipe.

Get a home insurance quote

^UK residents and home insurance purchases only. Excess refunded after claim settled. Excludes accidental loss or damage claims made on your home insurance. Full T&Cs apply.

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How can I get cheaper home insurance?

Shopping around for quotes isn’t the only way to save on your home insurance. Here's six more tips that could help keep the cost of your premium down:

  1. Improve your home security

    Get insurer-approved locks for your home, as well as smoke and burglar alarm systems.

  2. Regularly maintain your home

    Staying on top of things and getting repairs done early can save you money in the long run.

  3. Build your no-claim discount

    For every year you don't make a claim, you'll likely reduce the cost of your premium.

  4. Don't over-insure

    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.

  5. Only pay for what you need

    You'll be offered a variety of optional extras when you apply for home insurance. Remember the best home insurance policy for you is one that offers the cover you need at an affordable price.

  6. Pay upfront

    With monthly payments, you'll have to pay interest and sometimes a finance arrangement fee, so it'll be more expensive.

Who needs home insurance?

Home insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but it’s a good idea to have it. Think about whether you could afford to repair your home or replace your possessions if they were damaged, lost or stolen.

Those who might need home insurance include:

  • Homeowners

    It's often a condition of your mortgage to have buildings insurance. Protection of your belongings is optional. If you own your home outright, both buildings and contents insurance are optional.

  • Renters

    If you’re renting a property, buildings insurance is the responsibility of the landlord. Your landlords insurance won’t cover your contents though. You’ll need your own renters insurance policy for that.

  • Landlords

    Landlords are required by law to have insurance that’ll look after the property and the occupiers. Landlord insurance will cover your buildings, contents, accidental damage, landlord liability, and alternative accommodation.

  • Students

    Students living away from home may want student contents insurance for any expensive kit they own. Share houses are regularly targeted by thieves, and the right insurance could protect you against theft. Before you buy, check whether your belongings are covered by your parents’ home insurance first.

  • Holiday homeowners

    You can't cover a second home with standard home insurance. Instead, you’ll need holiday home insurance to cover the risks associated with renting your second home out and leaving it empty for long periods of time.

  • Short-term letters

    If you let a room, annex or your entire property on a short-term basis, you’ll need short-term let insurance. It’ll cover any guest injury claims or damages caused by guests during their stay. You’ll likely need standard home insurance too to cover your home for any non-guest related losses.

Over 1500 home insurance customers rated us on average[2]

4.8 out of 5

on Trustpilot

Reviews from our customers

Here’s what customers had to say about our service:

Half the price of my normal provider. Great cover and easy to apply.

Appears to be great value insurance especially with Go Compare promise of up to £250 excess refund should I have to make a claim.

Great home insurance, cheap and just what I wanted.

Extremely useful for home insurance price comparison. Easy to manage and understand.

Check your policy wording so you know what cover you have in the event of bad weather

There’s not a lot you can do to control the weather, but you can minimise the damage to your property and help protect your belongings.

Check your home insurance policy in advance of bad weather to understand what's covered. If your home's affected, make a note of the time and date so you can inform your insurer should you need to claim. Many policies will specify what they deem a weather-related incident, so writing down details of the situation will help if you need to claim. Taking photos or a video of the damage - if safe to do so - can be useful to support your claim too.

A storm can highlight problems with your home due to lack of maintenance or wear and tear. If your roof wasn't in the best state and damage occurs during a storm or high winds which wouldn't have happened if the roof had been properly maintained, then it's like you would not be covered for this.
Ceri McMillan - GoCompare Home Insurance

Other types of home insurance

You may need something more specific than standard buildings and contents insurance if you live in a property that’s high risk for example. More specific types of home insurance include:

  • Flood risk insurance

    Flood risk insurance can be a valuable investment for those looking to protect their home and contents from damage by flooding.

  • Subsidence insurance

    If your property has a history of subsidence, getting insurance may be tricky and you’ll probably need to go to a specialist provider.

  • Unoccupied home insurance

    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.

  • Listed building insurance

    You’ll need to tell your insurer if your home is listed. You may find your choice of insurers more limited. Make sure you declare an accurate rebuild value.

  • Non-standard construction

    If your home is not made from standard materials, you may require specialist home insurance. Features such as thatched roofs or timber-frames are widely viewed as non-standard by insurers.

  • Flat roof home insurance

    Flat roof homes can be more expensive to insure than standard homes. This is because insurers consider flat roof homes to be at higher risk of water ingress, weather damage and burglary.

Add-ons and additional cover

You can add upgrades 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 claims due to accidents in the home like a spilt glass of wine on a rug or a smashed window. Accidental damage caused by children is usually included, but rarely pets and amateur DIY.

    Find out more about accidental damage cover

  • Away from home cover

    Standard contents insurance will only cover your belongings while they’re in your house. If you want cover when you're away from home, you’ll need personal possessions insurance.

    Find out more about away from home cover

  • Home emergency cover

    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.

    Find out more about home emergency cover

  • Legal expenses cover

    Help for the costs of legal proceedings that involve your home. Personal injury claims and property disputes with neighbours are times you may need to use it.

    Find out more about legal cover and home insurance

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Page last reviewed: 23 June 2022
Next review due: 23 September 2022

[2]Based on Trustpilot: Our average rating of 4.8 out of 5 is from 1958 people who left a review for home insurance comparison only. Last checked 09 May 2022.

[3]As of February 2022, there are 61 active home insurers on the panel at GoCompare

[4]Association of British Insurers (2021). UK Insurance & Long-Term Savings: Key Facts. Retrieved December 2021.

[5]The average price paid for home insurance purchased annually in November 2021 by type of cover. For buildings and contents insurance, it was £175.79. For buildings insurance only, it was £129.62. For contents insurance only, it was £76.76.

[6]Median best annual buildings and contents insurance premium returned from all customers quoting between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021 through GoCompare.