Find out which sort of home insurance is best for a five-bedroom property and whether you need to consider adding optional extras to your policy.
Home insurance comes in two parts - buildings insurance and contents insurance.
Buildings insurance is there to cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home’s structure if it’s damaged or destroyed by events like fire, floods, storms, vandalism, subsidence or falling trees.
It also covers the permanent fixtures and fittings in your home, such as your fitted kitchen and bathroom suite.
Outdoor buildings like sheds and garages, plus garden walls and driveways, are also usually included under buildings insurance cover.
Contents insurance, meanwhile, covers the cost of replacing your household goods, furniture, and personal possessions. Everything from your sofa to your clothes, computer, washing machine and jewellery is covered if stolen, lost or damaged in an unexpected event such as a flood, fire or storm.
Most houses with up to five bedrooms can be covered by a standard home buildings and contents insurance policy.
It’s usually homes that have six or more bedrooms that are classified as ‘large homes’ by insurance companies and, as such, might require more specialist, bespoke or high net worth home insurance.
However, the level of insurance you need for your five-bedroom home will ultimately depend on how much cover you need for your contents, as well as its rebuild costs.
So, if your five-bedroom home is particularly large, and its rebuild cost is more than £500,000, plus if it contains contents worth more than, say £75,000 or £85,000, then you may want to look for a specialist policy that is designed to cover high-value large homes.
Specialist policies for large homes will offer much higher sums insured than average and could sometimes even offer unlimited buildings and contents cover.
These types of policies may also provide worldwide cover on your contents, personal possessions and jewellery. Accidental damage and home emergency cover are often included in the price, usually they’re sold as extras on standard policies.
Naturally, premiums are higher for these sorts of policies, but you won’t need to worry about being underinsured.
Ultimately, the cost of your home insurance will depend on many different factors, one of which is the size of your property. This means your five-bedroom property is likely to have a higher rebuild cost than the average UK home. It will also usually contain more furniture and belongings, so your contents insurance will probably be more expensive.
However, your insurer will also consider criteria like the security of your home, where you live, as well as your personal information when calculating your premium.
It’s not compulsory to have buildings insurance on your five-bedroomed home if you own the property outright.
But without it, you’d have to pay out of your own pocket to repair damage to your home that happens due to an unexpected event. Similarly, if your home was destroyed in a fire and needed rebuilding, the entire cost would be your responsibility.
If your five-bedroom home is mortgaged, then it’s usually a condition of your provider that you have buildings insurance in place.
Likewise, if you buy a five-bed flat and own the freehold, either on your own or jointly with other owners in a block, then buildings insurance is your responsibility.
If you own the leasehold, then buildings insurance is something the landlord should organise. You’ll probably contribute towards it in your service charge but check your leasehold agreement to be certain.
If you rent a five-bedroomed home, then buildings insurance on the property is the responsibility of the council or your landlord.
Your landlord may have contents insurance in place to protect items like the carpets, sofas and beds that they’ve provided in a furnished property.
But your own belongings kept at the property are your responsibility to insure.
If you’re renting an unfurnished home and have bought your own sofas, tables, and beds, then your contents insurance will need to cover these too.
Taking out contents insurance for your five-bedroomed rented property will help to replace your belongings should the worst happen and they’re stolen or destroyed in a fire or flood.
Often, the larger your home is, the more you might expect to pay for your home insurance.
That’s because large homes usually contain more contents than smaller ones and they’re more expensive to rebuild.
Insurers work out premiums in two main ways - either with a ‘sum insured’ or a ‘bedroom-rated’ policy.
With a sum insured contents insurance policy, you need to calculate the cost of all your belongings, by going from room to room and totting up what everything would cost to replace.
For buildings insurance, you’re required to provide a figure for your home’s rebuild costs.
If you’ve fairly recently bought your home, then the rebuild cost should be on your mortgage valuation or deeds. Otherwise, you can get help from a surveyor if your home is unusually constructed or designed by an architect. Alternatively, you can use the residential rebuilding cost calculator from the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS).
With a bedroom-rated policy, the insurer sets the sum insured based on the number of bedrooms you have. As a general rule, the more bedrooms you have, the higher your sum insured (and therefore your premiums) will be.
Bedroom-rated contents policies should be more than enough to cover the average five-bedroom property. But you need to check the details in your policy and make sure you’re happy that your home is adequately covered and not under or overinsured.
Some specialist, high-net policies offer an unlimited sum insured, which takes away the worry of being underinsured. But these policies don’t come cheap.
Read your policy documents and the small print carefully before you buy home insurance, so you can be certain what you’re covered for.
With a large five-bedroom home, a standard policy might leave you underinsured. Make sure you know the amount you’re insured for and calculate if it’s enough to cover you. Otherwise, you could find yourself seriously out of pocket in the event of a claim.
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