Why is home insurance important?
Home insurance covers your home and possessions from damage or loss due to things like fires, flooding, storms and theft.
It comes in two parts: buildings insurance which covers the structure of the property including its fixtures and fittings, and contents insurance which covers your household belongings.
Legally, you don’t need either, 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. And having buildings insurance is usually a requirement by a mortgage lender.
With Go.Compare you can compare quotes for buildings and contents cover individually or together as a combined policy.
To help us find you quotes, we’ll need to ask you questions about:
- The location of your property
- The rebuild value of your home
- The total value of your household possessions
- The security features you have installed at your property – e.g. locks, burglar alarms and smoke detectors
What type of home insurance can you get?
Home insurance comes in different forms. The best policy for you depends on your living situation, the amount of cover you need and the price you're willing to pay.
Building 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 require you to have it. If you're renting you don't need it.
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.
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.
What’s covered by home insurance?
This depends on your insurance policy. Each provider will list their own coverage and exclusions in the policy documents.
What's usually covered?
- Fire damage - Damage caused by home fires, smoke or explosion.
- Theft - The replacement of your possessions if lost during a burglary.
- Weather damage - Extreme-weather damage such as storms, flooding, hail, and lightning strikes.
- Escape of water - Water leaking from burst pipes or appliances.
- Malicious damage - Intentional damage to your home, like vandalism, as long as you or anyone staying with you didn’t cause it.
- Subsidence, heave or landslip - Damage to your home caused by subsidence, heave or landslip.
- Falling trees - Damage to your home by a tree falling, like crashing through your fence or damaging roof tiles.
What's not usually covered?
- General wear and tear - Damage caused by the general passing of time e.g. worn carpets or loose roof tiles.
- Mechanical breakdown - Appliances such as fridges or washing machines expiring due to age.
- Negligence - If not taking action to repair something leads to more damage. Like not fixing a cracked pipe or damp patch.
- Poor workmanship - Damage that’s caused due to a low standard of building work or DIY, for example sub-par wiring led to a fire.
- Empty properties - Unoccupied properties are at greater risk of damage.
£250 FREE EXCESS COVER. WHATEVER POLICY YOU PICK.^
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 it excludes things like accidental loss or damage.
^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.
Compare home insurance with Go.Compare
Tell us about you and your home
Like where you live, your property type, when it was built, and any previous flooding or subsidence.
Choose the cover you need
Pick from buildings only, contents only or a combined policy. And select the amount of cover you’ll need for your building and/or contents.
Get quotes and compare policies
Find the best policy for you based on price, policy cover, excess payable and Defaqto rating.
Pick your policy and get free £250 excess cover^
We hope you never have to claim. But if you do, we’ll refund up to £250 of your excess.
How much does home insurance cost?
The average price paid by GoCompare customers for a combined home insurance policy is £180 a year. That’s around £15 a month plus any interest added.
Buildings-only insurance costs £141 and contents only cover was £66.
These figures are just averages. Your own premiums will depend on things like:
- Your property - Things like your properties size, age, location, building materials and rebuild cost
- Your household contents - The higher the total value of your contents, the more you're likely to pay
- Property security - Good home security can mean insurers view you as less of a risk. Consider secure door locks, burglar alarms and smoke detectors.
- Policy add-ons - Extra cover like accidental damage and home emergency cover isn’t always included as standard, so adding this will up the price.
- Previous claims history - If you’ve not claimed recently – or ever – you could be offered a no claims discount.
- Excess - Choosing to pay less excess could increase your premium. Don't opt for an excess that's more than you can afford to pay should you need to claim though.
- Credit history - A good credit score can show insurers you’re trustworthy and reliable, which can lead to cheaper cover.
Find out more about the cost of home insurance.
The average price paid annually for home insurance purchased in June 2023 by type of cover. For buildings and contents insurance, it was £180. For buildings insurance only, it was £141. For contents insurance only, it was £66.
WHAT HOME INSURANCE ADD-ONS CAN I GET?
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 claims due to accidents in the home like a spilt glass of wine on a rug or a smashed window.
Alternative accommodation cover
Somewhere else to stay if your home isn’t safe – like after major damage from a flood or fire – just while it’s being repaired.
Personal possessions cover
Standard home insurance won't cover possessions outside the home, you’ll need personal possessions insurance for this.
Home emergency cover
This’ll protect you against things like boiler breakdowns, electrical failure and blocked drains.
Legal expenses cover
Help for the costs of legal proceedings that involve your home e.g. personal injury claims and property disputes with neighbours.
Replacement locks and keys
Lost or stolen keys? Not to worry. This optional extra will cover the cost of replacing your home’s locks and keys, up to a certain value.
LOOKING FOR DIFFERENT COVER?
If you need something more specific than standard buildings and contents insurance, there are many other options available:
Standard home insurance won’t cover homes that you rent out, so you’ll need landlord insurance. This is because the risks of letting out your home are different to if you lived there yourself.
Rent your home? You can get cover specifically for this – it’s essentially contents insurance for tenants, so it protects the stuff you bring with you when you move.
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 to 12 months.
Holiday home insurance
Holiday home insurance covers the risks associated with renting your second home out and leaving it empty for long periods of time.
Reviews from our customers
Excellent price and good cover
Better, cheaper and more comprehensive than I had last year.
This product has given me full cover for for my home at half the renewal price of my previous cover with no loss of any benefits.
Great way to simplify the daunting task of comparing home insurance providers, and £250 free excess cover is a welcome bonus in these times of tight finances
Our awards and accreditations
We're chuffed to say we've gotten some snazzy recognition since we started in 2006. Here's a bit more about our awards and accreditations:
Being a Superbrand means dedication to quality, reliability, and distinction. Independently judged, this aware recognises trusted companies as providers of excellent service and customer care.
British Insurance Brokers Association
'But you're not an insurer?' you might say. And you'd be right. But our shared goal of doing right by customers is why we’re the only comparison site to be invited to join them.
Insurance Fraud Bureau
We work with the IFB to fight against fraud in the insurance industry. We use their specialist fraud intelligence and data to improve our systems and raise awareness of scams.
Frequently asked questions
Home insurance can be expensive, but there are ways you could reduce your premium:
- 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.
- Improve your home security - Get insurer-approved locks for your home, as well as smoke and burglar alarms.
- Make sure your sum insured is accurate - Overestimating the value of your contents and/or the rebuild cost of your home will increase the price of cover - but underestimating could leave you out-of-pocket if you needed to claim.
- Pay annually - If you can afford it, pay the total cost of your premium upfront. With monthly payments, you'll have to pay interest and sometimes a finance arrangement fee, so it'll be more expensive.
- Build your no-claims discount - For every year you don't make a claim, you'll likely reduce the cost of your premium.
Check out other tips for cheaper home insurance
Tenants' contents insurance could help protect your belongings while you’re renting – it's not compulsory though. You shouldn’t have to worry about buildings insurance as this is your landlord’s responsibility.
Some mortgage providers will insist upon you having building insurance before they’ll offer you a mortgage. Protection of your belongings is optional.
If your lender requires you to have home insurance as a condition of the mortgage, then you’ll usually need to have the policy in place on the day you exchange contracts – this is where you haven’t bought the property yet, but you’ve made a legal commitment to it.
You might also want to consider life insurance and income protection, just in case something happens which means you’d struggle to pay back your mortgage and other bills.
If you own your home outright, both buildings and contents insurance are optional.
If you need to make a claim on your policy, there are a few things you can do to support your claim. Here’s a rough idea of the process and what to do:
- Prevent further damage - Take steps to prevent further damage from occurring like turning your water off at the mains, and taping up broken windows. Unless your home needs urgent repairs, you’ll need to wait for your insurer to approve the work before it starts.
- Collect evidence - Take photos and videos as proof of damage. Your insurer may ask for them when you submit your claim. You’ll also want to keep things like police reports and receipts or estimates from contractors.
- Contact your insurer - Notify your insurer as soon as possible with details of when the event occurred and what damage was caused. If a crime has been committed, call the police first to get a crime reference number.
- Your insurer will review your claim - Your insurer will review your policy and the details you’ve provided. They may ask for more details or send a claims adjuster to assess the extent of the damage.
- Your insurer will settle your claim - Once your claim has been processed, your insurer should provide you with a settlement offer if the claim is valid. You may also be required to pay an excess charge.
Most home insurers will cover bicycles as standard, but not always.
Some insurers only cover theft or damage to your bicycle at home. If you want extra cover for your bike away from home, you'll need to extend your policy.
If you own an expensive bike, such as those used in races or competitions, you may want specialist bicycle insurance.
Yes, most policies will cover your mobile phone while it’s in your home. If you want your phone to be covered while you’re out and about, check whether the policy offers away from home cover.
If your phone is worth over the single article limit, you might have to list it separately on your contents policy or purchase a specialist mobile phone insurance policy.
Frozen and burst pipes cover varies enormously from policy to policy.
If you're unsure whether you have it, look for cover for 'escape of water' in your policy documents.
Check for 'trace and access cover' too, as this can be invaluable if you need to locate the source of a leak.
If you don’t let your insurer know you need help and miss payments, your policy can be cancelled. This would leave your home unprotected and it could lower your credit score.
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:
- Structural alterations to the layout of the property, such as building an extension
- Major structural renovations like rewiring or re-plumbing the property
- Loft, cellar, basement or integrated garage conversions
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.
You can find more information with our guide to home renovations and insurance.
Your home insurance excess is made up of two parts – the compulsory excess can’t be changed and is set by your insurer, but the voluntary excess is decided by you when you first take out the policy or renew it.
You might be able to change the voluntary excess mid-policy, but you’d have to ask your insurer to know for sure. There’ll likely be an admin fee, and the price of your insurance could change.
While it’s possible your home insurance will provide some cover, it may not offer adequate cover for all your business equipment and stock.
Either way, you should inform your home insurer if you work from home. You won't necessarily have to take out additional cover, but not telling them could invalidate a future claim.
You can, but it may be more difficult to find someone willing to insure you.
If your home is at high risk of flooding, the government's Flood Re scheme should be able to help you find affordable premiums.
Your home's likely to be eligible if:
- It was built before 2009
- It's in a council tax band
- It's used for residential purposes
- You or your family live in the home for some or all the time
Luckily there’s a policy for that – non-standard construction home insurance.
This type of policy can cover homes that have uncommon features, such as a thatched roof or prefabricated modules.
Yes, insurers will check it. However they do what’s called a ‘soft search’, which won’t affect your credit score.
Insurance for properties with subsidence history can be difficult to find, so you’ll likely need to go with a specialist provider. Most policies will cover loss and damage caused by subsidence, however, they might not cover the cost of preventing further subsidence from occurring.
You need to tell your insurers that you’re moving house and see if they can “port” your cover over to your new address – you might be charged a little extra if your new home and location differ a lot from your previous address.