Do I need home insurance?

Home insurance can reimburse you for the loss of your home and belongings if something out of the blue happens, like fire, theft, or accidental damage – so read this before you decide you don't need cover.

Eve Powell
Eve Powell
Updated 15 September 2021  | 3 min read

Is home insurance a legal requirement?

Home insurance isn’t compulsory, but it’s always a good idea to have some financial protection in place.

Think about whether you’d be able to replace your home and belongings if they were stolen or destroyed.

But what home insurance you need will depend on the type of home you have.

Key points

  • Home insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection should something unexpected happen, like fire, flooding or theft
  • You’ll need different types of cover depending on what type of home you have
  • Home insurance isn’t a legal requirement but most mortgage lenders will require you to have buildings insurance


If you have a mortgage, the lender will normally require you to have buildings insurance – they’ll usually ask you to have a policy that covers the outstanding mortgage amount.

If you own your property outright, you should still think about having buildings insurance. This can protect you against the cost of repairs or rebuilding following unexpected damage.

Taking out contents insurance is optional. But think about whether you could afford to set up your home from scratch again or replace lots of your possessions in one go if they were lost, damaged, or stolen.


When you own a leasehold flat, your freeholder will usually be responsible for buildings insurance for the whole building. If so, the cost is likely to be included as part of your service charges.

Occasionally, as a tenant, you might find that paying a share of the buildings insurance is a condition of the lease – so you should check to see whether cover is included.


When you’re renting a home, buildings insurance will be your landlord’s responsibility.

But if you want your belongings to be protected, you’ll need to take out your own contents insurance policy. This will cover any items you own in your home, like furniture, clothes, and electronic devices.


If you rent out your property to tenants you’re legally responsible for its condition. So, it’s a good idea to take out buildings insurance and it may also be a condition of your mortgage.

Standard home insurance isn’t suitable for rental properties, so instead, you’ll need a landlord insurance policy.

This home cover can also combine other types of insurance you might need as a landlord, such as rent guarantee insurance, cover for unoccupied property and liability insurance.


Students living in rented accommodation will only need contents insurance.

You’ll need to check your policy, but some home insurance policies will include covering your children's’ possessions as standard while they’re living in student accommodation.

If your home insurance doesn’t include this, your child might want to take out student insurance cover – a type of contents insurance specially designed for essential student items like laptops, clothing, books, smartphones and sports equipment.

Holiday home owners

If you own a holiday home you’ll need holiday home insurance, which can be for the building, contents, or both of these combined into one policy.

Because you won’t be living in your holiday home full-time, this type of insurance will cover you when your home is unoccupied.

If you let your holiday home out to paying guests you’ll need to take out holiday lets insurance to cover this.

How do I get home insurance?

As always with insurance, it’s best to compare quotes for buildings and contents from a number of different providers to find the right cover for your budget, needs, and circumstances.

We can help you find the best deal at the best price and compare quotes from the top UK insurers.

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