If you own a home then you need home insurance. Your basic choices are as follows:
1. Buildings Insurance – you would take this if for example you were insuring an empty property.
2. Buildings and Contents Insurance – this is by far the most common and does what it says on the tin. It insures your building and your contents.
3. Contents Insurance – sometimes you will only need contents insurance when for example; you like in a block of flats and the building is insured by the freehold company.
There are many reasons why you may need house insurance. Here are some of them:
- Repairs - the cost of repairs due to natural and unnatural causes could hit the sky highline. This could be avoided with house insurance.
- Burglaries - the cost of your possessions is worth more than you will be paying for your home insurance.
- Hazards - in cases of fire, floods and other hazards when you might be left without a home, house insurance will help you with the costs.
Go with a reputable company and make sure the building cover is well over the actual value of your property.
Watch out for policy excesses especially on small damaged content claims.
What items are/are excluded from accidental damage?
Are things like your bikes in the shed included?
Is there enough cover for my jewellery/watches? – both single item and in total.
If your house is unoccupied for 30 or more days in one year, this could invalidate your policy.
Make sure that you always read the small print so that you are aware of all the clauses.
• Look for companies that offer you a bonus if you have not made a claim in the last five years.
• Look for companies that offer an online discount
• Look for companies offering you a number of months for free (e.g. first 3 or 6 months free – it's a great deal)
• Look for new for old replacement of contents.
• Comparison websites are great and you should use them, but some companies like Direct Line are not on comparison sites and others such as Churchill offer a 20% discount when you buy online.
• An undervalued aspect is also a UK based call centre. Should you make a claim it often takes time to go through all the details. Here you will find a company with a UK based staff a big help and make the whole thing a lot less stressful.
• Are locks and replacement keys covered?
• In the worst case scenario are you covered for emergency accommodation?
Home insurance companies rely on your inertia, premiums creep up over the years and they will make a lot of money from you. Every couple of years you have to get into the habit of shopping around for the best deal. The good news is that better and better websites from the home insurance companies make getting a quote much quicker and easier than it was only a year or two ago.
You may want to read about: Emergency Home Insurance.