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A Complete Guide to Buying Home Insurance

We all love our homes. Whether you have a small or large property, you own or you rent, it’s essential that your home and your contents are insured. Worryingly a large percentage of homeowners in the UK don’t have a home insurance policy in place, leaving them open to a much greater risk and expenditure in the long run.

When buying a home or moving into a home you must ask yourself, what if my home and contents were ruined by a flood or what if there was a fire? Would I be able to pay for the repairs and to replace my property? It’s not just damage you need to worry about, if you were the victim of burglary would you be able to cover the losses financially? More often than not, the answer would be no meaning that having the correct home insurance policy is vital in safeguarding you financially.

There are two types of home insurance currently on the market. Buildings insurance, which covers damage to the fabric of your property, including fixtures and fittings and contents insurance which covers your belongings. All insurers offer these separately or together.

Comparing home insurance providers

When comparing insurance providers, it’s essential to consider more than just the price. At Compare by Review, we understand that cheap home insurance isn’t necessarily the best home insurance.  That’s why we rank home insurance providers exclusively on customer experience and product quality, to ensure you can purchase a high-quality insurance product from a company that cares.

Top three home insurance providers

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Ranked 1 of 10

Home Insurance providers

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AXA

Ranked 2 of 10

Home Insurance providers

AXA

Admiral

Ranked 3 of 10

Home Insurance providers

Admiral

Is home insurance compulsory?

Whilst it’s not a legal requirement to have buildings and contents insurance, it does give you peace of mind that your property and belongings are protected if the worst were to happen. If you’re in the process of buying a home or you have a mortgage, your mortgage provider may insist that you have buildings insurance in place for the duration of your mortgage length.

Valuing your buildings insurance

In the event of damage to your home, your policy should cover the rebuild or repair costs. You must bear in mind that the rebuild cost is often cheaper than the current market value of your property if a total rebuild was needed. It’s recommended to review the rebuild cost of your home to make sure the figure is up to date, especially if you extend or renovate your home. You should always make sure that you work out an accurate rebuild cost. If the valuation is too high you may end up paying more for cover that you don’t need. In the same instance, if your valuation is too low you could be left paying the shortfall. Some insurers offer an ‘unlimited cover’, which will pay out whatever the cost. Be warned that this cover can work out more expensive. It’s often a good idea to check and value your property accurately to make sure you don’t pay for wasted cover.

Valuing your contents insurance

The contents of your home are just as important as the structure. You should cover your property against loss or damage caused by theft, fire, storms, flooding or water leakage as well as natural disasters. It’s imperative that the value of your contents is accurate. On average most families underestimate the value of their contents which, in the event of a claim, can leave them out of pocket.

Ideally, you should walk through your home and make an inventory of all possessions such as furniture, carpets and curtains and contents including laptops, phones, jewellery etc. The cost can mount up so it’s also advisable to keep proof of purchase and receipts to make things as simple as possible if you need to make a claim. It’s essential to advise your insurer of any valuable items and any new large purchases to make sure that your policy covers for all items. If you don’t give all the correct and relevant information it may mean that your insurer refuses to pay out in the event of a claim.

Like all insurance policies, it’s important to read through the policy terms and conditions and look out for clauses such as limits paid out for single items. This can trip some people up who look to cover expensive jewellery or specific equipment such as a camera.

Read: How to Accurately Value Your Home Contents

Common exclusions

There are some occasions where insurance providers won’t pay out. These include damage due to wear and tear or acts of war or terrorism. In some instances, if your home is unoccupied for more than 30 days it could invalidate your policy. Some people can fall foul of their policy, especially if it doesn’t cover the worth of the property or the contents. It’s essential to be honest and give all information to your provider to make sure you have ample and accurate cover.

Home insurance guides