What home insurance do you really need?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of home insurance – but what is home insurance, and do you really need it? If you wouldn’t be able to afford to completely rebuild your house and replace all of your posessions if the worst should happen, you should probably consider getting insurance!

What are the two different types of home insurance?

There are two different types of home insurance that you can purchase:

  • Buildings Insurance: Buildings Insurance covers the structural elements of the property and its permanent fittings, such as the roof, walls and fitted kitchens and bathrooms. 
  • Contents Insurance: Contents Insurance covers the belongings that are typically kept inside your property. These policies usually cover items such as furniture, electricals and jewellery against events such as fire, floods and theft. To find out how much contents insurance you may need, please check out this contents calculator

You can also purchase Combined Insurance, which covers both the structural elements of your property, and the contents within it. Many people decide to go with a combined policy as it can be a more cost-effective and convenient way of insuring your belongings. 

Non-standard home insurance

There are certain factors that mean your home may not be covered through a regular insurance policy, which is where non-standard insurance comes in. There are multiple factors that can label your property as ‘non-standard’, but it essentially means that for one reason or another, you aren’t covered by standard property insurance policies.

You’ll need to check if your house has any of these factors, so it’s always a good idea to check the policy details before purchasing. Let’s delve deeper into some of the types of non-standard home insurance types:

Non-standard construction

If your home is not of ‘standard’ construction, you may need to take out a specialist insurance policy. Typically these types of properties will cost more to repair and the materials may be more difficult to get hold of. Examples of non-standard homes are:

  • Listed buildings
  • Houses with thatched roofs
  • Houses with flat roofs
  • Any property which is built using materials that aren’t brick, stone or concrete

Large or expensive homes

Often, standard home insurance policies won’t cover properties that have a re-building value of more than £1 million and/or have more than six bedrooms.

If you have an expensive home, you will probably need a higher level of contents insurance as well, to ensure that all of your possessions are protected. Some insurers do offer high net-worth home insurance, designed specifically to cover large homes and expensive contents.

Holiday homes and unoccupied properties

Most insurance companies don’t insure properties that will be left empty for more than 30 consecutive days, due to empty homes being more susceptible to break ins and damage.  

Likewise, holiday homes often need a specialist policy, due to periods of unoccupancy and the potential volume of tenants.

As part of a standard insurance application, you will be asked to declare your main and permanent home. This means you can not hold two policies for two residential homes unless you have a specialist or let property insurance policy.

Why should you get home insurance?

Having the correct policy in place can help to  protect you against paying huge costs if your property is damaged or if your belongings are stolen.

Buildings insurance often covers damage caused by flooding, subsidence, falling trees, fires, storms, vandalism and theft. Depending on the policy, it can also provide cover for an alternative accommodation if you are unable to live in your house following a situation that means you need to claim on your policy.

Contents insurance typically covers belongings in the home against events such as fire, floods and theft. You will also have options to cover your belongings against accidental damage and items that you can take outside of the home, such as mobile phones and bikes, so it is worth checking over the policy before taking one out.

Do you need home insurance?

Mortgage lenders insist that you take out buildings insurance as a condition of their mortgage offer. If you own your property outright, you don’t legally have to take out buildings insurance, although it is highly recommended that you do so. 

Contents insurance is not mandatory, but may be a useful addition to protect your personal belongings that you wouldn’t be able to afford to replace if they were damaged or stolen. 

Who is responsible for getting home insurance?

If you are a homeowner and your property is freehold, you are solely responsible for taking out your home insurance policies. However, if you are renting, or you own a leasehold property, it is typically the landlord/ freeholder who is responsible for purchasing buildings insurance.

Regardless of whether you rent or own your home, it is always your own responsibility to take out contents insurance if you decide you want it. If your rental property is furnished, your landlord is likely to have a policy in place to cover the furniture that belongs to them.

At Nest GI, our home insurance quotes are all provided through Defaqto 5 star rated insurers. Defaqto star ratings show the quality of the features and benefits offered by a financial product.

Contact us today to speak to one of our trained advisers and find a policy tailored to you and your property.

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