It’s the home you love, so of course you want to protect it and everything inside it. One of the best ways of doing this is with a good home insurance policy. Your home insurance falls into two categories: buildings and contents cover.
If you are the owner of a property, your mortgage lender will generally insist on having buildings insurance in place that would at least cover the cost of rebuilding your home. If you rent, structural issues are the landlord’s problem, but your belongings are your own responsibility. You probably own thousands of pounds’ worth of property without realising it. So while contents insurance isn’t compulsory for anyone, it’s certainly advisable.
Once you’ve decided what kind of insurance you need, you’ll probably have other questions. Here are some of the more commonly asked ones:
Am I obliged to get my buildings insurance through my mortgage provider?
You’re only obliged if this is a particular requirement of your mortgage contract. Otherwise, you’re not. In fact, you may well save money if you shop around for the best buildings insurance deal.
I’m a student in shared accommodation – what’s the best option?
If you live in halls of residence or a shared house or flat, although you won’t be covered by standard policies, there are specialist options available which are tailored to suit this situation. Your parents’ policy may cover some belongings in some circumstances, but there are restrictions.
Is it worth considering a joint home insurance policy?
If home insurance cover has joint policyholders, it means the other person can make a claim, so both of you can communicate with your insurer if you need to. In some circumstances, you may even find that this helps to bring your premium down.
What may not be covered by my buildings insurance?
Home insurance doesn’t typically cover things like wear and tear. Standard cover protects you from things like fires, theft, floods or storm damage. Other types of accidental damage which are not specifically outlined in the buildings section of your policy would only be covered if you have added an accidental damage option to your policy. But there are always some exclusions with every policy, so you should always study the documents with care and understand exactly what you are covered for. Damage caused by household pets, for example, isn’t included in most policies – you will need to take out separate protection.
Does having an alarm fitted mean a discount on my premium?
Yes, it may well do, if you have a National Approval Council for Security Systems (NACOSS ) approved alarm fitted and you maintain it well.
Can I get cover for emergencies like a boiler breaking down?
In many cases you may need to add optional home emergency cover (at an extra cost) to cover emergencies like a boiler breaking down, electrics failing or water pipes bursting. As with all insurance, check your policy’s small print carefully and see what exactly you are covered for – don’t leave it until the worst happens