Having the right insurance is vital for protecting your home and belongings but trying to find the best deal for your individual home can be difficult, that’s where we come in. We compare quotes from some of the UK’s leading providers to help you find the best home insurance policy for you.
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- How much is home insurance?
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Jump to section
- How much is home insurance?
- Useful links
What is home insurance?
Like motor insurance, the purpose of home insurance is to protect your home and belongings if the worst should happen. In the event of a flood or fire for example, having the right home insurance policy could mean that your provider pays to repair any damage done and replace your belongings.
Home insurance FAQs
What does home insurance cover?
Home insurance is a broad term that’s used to describe two different types of cover:
- Buildings insurance – this covers the cost of damage done to the structure and fixtures and fittings of your home such as windows, doors, bathroom suites and kitchen cupboards.
- Contents insurance – this covers the cost of any damage to your possessions such as furniture, electrical goods, clothes and books. The simplest way to think of ‘contents’ is that it includes anything you could take with you if you moved.
Insurance providers sometimes offer discounts if you buy combined buildings and contents cover, but you may choose to opt for separate policies with two different insurers – it’s entirely up to you.
Do I need home insurance?
Home insurance is not a legal requirement but if you have a mortgage, then your lender will usually require you to at least take out buildings insurance.
What types of home insurance policies are there?
All good standard policies should protect your home against fire, flood, storm damage, subsidence and theft. For even greater peace of mind, you can add on extra cover, for example, accidental damage insurance or new for old cover which replaces damaged items with brand new ones.
If your home is a listed building or it’s made with unusual building materials such as thatch, granite, timber or stone, a policy designed for ‘non-standard’ homes may be more suitable. These policies tend to be more expensive compared to those for ‘standard’ homes because they consider the age of the house and the specialist materials and labour needed to repair the property.
If you rent out a property, then it’s worth considering landlord insurance as these policies cover a range of scenarios that only apply to rentals – such as landlord liability, unoccupied property and loss of rent cover.
How much is home insurance in the UK?
When it comes to working out the cost of your policy, insurance providers take into account several different factors, such as:
- Rebuild cost – this is the most important element in determining the cost of buildings insurance but it’s not the same as your home’s market value – it is how much it would cost to build your home from scratch. Although this may seem drastic, fire can cause irreparable damage. If your home is listed or of non-standard construction, then it’s best to ask a surveyor to value your home, otherwise you can use the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) rebuild calculator to get an idea of cost.
- The value of your contents – to work out the amount of cover you would need to replace all your belongings, it’s wise to go through your home room by room. As well as the big things like furniture and white goods, don’t forget the little details that make a house your home including pictures, rugs, cushions and curtains.
- Your claim history – the more claims you make, the more your premiums are to rise, so it’s a good idea to think carefully before making any smaller claims.
- Location – your home’s location has an impact on the cost of insurance not only in terms of crime rates, but also if there’s a risk of subsidence or flood.
- Additional extras – if you’ve chosen to add on extra features, then this will increase the cost of your premium.
Do I have home insurance?
If you’ve forgotten who you’re insured with or don’t know if you have home insurance, then you could try contacting your mortgage lender (if you have one) as they may have the details of your provider.
Alternatively, you could check bank statements, direct debits or old emails. If you’ve used a comparison site like us at mustard.co.uk, then try retrieving previous quotes – while old quotes won’t tell you who you’re insured with, it might jog your memory.
How to change home insurance provider
Searching and switching your home insurance provider has never been easier. When your policy comes up for renewal, just use our home insurance comparison tool, answer a few questions about what it is you need and we’ll take it from there. We’ll search from a number of insurance providers so all you need to do is choose the quote you think best meets your needs.
If you’re looking for more guidance then you can speak to one of the helpful advisors who are on hand six days a week – just call 0330 022 8814.
Can I have two home insurance policies?
Technically, yes you can have two home insurance policies (for instance if you’d forgotten about a policy and ended up buying another) but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can claim for twice the amount of cover.
Insurance providers protect themselves from policy holders ‘doubling up’ by having what’s known as the ‘contribution clause’ – which means they’ll only pay out a limited amount of money and will work out how much excess you need to give each provider for the claim to proceed.
If you can, it’s always best to avoid duplicating insurance. Not only are you paying for something twice, but doubling up can also have a long-term impact on your insurance history because technically you’re making two claims, which is likely to bump up the cost of your next premium. The only exception is life insurance where you may have a number of policies that cover different situations – like repaying your mortgage or meeting funeral costs.
How long does it take to make a home insurance claim?
The short answer is that it depends on the circumstances of your claim. Minor claims can be settled in just a couple of days, while big claims that involve more detailed analysis of the situation can take years.
If you need to make a claim on your home insurance, the first thing you’ll need to do, is contact your provider – have your policy number handy and crime number if you’ve been burgled. Your insurer will take some details and let you know what to do next – in most cases you’ll need to fill in some forms and send them back to get the ball rolling. The more details you can provide – for example, photos of damage or of items that were stolen, the quicker your claim is likely to be resolved.
If the damage you’re claiming for is more serious (such as if a tree has fallen through the roof or you’ve been flooded) then your insurance provider is likely to send a loss adjustor to assess the damage in order to calculate the cost of repairs.
Is your mobile phone covered on home insurance?
Most home contents policies will cover your phone for the same insurable events as your other belongings – such as if it was damaged by flood or fire or if it was stolen from your home. If you want to protect your phone against other situations such as accidental damage, then you’ll need to ensure you have this as part of your plan.
Similarly, if you want to cover your phone while you’re out and about, you may need to consider an additional ‘personal possessions’ policy which will safeguard against damage, theft and sometimes even loss when you’re away from home.
One other factor to bear in mind, is the cost of your phone – if you have a particularly expensive, or customised model then check that your policy will compensate you with enough money to buy a replacement.
You’ll also need to consider whether making a claim for your mobile is worth paying the excess and be prepared for a rise in your next premium if you do claim.
Does home insurance cover my boiler?
Due to boiler breakdowns being so common, you’ll often find that insurers exclude it as standard from most insurance policies, instead offering it as an added extra or a stand-alone product. Every insurance policy is different though, so it is worth checking the specific details before you purchase to see if it is included or not.
What does excess mean in home insurance?
The excess is the amount of money you need to pay if you make a claim – there are two types of excess and you have to pay both:
- Compulsory excess which is an amount set by the insurer
- Voluntary excess which is an amount you agree to when you take out a policy
For example, if you made a claim for £1000 but your compulsory and voluntary excess added up to £200, your insurer would pay out £800.
Insurance providers should always make it clear what the compulsory excess is when you sign up to a policy and it’s wise to compare as some can be as little as £50.
With voluntary excess – the higher it is, the lower your premium is likely to be but don’t be tempted to set an unrealistically high excess in order to lower the overall cost of your policy because if you make a claim, you’ll need to pay it, in order to proceed.
What is home warranty insurance?
In the UK, a home warranty policy is also known as a building warranty – they typically only apply to new build homes and act as a promise that if anything goes wrong with your home, it will be put right by the builder.
Most building warranties last for ten years – the main provider of warranties is the National House Building Council (NHBC) who issue around 80% of them.
Building warranties are specific in what they cover so it’s best to familiarise yourself with your policy – typically you’ll have:
- Protection against the builder becoming insolvent – if you buy a new build before it’s built then your warranty will ensure you get your deposit back if the builder fails to construct your home.
- A defects insurance period – this usually applies to the first couple of years only and covers defects such as poor installation – such as leaking windows.
- A structural insurance period – this covers any fundamental problems with the structure such as with walls, foundations, chimney and roof.
Building warranties apply to the specific building they cover so if you move, the warranty is transferred to the new owner.
How do I find affordable home insurance that is right for me?
The right policy for you will be the one that meets your needs and your budget – which is why it’s really important to compare what’s on offer and when you do compare, it’s best not to assume that all providers have the same levels of cover, or service. What’s ‘included as standard’ with one provider may not be the same as another so double check the policy wording to avoid any nasty surprises further along the line.
Something else to be mindful of, is cost and while this is important – so too is value and a cheap home insurance quote may not give you all the protection you need (or want). Basic policies that start off competitively priced might actually end up more expensive once you’ve added on extra features like accidental damage cover, whereas some initially pricier plans may already include this as standard.
So, if you’re looking for quotes or your existing policy’s up for renewal, you can search for new policies right here – it’s simple and because you can compare multiple providers in one place – saving you time and hassle.
If you would like to get a quote over the phone, you can talk to one of the team on 0330 022 8814.