But many home insurance policies also offer an array of additional benefits – some of which you may not have realised you had, and others of which you may have simply forgotten about.

As a result, you could be forking out for cover you never make full use of, or worse, you could end up buying additional insurance and end up doubling up on cover.

Here, we take a look at 10 of the benefits that you may not realised formed part of your home insurance policy.

1. Accidental damage cover

Many contents insurance policies will include accidental damage cover as standard for items such as televisions, audio equipment, glass tables and mirrors. This could come in particularly handy if you have young children, or if you're a little accident-prone.

But some policies take this one step further, offering cover for damage to items such as sofas or carpets. So, if you spill red wine over your beautiful cream carpet, you can claim to have it professionally cleaned or replaced.

2. Replacement locks and keys

If you misplace your keys or they get stolen, many standard home insurance policies will include cover to install new locks.

3. Mobile phone cover

Some home insurance policies will include cover for your mobile phone, which means you won't have to shell out for separate mobile phone insurance.

However, this cover may only apply when your phone is at home. So check whether your policy also includes personal possessions cover, as if it does, your mobile will also be protected outside your home.

Not only that, personal possessions cover will also protect items such as iPads, cameras and jewellery, so you won't need to take out separate insurance for them. This means even if your home insurance policy doesn't offer this cover as standard, it can be worth paying a little extra to add it on.

Bear in mind though, there is usually a single item limit for personal possessions cover – typically around £1,500 – and items worth more than this must be listed separately on your policy.

4. Frozen food

Have you ever thought about how much it would cost you to replace all of the food in your freezer if you experienced a power cut and ended up with a soggy mess? Fortunately, many basic home insurance policies will offer cover for ruined freezer contents, so check whether yours does.

5. Garden cover

Your contents insurance policy could also stretch to items in the garden. Barbecues, ornaments, furniture and plants can be expensive to replace if you fall victim to theft, so it pays to check whether your policy includes cover for the garden, and up to how much.

6. Home emergency cover

Some home insurance policies include home emergency cover as standard, under which you'll be able to call for help if your boiler stops working for example, or a pipe bursts. If your policy doesn't include it as standard, you can pay to add it on.

7. Alternative accommodation

Another benefit of home insurance policies is alternative accommodation cover. This means if you were unable to stay in your home due to flooding for example, you can claim for staying in a hotel or bed and breakfast. Unsurprisingly however, there will be a cap on the amount you can claim for.

8. Increased cover at Christmas or weddings

Some standard home insurance policies will boost your contents cover for a month before and after special events such as a wedding or Christmas. This can prove invaluable at a time when your existing cover may not be sufficient to protect additional gifts and items in your home.

9. Legal cover

Your home insurance policy might also include legal expenses cover which will pay your legal fees if you had to go to court due to a boundary dispute with your neighbour, for example. It is also likely to cover you for personal injury disputes – for example, if someone injures themselves in your home and claims compensation.

10. Cover for items temporarily moved from your home

Some insurance policies also offer cover for items temporarily removed from your home. This could, for example, cover belongings your child has taken to university. Or it might include damage caused by removal companies when you're moving home.

The importance of home insurance

Home insurance policies vary between providers, and as a result, not all of the above options will be offered as standard on every policy (and even if they are, there may be some restrictions or exclusions). But it certainly pays to check your own insurance policy and find out exactly what you're paying for – after all, you could be pleasantly surprised to find out that you're covered for something you didn't know about and this could save you from unnecessarily paying for additional cover or to get something repaired or replaced.

Don't forget though, if you do make a claim you will have to pay an excess. You should therefore assess whether the excess is worth paying – after all, if you're claiming for new locks on your front door, you may find the cost of the excess is higher than the cost of replacing the locks yourself.

What's more, you would lose any no claims bonus and your premiums are likely to rise when you come to renew your home insurance policy. So think carefully before ploughing ahead with your claim.

You can compare home insurance policies from range of providers with our comparison service.
 
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct