Whether you're a homeowner or a tenant living in rented accommodation, home insurance is essential to protect your home and the items within it.
There are two types of cover available – buildings insurance and contents insurance. So what is the difference?
Buildings insurance covers the structure – such as the walls of your home along with permanent fixtures within it, for example your bathroom suite.
It is not compulsory if you are a homeowner, however if you have a mortgage it is likely to be one of the conditions from your mortgage lender. If you are a tenant living in rented accommodation, your landlord will be responsible for buildings insurance.
Most good buildings insurance policies should protect your house if it is affected from events such as a fire or floods as well as covering damage caused by subsidence, falling trees and burst pipes.
Contents insurance covers everything within your house - so think of it as everything you would take with you if you were to move house, even down to clothes, linen and children's toys. You will have to provide the insurer with a figure of what you think your contents are worth and insure them for this amount, known as the 'sum insured'.
It is crucial that you don't underestimate your possessions – otherwise you could be left out of pocket as you would have to make up the difference were you to put in a claim. It might make your premium slightly higher, but in the event of a claim you'll be glad you had the right amount of cover.
It is therefore worth noting down the contents you have in every room. Then use either receipts or the internet to come up with how much approximately everything would cost. Using MoneySupermarket's contents calculator tool should help too.
While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest policy, be aware that this could be a false economy
It's particularly important to ensure your valuable items are adequately insured. Insurers tend to have an upper value limit for single items – typically £1,500. Anything worth less than that doesn't have to be listed individually. However, if you own anything worth more than the upper limit, perhaps a piece of jewellery or art, you will need to disclose it as a specified item.
There will be additional cover that you can opt to add on to your policy to give you extra protection, such as accidental damage and personal possessions cover. Personal possessions cover, protects your belongings away from the home, so if you lost your watch or camera while you were out, you would be able to claim on your contents cover.
How to get the best deal on your two bedroom home insurance
When looking for buildings and/or contents insurance for your two bedroom home, it's important to realise that all policies are different. They will all come with varying degrees of cover and offer different things, which is why it's important to shop around for a number of quotes to get the best deal.
While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest policy, be aware that this could be a false economy and you may end up having to shell out if you don't have comprehensive cover.
Here are some top tips for making sure you get the best deal.
- Consider buying your buildings and contents insurance from the same provider as this will often attract a discount.
- Opting for a higher excess can bring down the cost of your premium. Just make sure this is sensible and that you would be able to afford it if you had to put in a claim.
- Make sure your home is properly secured with a burglar alarm and approved locks. It can also help if you join a neighbourhood watch scheme
- Paying for your insurance annually rather than monthly will be cheaper. It also means you get it out of the way for the year.
- Use MoneySupermarket's home insurance channel to compare quotes from a number of providers.