Whether you are a home owner or a tenant, insurance is essential if you value your house and the possessions in it. The cost of repairing accidental damage to the structure of your four-bedroom home or replacing your personal possessions can be prohibitive if you don't have the right kind of cover.
The higher the value, the higher your insurance payments will be
There are two types insurance which fall under the category of home insurance.
Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing or even rebuilding the structure of the house. This includes the walls and the roof as well as the permanent fixtures such as the bathroom suite and the kitchen units.
This insurance is usually taken out by homeowners, although it is not always compulsory. However, if your home is mortgaged then your lender will insist on it to ensure they can cover their losses should the building be badly damaged. The damage you are covered for must have been caused by an event which was beyond your control, such as extreme weather conditions, fire or subsidence.
Contents insurance covers all your personal belongings in your house, from your furniture to electrical appliances, clothes, jewellery and even children's toys. Contents insurance covers you for flooding and fire but also for vandalism and theft.
It is possible to cover against accidental damage, but this is not usually included as standard. Similarly, if you include personal-possessions cover in your contents insurance you will also be protected against accidental loss when you are away from home, which can be very worthwhile.
Unlike buildings insurance, which has a clearly defined level of cover, contents insurance involves providing your insurer with the estimated value of your possessions. The higher the value, the higher your insurance payments will be. Make sure that you don't underestimate the value of your items.
The best way to assess how much your possessions are worth is to make a list of all the items in every room of your house and their cost (you may have receipts to prove their actual value or you could research it online). After you have done this, you could take digital photographs of the contents of your home.
Some of your belongings are more valuable than others and most insurance policies will allow you to claim up to £1500 for a single item. But if you have items which are higher in value, such as a piece of jewellery or a piece of furniture, then these need to be listed individually.
If you acquire any more high-value items make sure to let your insurer know and update your policy accordingly or they won't be covered.
Before you sign
When taking out home insurance for your four-bedroom home, read all the terms and conditions to understand what you are covered for and also what you are not.
Different companies will offer varying levels of cover and sometimes getting a great price does not mean you are getting a good deal.