Home insurance FAQs

Your top home insurance questions answered

By Mehdi Punjwani on Monday 6 July 2020

We run through the commonly asked questions about home insurance and how you can get a quote easily at MoneySuperMarket.

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We answer all the questions you may have about taking out home insurance to ensure you can get the cover you need and understand the different types of policy.

Home insurance and MoneySuperMarket

What is home insurance?

Home insurance is an insurance policy that protects your property and belongings. You can buy buildings insurance and contents insurance separately, or you can buy the two together as a combined buildings and contents insurance policy.

Is home insurance compulsory?

Home insurance is not a legal requirement, however your mortgage lender will insist you have a buildings insurance policy as this covers the cost of a complete rebuild of your home if the worst was to happen.

Should I auto-renew my home insurance?

Insurers tend to offer their best deals to new customers only, so you should always shop around for a new quote each year to save money.

How can I save money on my home insurance?

There are ways to can reduce the cost of your home insurance – our money-saving tips will tell you how.

Buying a joint buildings and contents insurance policy is normally cheaper than buying the two separately, and shopping around for the cheapest home insurance quote on a site such as MoneySuperMarket will help you compare the right deal for you.

To get a cheaper deal, you could consider upping your home security, increasing your excess and paying annually rather than monthly for your home insurance.  It’s also worth building up your no claims bonus and insurers will usually offer a no claims discount if you’ve gone several years without a claim.

How do I contact MoneySuperMarket customer services?

To contact our customer services team, you can use the following telephone numbers:

  • Within the UK: 0333 123 1983
  • Outside the UK: +44 1244 976 301

Our lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5.30pm, UK time.

You can also send us an online message using our contact hub.

Why do I need to give you an email address and password?

When you look for home insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket, we automatically save your personal details and all your quotes in a dedicated account. You can easily change your personal details or come back later to view your quotes without having to retype all your information.

It’s important to us that your personal details are kept safe, and we don’t want anyone else accessing the information you give us without your consent. To protect your information, we secure it using your email address and a password. Whenever you come back, just enter your password so we know it’s you.

What do I do if I’ve forgotten my password?

Next to the login button on the MoneySuperMarket home page, there’s a link that says ‘Forgotten password?’ Click that link and you’ll be asked to enter your email address and receive a password reset link.

Why haven’t I got my password reset email?

Our password reset emails should arrive within a few seconds. If you can’t see yours, it’s possible that it’s been mistakenly sorted into your junk or spam folders. Mark the email from MoneySuperMarket as ‘Not junk’ or ‘Not Spam’ or ‘Safe,’ so next time you’ll get your emails as soon as you need them.

What do I do if I can’t find my address on the question form?

Double-check to make sure you’ve entered your address correctly. In the unlikely event that your postcode isn’t covered by our system, we sadly won’t be able to provide you a precise quote.

If you use a postcode close to your address, you can get an indicative quote. Just make sure the rest of the information concerning your home is accurate.

How long is my home insurance quote valid for on MoneySuperMarket?

Once you’ve given us a few details about yourself and your home we’ll come back with a list of quotes for your home insurance that will be valid there and then.

However, insurers change their pricing quickly, so should you want to retrieve your quotes later we can’t guarantee you will see the same prices. Some quotes on our site will be valid for days, while others update in ‘real time’ and may have changed if you come back to view them later.

It’s also worth knowing that going back through our questions and making any changes to your responses might also alter the prices you see.

 

 

Home insurance and cover

What does home insurance cover?

Home insurance protects your property’s structure and contents against loss, theft or damage caused by flooding, fire, storms, subsidence and escaped water. This means that, depending on the details of your policy, you’ll be able to claim repair or replacement costs for structural damage to your home, furnishing, fixtures, electrical goods and other items in your home, alongside the potential cost of rebuilding your property.

Does home insurance include accidental damage or home breakdowns?

Home emergency cover, which typically covers events such as a boiler breaking down, blocked drains or electrical failure, can be included in home insurance policies, sold as an extra feature, or sold separately. Check what you’re buying so you don’t duplicate cover.

Accidental damage isn’t always included, so it’s worth checking your policy. If not, most insurers will let you add this on for a small fee. Accidental damage can come in particularly handy if you have young children, but it does not often cover damage caused by pets.

Does home insurance cover gardens?

Standard buildings and contents insurance policy will generally include a certain amount of cover for garden items or the garden itself, such as patios, fences or sheds. It’s worth checking with your insurer about any caps on the amount of cover for your garden as this may be low, and if there are exclusions, such as if belongings are not securely in a shed or garage. Your garden may also not covered in the event of storm damage, as your building might be.

You can take out specialist garden insurance if you have expensive items in your garden and you would like to protect them.

What is an excess?

The excess payment on your home insurance policy is what you contribute towards a claim before your insurer covers the remaining cost. It is split into compulsory excess – which is set by the insurer and cannot be changed – and voluntary excess, which you can set.

A higher overall excess will typically mean cheaper premiums, but make sure you don’t set your voluntary excess too high as you will have to pay it if you make a claim.

Do I need to tell my insurer if I make changes to my property?

If you alter the structure of your home, such as getting an extension built, adding a conservatory, or buying an expensive item, you will need to inform your insurer.

I live in a high-risk flood area. Will this impact my home insurance?

If you’ve been flooded before or live in an area susceptible to flooding, you’ll pay more for home insurance. Flood Re, a joint scheme run by the government and the insurance industry, is helping to bring down the cost of insurance for homes in high-risk areas.

If you make a claim on your home insurance for flood damage, your insurer will pay out and Flood Re will reimburse the insurer to keep the costs of flood insurance manageable.

Do landlords or tenants need home insurance?

Tenants don’t need buildings insurance – that’s the landlord’s responsibility – but it’s a good idea for them to buy contents cover.

Landlords should buy landlord insurance for their properties as opposed to standard buildings or contents cover.

 

 

Buildings insurance

What does buildings insurance cover?

Buildings insurance is intended to protect your home's structure, including walls, the roof, fittings and fixtures, kitchen and bathroom units, and doors and windows.

It covers your home for damage by flood, fire, subsidence, extreme weather, theft and vandalism.

Do I have to get my buildings insurance through my mortgage provider?

Your mortgage lender will probably offer you cover but you don’t have to buy directly from them. You can often save money by shopping around for your home insurance.

I own a flat. Do I need buildings insurance?

The freeholder (the person or group of people) that own the building your flat is in is responsible for buildings insurance, so if you own the freehold or are part of a group that jointly own the building then you should take out the buildings.

If you are not the freeholder but the leaseholder, then you own a lease on your flat. In this case, the freeholder should arrange for buildings insurance but will likely split the cost between the owners of the individual flats.

How much do I need to insure my home for?

Your building needs to be insured for its total rebuild cost – how much it would cost to rebuild your home if it was totally destroyed.

It’s important you don’t overpay on your insurance by insuring for the rebuild cost rather than the market value of your property. The rebuild cost is usually lower as the market value as this will account for the local area as well as the property itself, such as proximity to public transport and schools, and the crime rate in the area.

If you have recently bought your home the rebuild cost will be on your mortgage valuation or survey. Alternatively, you can use the Building Cost Information Service rebuilding cost calculator, which you will also find on MoneySuperMarket.

 

 

Contents insurance FAQs

What does contents insurance cover?

Contents insurance covers any of your belongings inside your home (or garage or shed). Anything you could physically remove from your home should be counted under a contents policy, including carpets, curtains, white goods, light fittings and items of furniture. You should also look to cover clothing, jewellery and small electrical goods.

Gadgets or expensive contents such as laptops, phones or cameras can be covered by contents insurance, but they may need to be listed separately on your insurance policy. Check the ‘single item limit’ on your policy, which is the maximum amount an insurer will pay for any individual item. This is typically between £1,500 and £2,500, so if you own something worth more then you’ll need to name it separately.

How can I work out how much my contents are worth?

Visit each room in your house and write down everything you own and its approximate value. Don’t forget to include clothes and furniture, as well as expensive items such as gadgets, sports equipment and jewellery.

It’s important to be as accurate as possible with this as if you underestimate how much your contents are worth, you could receive a lower pay-out if you were to make a claim.

Will my contents insurance cover me if I take belongings out of my home?

In most cases you’ll need to add personal possessions cover to your policy for a fee to insure belongings outside of the home. This will help ensure that items you regularly carry with you, such as your mobile phone or MP3 player, are covered, but not if you have been negligent with your belongings.

Are my home contents covered while I’m on holiday?

It depends how long you’re away for. Most policies cover unoccupied properties up to a maximum of 30 days, although a handful of providers will offer cover for longer.

If you’re taking valuable items away with you check to see whether your home insurance policy will cover them and how long for.

 

 

Get your next home insurance quote

Finding the right home insurance policy for you is easy at MoneySuperMarket. Use our site to tell us a few details about yourself and your property and you’ll be able to quickly compare the cheapest quotes to suit your needs.

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