Home insurance policy types

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There are a number of different types of home insurance so here's how to pick the right one for your needs.

woman in kitchen looking at laptop

Imagine how devastated you would be if your home was flooded or destroyed in a fire. Even with home insurance in place, the consequences of an event such as a fire can be horrendous. But leave your home unprotected and you could literally lose the roof over your head for good.

MoneySuperMarket can help you to find the right home insurance policy at the right price for you. This guide is designed to give you an understanding of the different types of policy available, so that you can make sure you choose the right cover to protect you and your home.

Buildings insurance

As the name suggests, buildings insurance covers the structure of your property against a range of unforeseen events including fires and flooding.

If you have a mortgage, buildings insurance is a requirement of the bank or building society which is lending to you. But even if you own your home outright, it would be foolhardy not to get covered with buildings insurance.

Contents insurance

However, while the bricks, mortar and fitted kitchens and bathrooms are covered by buildings insurance, you will need contents cover to protect your furniture and other belongings. This type of insurance is also more suitable for tenants, who do not need to worry about buildings cover because it is the landlord's responsibility.

While generally cheaper than rebuilding your home, the cost of replacing all your belongings after a burglary or a fire could still run into many thousands of pounds. Contents insurance gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your valuables, as well as essentials such as your clothes and kitchen appliances, are protected should disaster strike.

Be careful not to underestimate the value of the contents of your home, however. And remember to notify your insurer if you own anything particularly valuable, such as a rare antique, to make sure that sufficient cover is in place.
It is also worth considering extending the contents insurance cover to include your personal possessions when you are outside the home. This will mean paying a bit more, but could be a great help if your handbag or laptop is stolen.

Buildings & contents insurance

If you are a homeowner in need of both buildings insurance and contents insurance cover, a combined buildings and contents insurance policy can often work out cheaper than two separate ones.

It's a very good idea to compare buildings and contents insurance premiums to ensure you are getting the best deal, but it also makes sense to check the small print to ensure that policies you are considering provide adequate cover for both buildings and contents.

Tenants insurance

If you are a tenant in a rented property, you do not need to worry about buildings insurance. You should, however, consider taking out contents insurance to protect your belongings.

Your landlord's house insurance will not cover you if your computer is stolen or your television is damaged in a flood, for example, so the only way to ensure you do not lose out in those situations is to take out a tenants insurance policy.

As most insurers cover accidental damage to your landlord's contents as well as your own, a tenants insurance policy could also be useful if you stain the carpet or curtains.

Students insurance

Student houses are often packed with gadgets such as smartphones and computers, making them an attractive option for burglars.

Before heading to university, it is therefore a good idea to take out a contents insurance policy to cover you in your student accommodation.

Some insurers will add students to their parents' contents policy, but it can be cheaper to take out separate insurance – especially if you want to add personal possessions cover that protects your belongings outside the home.

If you are living with friends in shared accommodation, it is also worth remembering that you will each need your own student contents insurance policy.

Whatever type of home insurance policy you need, MoneySuperMarket can help you to find the best possible deal. Just visit our home insurance channel to compare buildings and contents insurance quotes from a wide range of insurers.

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