Buildings and contents insurance is a crucial consideration. You need to tell your insurer (or insurers if you have policies with separate firms) about your move well in advance so they can transfer the cover to the new address.
Remember that you take legal responsibility for the new property from the moment you exchange the contracts to purchase (the ‘date of acceptance’ in Scotland). So don’t make the common mistake of assuming it’s the day of completion, otherwise the bricks and mortar at your new residence could be uninsured for days or even weeks.
Your policy document or the insurer’s website should give you a helpline number to call. Have your new address details to hand, including the postcode. Most policies will cover your old property until you exchange with the purchaser, and the new one from when you exchange with the seller.
Check that there is protection for both locations in case there is any overlap in the dates – this should be allowed for in your buildings insurance policy.
If you’re taking out insurance for the first time, you can find the best deals on our home insurance channel.
When insuring your new bricks and mortar, remember to provide the insurer with the rebuild cost as the basis for the sum insured. This may be significantly different from the purchase price.
If you are moving to a location where house prices are higher than the national average, the rebuild value is likely to be lower. Conversely, if house prices are low where you’re moving to, the rebuild cost might be higher.
You’ll find the figure in your mortgage lender’s valuation or your survey document. You can also check the rebuild value via the website of the Association of British Insurers.
Remember, buildings insurance is usually a condition of having a mortgage.
Contents on the move
Some contents policies will provide cover for your belongings against damage or loss while they are in transit from one property to the next, but they will usually stipulate that you use a professional removals firm. Also, they’ll require that any delicate and breakable items be packed by a professional firm.
Your removals company might also offer ‘goods in transit’ insurance for your belongings while they’re on the move. If you have any items or collections of particular value, make sure you tell the removals firm so that they can pack and transport them appropriately.
If you have to put items into storage, you might get cover under your contents policy, and there could be an element of protection from the storage provider. Again, it is important to check so you know you’ve got protection. Your contents policy will only provide storage cover for a limited time (two or three days) so you’ll need additional cover if you’re in limbo for longer. Check out our moving insurance page to find out more about insuring your contents during a house move.
Next time you renew
It makes sense to get fresh quotations for your home insurance every time you renew, and this is particularly important after you’ve moved as insurers have different prices for different postcodes. So don’t automatically renew with the existing firm without checking through our quotation service.
You could even run a quote if you are part-way through your existing policy to see if there is a substantially cheaper offer on the market. If you’ve never combined your buildings and contents policies with one insurer and arranged cover online, this could well be the case. But you’ll be charged a cancellation fee to get out of your present policy early (perhaps up to £50), so that could affect the decision.
When you move into your new home, check that it has adequate security in terms of door and window locks and an alarm. These could be conditions of your contents insurance, so you might need to ensure the appropriate BSI specifications are met.
Sort your paperwork
In addition to sorting out your insurance, make sure you inform other suppliers and agencies about your change of address. The main ones include:
-Bank and/or building society
-Credit card provider
-Council (for council tax purposes)
-Landline, broadband and mobile telephone service providers
-Water, gas and electricity (so you can sort out bills – and don’t forget to take meter readings).
While utilities are at the front of your mind, check whether you can save money by switching energy provider. It only takes five minutes to check whether you can save by moving to a cheap online tariff, and you can find the best deals and start the switching process by using MoneySupermarket.com's price comparison tool.
Redirect your post
Sign up for a redirection service with Royal Mail a couple of weeks before you move, and keep it running for at least 12 months so that you’ll receive any annual renewal notices.
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.