Home insurance falls into two categories – buildings and contents.
Usually the policies are combined if you own your own home. They insure your property against damage but also cover your belongings in the house under the same insurance policy.
If you’re a homeowner, or about to become one, then you must consider a buildings insurance policy. Although it’s not a legal requirement, some mortgage lenders may insist that you have at least a buildings insurance policy in place to cover the property.
Buildings cover insures your bricks and mortar against damage from specific events such as fire, flood and subsidence. The policy will normally cover:
- The building itself – which will including the roof
- outbuildings, such as a garage or shed
- any fitted fixtures, like a kitchen or bathroom
If you need to make a claim, there are several ways the insurer may pay out:
- Repair the damage caused to the property
- Replace the damaged part(s) of the property
- Pay out for the damage in the cash equivalent
It’s worth considering the level of cover you require as it’s partially based on the rebuild cost of your property. You can use a rebuild cost calculator from BCIS to give you a rough idea of the cost.
If you’re renting, your landlord is usually responsible for insuring the building itself, but not your belongings. Contents insurance is generally aimed towards renters
Contents insurance protects your belongings in the event they are lost or damaged by theft, fire or natural disasters such as flooding.
Insurers consider contents as the items you would take with you if you moved house (i.e. not the fixtures and fittings). Contents insurance generally covers:
- Your electronice devices (e.g. laptop, tablet, smartphone, TV)
- Your furniture (e.g. beds, wardrobes, sofas)
- Clothes and jewellery
- Valuable family heirlooms and antiques
Accidental damage cover is another extra worth considering as it covers unintentional one-off incidents that harm your property or its contents, such as putting your foot through the floor when you’re searching around in the loft or spilling wine on the carpet.