Best Home Insurance Policies

When it comes to your home, you’ll want to make sure you have the right insurance to feel secure. Having building and contents insurance in place gives peace of mind that you'll be covered financially if something unexpected happens. Building insurance covers you for any structural issues that may occur to the property, while contents insurance can cover a range of risks that could happen to your possessions inside the home.

If you’re a new homeowner, it’s good to know what to look for in a home insurance policy. Home insurance is put in place to protect you from financial loss if an accident happens within the home. It can help you to replace possessions that might be damaged or, as well as repairs needed due to occurrences such as flood or subsidence

Minimum requirements depending on circumstance?

Before you commit to home insurance it’s important you understand exactly what’s included and what’s required from you. Here’s some of the minimum requirements for home insurance depending on your living circumstances.

  • New owner: if you’re a new owner, in most cases, you’ll need buildings insurance to successfully get a mortgage. However, you can still benefit from having a combined or separate contents policy. Many home owners will have their buildings insurance with their mortgage provider, however this is not a requirement. Home owners can choose who they wish to insure their property.
  • If you rent: if you’re renting a property you do not own the building, so you won’t need buildings insurance in most cases. You may still choose to take out contents insurance to protect your belongings in case of accidents.
  • Property owner: if you own the property outright, you can still benefit from building and contents insurance.
  • If you work from home: you’d benefit from a contents policy that includes home working, as this will cover you for the loss or damage of business and electrical equipment when it’s in the home or if you’re working on the move. You may also benefit from public liability insurance. It is common for policies to offer cover for those that do clerical work from home with a limit to the amount of cover for business equipment. Most home insurance policies will not cover business use from home if there is use of hot tools such as paint strippers, or if there are visitors to the home in relation to the business.
  • New landlords: if you’ve moved out and are leasing out your old property, you need to let your insurance provider know. Your existing policy would be invalid as you’re no longer living there. You’ll need to upgrade your policy to include extras such as public liability and loss of rent.
  • Parent of a student: if your child is a student and has moved out temporarily to university, for example, their belongings may be automatically covered for theft or damage under most personal possession policies

What can home contents insurance cover?

Most home insurance policies will have a standard set of risks attached to your policy, but with most providers, you’ll be able to extend your policy to include certain extra risks. The minimum requirements for a policy will depend from provider to provider. Here’s a list of the most common inclusions and extras you should be aware of:

  • Personal liability: this will cover any legal costs (up to the insured limit) that you may have to pay in the event of a claim made against you from someone injuring themselves in your home, either directly or indirectly.
  • Total cost of valuables: cover for any items of value which have been destroyed or damaged, resulting in you making a claim.
  • Cash or cheques kept in the home: you’ll be covered for cash (up to the insured limit) that you keep at home that’s stolen or damaged.
  • Food spoils: cover for the contents of your freezer or fridge if it fails or breaks down.
  • Theft from sheds or garage: covers the costs of theft (up to the insured limit) from your outbuildings, including the garage.
  • Accidental damage: accidents happen, so it’s good to look for a policy that can cover the repair or replacement of your contents. A spilled glass of red wine can ruin a carpet!
  • Sum insured protection: provides inflation protection on contents, so the value is never underestimated.
  • If contents are damaged, your insurer can choose to: replace the item as new; pay you the cost to replace as new; or repair or pay the cost of repair. Insurers often have their own supply network for electrical goods so the cost for the insurer to replace a damaged item is often less than the high street retail cost. If you decide not to have the item replaced, your insurer may only pay out to the cost to them of replacing as new.
  • Personal possessions: this covers you for damage or loss (up to the insured limit) for personal contents that happens out of the home. You could, for example, get a mobile phone included on this.
  • Repairs: You could guarantee repairs on your contents if they break down or become faulty.
  • Emergency call out service: sometimes you’ll need help fast. A call out service or helpline can help you.
  • Legal expenses: if you need to fund legal costs that may arise for things like employment disputes, property or injury claims, this additional cover can be beneficial if added to your policy.
  • Loss of keys: this applies if you were to lose your keys or if they were stolen. This covers you for the cost of replacing the locks.

It’s worth noting that many of these covers listed above will have different limits of cover to the overall contents sum insured requested by the customer. For example, personal liability could range from £5m to £20m, food spoils may only be £200.

What to look for in home insurance in a rented property

If you’re a tenant and want to know what to look for when buying home insurance, read on. You may be unaware that you even need home insurance when you’re renting, but it can be extremely beneficial. If an accident happens that damages your property, such as a flood or fire, it’s still your responsibility to protect your personal contents.

It can be a good idea to look for a policy that includes tenants’ liability, as well as the basic contents. This will cover you for legal costs (up to the insured limit) that you may be responsible for funding. This includes any loss or damage to any fixtures and fittings that are owned by the landlord.

Things to remember

When applying for building and contents insurance, you’ll want to be as accurate as possible when assessing how much cover you’ll need for your contents. You’ll need to add up the price of all your items, including the little things such as crockery and clothes and insure your possessions for the final amount. If you insure your valuables for £10,000 but the actual worth is £20,000, only 50% of your overall contents is protected, which means the amount you would receive in the event of a claim may be cut in half.

When thinking about building insurance you’ll need to calculate the rebuild value, not the market value of your property. If your home becomes uninhabitable and it needs to be rebuilt, you want to make sure you’re fully covered.

Compulsory excess totals will differ by provider. However, you may be able to tweak your voluntary excess in return for a lower premium. Increasing the amount you’ll pay towards a claim should only be done if you can afford the repayment.


Our RAC Home Insurance provides peace of mind with extensive cover that protects your home and all the contents within it. Click here to get a quote today

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