What is building insurance?
This is cover against what it would cost to repair damage to the structure of your property, including the roof, foundations and walls. This also includes damage to permanent fittings, such as your bath and your fitted kitchen appliances.
What is contents insurance?
If your personal possessions were damaged or stolen, your contents cover would pay for them to be replaced. This includes everything from your carpets to your mobile phone. Many policies also offer extra levels of cover, such as accidental damage and damage that occurs outside your home.
Do I need both?
To get a mortgage, you’ll need buildings cover as a condition of acceptance. If you’re a tenant, it is your landlord’s responsibility to have this in place.
Contents cover is optional, and many people don’t have it for one reason or another. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea cover your contents as well as your bricks and mortar. In fact, at Evolve FS, we always ask our clients how much would it cost to replace all their possessions if a fire damaged their home? Often, when they do the maths, they’re surprised at the figures involved. According to research, the average total value of possessions for a family of four is £25,000.
Losing your possessions is daunting enough, but paying to replace everything is not something most people could easily afford.
It’s also worth noting that many policies offer personal protection cover as an extra on content policies. This means your items are covered by your policy, even if something happens to them outside your house. And with some providers, even while you’re overseas. For people who use their bike a lot, or who tend to use their laptop or mobile devices away from home on a regular basis, contents insurance could be a vital safety net.
So no, you don’t need both. But most people would benefit by having both types of insurance in place.
Is it cheaper to get buildings and contents insurance together?
Yes, most providers will offer a discount for getting both types of home insurance at the same time.
What don’t these policies cover?
General wear and tear on a property isn’t covered. So when your roof, for example, reaches the end of its natural life, you will have to pay to have it replaced.
Most insurance providers will not let you claim against leaking gutters, pest issues such as wasps or birds, and storm damage to gates and fences.
For contents insurance, claims arising from bad DIY, or wilful damage, aren’t usually accepted. And if you have high value items, such as paintings or antiques, your provider may decline to include them on your policy, and you may need to take out additional specialist cover.
I want buildings and contents insurance, but how can I reduce the cost of my premiums?
Aside from not going with the first company your mortgage provider recommends, there are a few things you can do to lower your premiums:
- Increase your excess. The higher excess you choose to pay on any claims, the lower your premium will be.
- Pay annually. Monthly costs might be more manageable, but if you can budget to pay in full for the year, it almost always works out cheaper.
- Fit a burglar alarm. Insurers will ask if you have one installed, and many offer a discount to those that do. Some also offer discounts to those who are members of a neighbourhood watch scheme.
Where can I find the best deal on home insurance?
It starts by getting in touch with the friendly team at Evolve FS. Whether you need home insurance for your new property, looking for contents cover for your rented home, or you simply want to find a better level of cover at a lower price than your current provider offers, we can help. We will take the time to understand your needs, and then trawl the whole market to find you a great deal.
For a fee-free consultation with one of our financial experts, get in touch now.