First time buyer guide

 

Home Insurance

Whether you’ve just bought a small flat or a big house, storms, fires and the like might happen. If your property is damaged because something unexpected takes place, it’s going to need fixing. And that’s why having buildings insurance when you become a homeowner is a condition of most mortgages. 
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What Is Home Insurance?

It’s a type of insurance product that covers your property and belongings should anything go wrong. There are two different types of home insurance:

  • Buildings Insurance: it covers the structure of your property (windows, walls, roof) and the permanent fixtures and fittings (bathroom, kitchen). In general, this type of insurance will cover the costs of repairing your property.
  • Contents Insurance: it covers the things you keep inside your home (furniture, TV, etc) and your personal belongings if they’re stolen, destroyed or damaged. This type of insurance commonly covers damage or loss to the things inside your property which are not part of its structure.

Homeowners often combine both types of insurance.

Do I Need Home Insurance?

Although it’s not compulsory, owning a property and not having it insured could put your house and your mortgage at risk. So if you’re buying a house you should have a policy to cover possible damage.

Since most mortgages usually include home insurance as a condition, it’s really worth shopping  around for a competitive deal, getting the level of cover you need right and making sure you understand and agree with the terms and conditions of your policy. Should you need to make a claim, being caught out wouldn’t be pleasant.

How Can I Choose a Home Insurance Policy?

Once you decide to start looking around for a good insurance deal, bear in mind that the price isn’t the only thing to pay attention to: the type and level of cover are just as important. Comparing the levels of cover and checking the exclusions in your policy will help you ensure you’re getting just what you need and won’t be paying for extras you don’t.

Where Can I Get a Home Insurance Quote?

You have several options when shopping around for house insurance:

  • Insurance companies: you can check directly with these type of companies, especially those that are not on any comparison sites, to make sure you get the best deal.
  • Your mortgage provider: even though your mortgage provider will offer you buildings and contents insurance when you sign your mortgage, you should really look around and compare different policies.
  • Insurance brokers: brokers are always a great option because they can do the shopping around for you and find a policy that really suits your needs.
  • Comparison sites: this is a popular option, but be careful as not all insurers are on comparison sites.
  • Banks, retailers, card providers.

How Much Will Home Insurance Cost?

A typical combined buildings and contents policy costs around £125 per year. The good news is that you can actually do a few things to reduce your premium:

  • Install burglar and smoke alarms: it could get you a discount on your premium
  • Get buildings and contents insurance together from the same provider and get a discount
  • Pay yearly: paying monthly usually means that you’ll be charged extra on your premium
  • Increase security: having approved locks on your windows and outside doors as well as security lighting could get you a reduction.

Now that you have a better understanding of how home insurance works, when you start shopping around make sure you get several quotes and spend some time reading the policies in detail. Comparing a number of quotes and their level of cover will help you take out the policy that’s right for you.