Use our guide to figure out the cost of home insurance and work out how much you need
When you take out home insurance you will need to know the value of both your property and your possessions to decide what degree of buildings and contents insurance you require.
Do I need to know what my home and contents are worth?
When you take out buildings insurance your insurer will want to know how much it will cost to rebuild your home should it be destroyed by fire or another disaster.
Your contents insurance provider will also need to know the value of everything in your home such as furniture and possessions.
It’s important to give your home insurance provider accurate figures for both these values so you are not under-insured.
How do I know how much home insurance I need?
Buildings insurance is compulsory if you have a mortgage. Your buildings insurance company will need to know the rebuild value of your house, as opposed to its market value.
You can calculate this by going to the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) and entering your property details into its house insurance calculator.
As well as covering the structure of the property, buildings insurance also covers permanent fixtures and fittings such as bathrooms and fitted kitchens.
Contents insurance isn’t compulsory but is a good idea if you wouldn’t be able to afford to replace your possessions if they were stolen or destroyed in a fire.
How to calculate the value of your belongings
To calculate the value of your contents go from room to room and make a list of what you own and how much it’s worth.
Don’t forget things like clothes, jewelry and furniture as well as items you regularly carry with you such as mobile phones and mp3 players. Also think about music and other files stored on your computer – you can insure these too.
Include items that were presents as well as kitchen equipment, curtains, and equipment stored in a shed or garage. Some home insurers will insist that items over a certain value – typically £1,500 – are listed separately.
If you live in a student or shared house you can buy home insurance specifically for the items you own as opposed to your flatmates.
How can I save on my buildings and contents insurance?
Now that you know how much home insurance cover you need, you should make sure that you’re getting the best price for your policy.
You can save money on both your buildings and contents insurance premiums by shopping around for the best deal
- Remember you only need buildings insurance if you own the property – if you’re renting it will be the landlord’s responsibility
- A combined buildings and contents insurance policy can be cheaper than separate policies
- If you home is secure you’ll benefit from cheaper home insurance premiums – make sure you have decent locks and consider installing a burglar alarm