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Home insurance, also called house insurance, is a type of insurance used to protect your home. There are two types of home insurance:
Home buildings insurance - covers the structure and potential rebuild of your property.
Home contents insurance - insures your furniture, fixtures and fittings and belongings inside your house or flat.
Combined home and content insurance
You can buy building insurance and home contents insurance separately.
You can also buy them together in a single home insurance policy to protect your house. This is often called ‘home and contents’ insurance, buildings and contents insurance, or home and building insurance.
As long as your premium is paid on time each month your home will be covered for insurance risks such as fire, flood, subsidence, theft and other emergencies.
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It's a good idea to protect your home and the items within it, with a home insurance policy. The cost of rebuilding your home after a fire or flood would be more than most people could afford.
Most people underestimate the value of their belongings, and the potential cost to buy everything new again, if they're stolen or damaged.
It's important to shop around for the best quotes. The cheapest home and contents insurance may not be the best cover for you.
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Buildings insurance cover protects the structure of your home and provides insurance against fire, flood, subsidence and the cost of rebuilding. It only covers the bricks and mortar of your home, not the contents.
You don't need to calculate the cost of rebuilding your home – your insurer will be able to do that for you
You only need buildings insurance cover if you own the property, not if you rent it or are a tenant
Buildings insurance is usually required if you have a mortgage. Your buildings insurance company will calculate the rebuild value of your house, as opposed to its market value.
Different insurers will offer different prices for home insurance cover
If you have a standard-built home with no particular risk factors (such as being near a river or being affected by subsidence) then you will find a variety of different quotes from home insurance providers.
If you have more specialist needs – for example if your home is thatched, an unusual construction, is at risk of flood, or is large with a lot of rooms and value items, then you may need to find a specialist insurer to cover your property.
Contents insurance cover protects your possessions within the home, and also in garages and outbuildings if you choose to include these within the scope of the policy.
Contents insurance is not compulsory, but is a good idea as the cost of replacing your possessions if they were stolen or destroyed in a fire could be very high.
Some insurers provide a checklist so you can go through your possessions and estimate or check their value.
Keep receipts for high value items as you will need evidence of the amount you paid for them if you need to make a home insurance claim in the future.
Shop around for the best deals. Work out which is the best home insurance for you, not just the lowest monthly premium.
If you need to make a home insurance claim you may have to pay a small amount, known as the excess. The bigger your excess, the lower your premium is likely to be.
Fit good quality locks to windows and doors: Improve your security to make a break-in less likely, you will be seen as a lower risk in the eyes of the insurance company.
Sometimes getting home contents and buildings insurance together can work out cheaper.
You're likely to be offered a lower premium if you have not made previous claims. If you have a larger excess, it's also probably not worth making a lot of smaller claims.
Home insurance will cover you if something happens to your home or its contents. Read our guide to find the best home insurance for you and compare cheap home insurance quotes.
Can you save money on your home insurance renewal? Read our guide and learn how to save by switching.
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Learn about whether you should get extra home insurance cover for your bike as part of your home contents insurance, or search for specialist bicycle insurance to cover your two wheels.