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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 which covers the structure and potential rebuild of your property.
Home contents insurance which insures your furniture, fixtures and fittings and belongings inside your house or flat.
To buy home insurance you pay a house insurance company an amount every month, known as the premium. 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.
Combined home and content insurance: When you buy home or house 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.
There are a number of ways to make your home insurance cheaper:
Compare prices: By shopping around, you can find the best deals and work out which is the best home insurance for you. Your decision should be make on the cover you need, not just the lowest monthly premium.
Increase your excess: Home insurance pays out an agreed amount when you make a claim. If you do need to make a home insurance claim you may have to meet a small amount of the cost yourself, known as the excess. The bigger the excess you accept when you are buying home insurance, the lower your premium is likely to be. This is because you are accepting some more of the risk.
Fit good quality locks to windows and doors: By improving your security and making a break-in less likely, you will be seen as a lower risk in the eyes of the insurance company.
Check out combined deals: Sometimes getting home contents and buildings insurance together can work out cheaper.
Try to build up a no-claims bonus: You are likely to be offered a lower premium if you have not made previous claims. If you have a larger excess, it is also probably not worth making a lot of smaller claims on your home insurance policy.
Contents insurance covers everything that would move with you if you moved house or flat. For example, your sofa and TV, kitchen appliances and personal belongings.
You may not think you have a lot of belongings until you start to add up the cost of replacing each item as new. That is why contents insurance can be valuable to everyone, including renters and council tenants.
You’ll need to compare contents insurance quotes to get the best home contents insurance deal. Make sure you check exactly what the content insurance covers. It may specifically exclude those expensive, portable electronics you regularly take out of the home, like a new mobile phone or laptop. This is because they are very attractive items for thieves due to their small size and high value, and because they are regularly taken away from the home where they can easily be damaged, lost or stolen.
You can find gadget insurance for these items instead, if they are not covered by your home and contents insurance.
Gadget insurance can be bought separately from home contents insurance and is useful for items such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, games consoles and wearable tech. You can compare quotes and find out more about gadget insurance when you Compare Gadget Insurance quotes with Uswitch.
There are several types of home contents cover which cover a variety of insurance risks so make sure you compare home contents insurance deals to get the best one for you. Contents insurance will typically cover you up to £50,000. If you need more cover than this then you will most likely need specialist home insurance for high net worth homes.
Building insurance covers the physical structure of your home, like the walls and the roof. Permanent fixtures and fittings, like your bathtub and kitchen cupboards, are also covered by building insurance.
Building insurance is a requirement for most mortgage providers to protect their loan. Many leasehold agreements also stipulate that you have it in place as an owner. You can compare building insurance quotes to get the best building insurance deal for you.
If you do not own your own home and are renting you may not need to buy buildings insurance cover. In many cases renters won't need buildings insurance, as the landlord will have it in place already. That means renters should be careful to check it is not included in a home insurance policy by default if it is not needed, as it will cost you more.
Different home and contents insurance companies will provide different levels of cover. So the cheapest home and contents insurance may not be the best cover for you.
Typically, buildings and contents insurance will cover the cost of repair if your house is damaged by:
Compare the cost of home and contents insurance with our comparison tool and protect your house or flat today. Compare and switch home and contents insurance with Uswitch using our simple, speedy and impartial comparison tool. Find cheap insurance policies in minutes.
Find and compare building insurance online in just a few minutes. Find the best building insurance policy for your needs and compare cover and prices.
Looking to find out how much would home insurance cost for your property? Read our guide and decide how much cover your home needs.
Are the contents of your shed or garage covered under your home insurance policy? Read our guide to find out how to protect and insure your outbuildings, with shed and garage contents insurance.
House insurance consists of home (buildings) and contents insurance, which will vary in cost. You’ll need to shop around using home and contents insurance comparison sites to get the best deals for you. The Uswitch tool above can help.
Cheap home and contents insurance policies may not be the best deal in the long run. Add-ons can make your home and contents insurance quote more expensive. But they may be useful when you come to claim on your policy as you can cover items basic policies may not cover.
Read more about how you can calculate costs for home insurance.
Some of these add-ons are:
Accidental damage cover: Most home insurance policies will not pay out as standard for damage you cause by accident.
Home emergency cover : Most home and contents insurance policies won’t automatically provide home emergency cover, to insure instances like your boiler breaking down or blocked drains.
Personal belongings cover: This insures items like jewellery, iPads, wallets and purses, things you take with you outside your home.
Legal cover: Legal expenses cover will pay your property solicitor’s fees if you become involved in a dispute with someone over your home. For example, if someone injured themselves on your property.
Buying home and contents insurance together will usually get you the cheapest deal as you can receive a discount for buying both policies with the same issuer at the same time.
The Uswitch home insurance comparison tool can help to get cheap home insurance deals.
Savvy consumers can lower the cost of home insurance by:
Installing home burglary and smoke alarms
Adding locks to your doors and windows of your house.
Joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Increase the excess on your policy (the amount you agree to pay before the insurer pays)
Pay your premiums once a year instead of monthly
Try not to claim too often
Ask your current insurer to beat a new home and contents insurance quote
To apply for house or home insurance, an insurance company will need your personal details, including:
Date of birth
Postcode of where you live
A home insurance company will also ask:
If you want only home contents insurance, or also contents insurance
Do you own your home or do you rent
When you want the home contents insurance policy to start
If you want the home contents insurance policy in joint names, e.g. you and your partner
How many times you have claimed on home contents insurance in the last 5 years
A house insurance provider may want to know:
What valuables you own worth more than £500
The rebuild value of the property you want to insure – don’t worry if you don’t know exactly, just give the rough amount
Details of the types of locks on the doors and windows of the property
Roughly how old the property is
When you compare home insurance quotes before applying it will be useful to you to know:
How much your home contents are worth: Write out a list of all your belongings and how much it would cost to replace them. Be realistic and honest. You may wish to photograph some of the more important items so you have evidence of ownership.
How much cover you want: Do you want enough home insurance cover to pay for the cost of replacing all of your personal belongings? Or are you happy to pay a smaller premium and accept a smaller payout if you make a claim?