Make sure you're properly covered to protect your home and its contents with our guide to calculating the cost of home insurance.
Calculating the cost, level of cover and replacement value of home and contents insurance can be tricky. 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 level of buildings and contents insurance cover you require. That in turn will determine the cost of your home insurance. You can also add on useful extras in order to ensure you are fully covered.
You can then use our Home insurance calculator to search a range of different home insurance quotes from different providers to find the best and cheapest home insurance quote for you.
When you are looking to buy a home insurance policy for your house or flat, there are two types of insurance on offer.
Buildings home insurance cover protects the structure of your home and provide insurance against fire, flood, subsidence and the cost of rebuilding. It only covers the bricks and mortar of your home, not the contents.
You do not need to calculate the cost of rebuilding your home – your insurer will be able to do that for you. The figure will be based on rebuild costs and will not be as much as the market value of the home if you were to sell it on the open market.
Home 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.
You will need to work out yourself how much cover you need, based on what you own and how much it would cost to replace. Some insurers provide a checklist so you can go through your possessions and estimate or check their value. It is important to 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.
If you need to buy insurance cover for contents and buildings insurance then it is worth shopping around for a quote for dual cover, and for each type of cover separately as well.
This is because some insurers might offer you a discount if you buy home contents insurance and home buildings insurance cover as a package. However, if your home has more bedrooms than average, is higher risk for insurance reasons, or your contents are of high value, then you may be better off searching for separate quotes using our home insurance calculator.
In terms of contents insurance, it could be worth using a specialist insurer if you have a lot of high value items in your home. For example, expensive jewellery, art, paintings, laptops and other electronic gadgets, or top of the range bicycles or other sports equipment.
When you take out buildings insurance your insurer will want to calculate 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 is important to give your home insurance provider accurate figures for both these values so you are not under-insured.
Buildings insurance is compulsory if you have a mortgage. Your buildings insurance company will calculate the rebuild value of your house, as opposed to its market value.
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 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. Also, if there was a fire in your home they could be affected by smoke damage and need to be replaced, or if you had a water leak you will need to be able to replace furniture, fixtures and fittings including carpets and flooring.
To calculate the value of your contents, go from room to room and make a list of what you own and how much it is worth. Alternatively just get a quote below to see how much house insurance would cost based on your postcode and number of rooms.
Don't forget things like clothes, jewellery and furniture as well as items you regularly carry with you such as mobile phones and tablets. You can add these as “all risks” or “risks outside the home” items if you want cover for when you take them out of the house. For bikes, you may need specialist bicycle insurance if you have particularly valuable road or mountain bikes. 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.
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 your home is secure you'll benefit from cheaper home insurance premiums – make sure you have decent locks and consider installing a burglar alarm