What is home insurance?
If you’re looking to protect your house and cherished belongings, the first question to ask is – what exactly does home insurance cover?
Put simply, home insurance covers the building you live in, along with most things inside it, against fire, theft, flood, and most other damage.
However, home insurance is actually a general term used to describe two very different types of insurance: building insurance and contents insurance.
Building insurance covers your permanent fixtures and fittings along with any damage to the structure of your house. Contents insurance, on the other hand, covers any belongings you keep in your home – such as furniture, TVs, computers, and many other personal items.
If you wish, you can buy both types of insurance separately or, more commonly, you can get them as a joint policy from one insurance company. The most suitable type of cover for you will depend on whether you own or rent your property.
Do I need home insurance?
In most cases, the short answer to this question is yes. Unless you are happy to cover the cost of loss or damage to your property and its contents in its entirety out of your own pocket.
Though not always compulsory by law, many lettings agencies and mortgage lenders now require renters and homeowners to have some form of home insurance – be it building insurance, contents insurance or both.
What’s more, taking out an adequate policy not only gives you peace of mind, but can also save you from financial hardship should the worst happen.
In the event of fire or flooding, could you really afford repairs at the same time as keeping up with your mortgage repayments?
Should you suffer from theft or loss, are you able to easily replace expensive contents and belongings?
If, like most people, you answered no to either of these questions then it’s time to take out a home insurance policy. To establish the level of cover you need, simply walk around your home and take a brief inventory of each room adding up the value of your contents and permanent fittings as you go. Remember to include garages and outbuildings as you do this.
Buildings insurance explained:
This is a policy which covers damage to the structure of your home such as the walls, roof and floors. It usually covers damage to fixtures and fittings too. So if you’ve got a fitted kitchen or bathroom, your building insurance policy is likely to pay for any repairs you need.
Contents insurance explained:
Very simply, this policy protects all your personal belongings. In other words, anything not physically attached to the building will usually be covered for loss or damage, including furniture, electrical goods, clothing, and jewellery. Get a Quote
Home insurance for renters
If you rent your home or apartment, you need home contents and personal possessions insurance. This also applies if you live in shared accommodation such as a student dormitory or house share – in fact, it is often more important in these cases as more people in the house increases the chances of damage or loss of your belongings.
Home contents insurance covers things that remain in the home, such as appliances, furniture, and fine art.
Personal possessions insurance, on the other hand, covers valuables carried outside the home, such as electronics and jewellery. This insurance will repair or replace your items following damage from fire, flooding, theft or vandalism.
Home contents and personal possessions insurance are typically for renters. Usually, it is your landlord’s responsibility to have an active building insurance policy on the apartment or villa itself.
Home insurance for landlords and homeowners
If you own your home, your first priority should be building insurance. And if you’re a landlord, a standard building insurance policy is not adequate as it is not you who lives in the building – you will require a specific landlord’s policy.
In either case, building insurance covers the structure of your home (walls, roof, windows, etc.) if it is damaged by fire, flooding, natural disasters, theft, or vandalism.
It may also cover lost rent, lock replacement, injury to family members inside the home, and tenant liability (if you are a landlord). If you own an apartment within a tower, you can purchase a building insurance policy specific to your unit, while the exterior of the building is usually covered by a separate commercial policy.
For standalone villas and homes, the building insurance policy covers both interior and exterior of the home. You should also add home contents and personal possessions coverage to fully protect your home and everything inside it.
Don’t delay, take out your home insurance policy today.
Protecting the value of your house and the contents of your home is best not left to chance. Even if your landlord or lender does not require you to take out a home insurance policy – which most do – it is unlikely that you could cover substantial losses that can arise from damage to your home and possessions.
For total peace of mind that your home and everything in it is protected – and for more information on any of our policies – speak to Lifecare today.
Or alternatively, get an online quote for your home in a matter of minutes.