We can search through a range of policies to find the one that suits you best from our extensive list of insurers. So this year leave the shopping to us, as just one phone call could find the best cover and price for you.
If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist that your property (and their security) is protected by buildings insurance. It usually pays out if your property is destroyed by fire, floods or subsidence (although you will need to check if you live on a floodplain, for example). Damage to fixed fittings such as baths and kitchens are often included, as well as sheds, greenhouses and garages.
You might be offered buildings insurance when you take out your mortgage, but you don't have to take what's on offer. Use the key policy information to shop around and get the best deal for you.
If you purchase a leasehold property (such as a flat in a block of flats) the freeholder may have arranged buildings insurance for the whole block, in which case you may not need your own buildings policy.
What isn't covered?
Your cover is based on what your home would cost to rebuild. You can check whether you have enough buildings insurance through the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) website. It has an online tool to help you calculate the sum you should insure your building(s) for, in case your home has to be entirely rebuilt.
You need to tell your insurer if you extend your property, for example with a loft conversion or conservatory. Your belongings are not covered – these need to be covered separately with contents insurance – see Contents insurance.
Keeping costs down
As always, shop around. You may also find that you get a better deal if you buy buildings and contents insurance together. Most policies have a standard excess charge which means you agree to pay the first part of any claim, for example the first £50 or £100. If you agree to pay a higher excess you might get a cheaper policy. Always compare what's covered by a policy, not just the price – the key policy information will help you do this. Some might be cheaper than others, but they may not offer the same level of protection.
What's it for?
It covers the loss of or damage to the contents of your home. This includes your furniture, electrical goods and other items within your home. Some policies cover you for items you take outside, for example cameras, jewellery and briefcases. Different policies offer different levels of cover but generally you'll be covered against theft and fire, and have the option to insure against damage you may cause by accident. It is always vital that you thoroughly read and understand the full policy terms and conditions.
If not already covered by your contents insurance, you may want to consider travel insurance for loss or damage to your personal belongings whilst travelling.
What isn't covered?
Anything beyond the maximum amount your insurer says they will pay, and it may pay a maximum amount on single articles. You'll need to specify the value of the contents. Some companies have limits on the value of any one item under the general policy so you'll need to specify individual items such as expensive jewellery or camera equipment, for example. Your cover may also be affected or cancelled if you leave your home empty for a long period of time, or if you let it out. Damage to the building itself is also not covered; this needs to be covered separately with Buildings insurance – see Buildings insurance.
Keeping costs down
Many insurers will offer discounts if you have a burglar alarm, window locks or if you're a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. You may also get a deal if you combine contents and buildings insurance.
Most policies have a standard excess charge which means you agree to pay the first part of any claim, for example the first £50 or £100. If you agree to pay a higher excess you might get a cheaper policy.
Always compare what's covered by a policy, not just the price – the key policy information will help you do this. Some might be cheaper than others, but they may not offer the same level of protection.
Level of cover
Some contents insurance policies offer new for old. This means they'll replace old damaged appliances and possessions with new ones when you claim.
Bear in mind that your premiums may increase the following year, or the insurance company may refuse to cover you for the same risk if it happens more than twice, for example.
Anglian Mortgages ltd is an appointed representative of Independent Mortgages and Financial Solutions Ltd, which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England & Wales No: 480536. Registered Office: 156a Furze Road, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich. NR7 0AU
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of buy to let mortgages.
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