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What is home insurance?

The best way to answer, 'What is home insurance?’, is to explain what happens if you don’t have it, or you have a policy that doesn’t cover all the things that could go wrong.

You will sometimes see home insurance referred to as ‘house insurance’. In fact, storms, fires, floods, broken pipes and other incidents can affect any building you live in. Whether that is a:

  • Detached, semi-detached or terraced house
  • Bungalow
  • Cottage
  • Flat
  • Apartment

From roof damage caused by high winds, down to subsidence issues with your foundations or walls, your home can suffer significant problems. Without home insurance, you would face substantial costs for repairing or rebuilding your property.

Also, the same issues, as well as burglaries or incidents of accidental damage, can result in you having to replace expensive equipment, such as furniture or personal belongings you keep within your property.

For this reason, home insurance usually includes two essential elements:

  • Buildings insurance
  • Contents Insurance

Many homeowners buy policies that include both (combined home insurance), but you can separate them if you need to. You could even have buildings and content insurance with separate providers.

Let’s look at what these two types of home insurance cover in more detail, and when you may only need contents cover.

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How much does home insurance cost?

The cost of home insurance in 2022 depends on a number of factors.

The essential thing when comparing home insurance quotes is to find a policy that covers all your risks and potential financial outlay in the event of a problem.

This is why using a home insurance comparison tool is helpful.

It provides you with insights on the cost of policies that cover buildings and contents - combined or separate - to the level you need.

Put it this way, apparently cheap home insurance policies can leave you inadequately covered. When you come to make a claim, you could find yourself facing a brick wall. The pay-out could be less than you need, or your entire claim could be rejected.

However, you clearly don’t want to pay too much for home insurance either, with types and levels of cover that are not relevant to you.

So, how do you find cost-effective home insurance that's a great fit for you?

Read on, to find how Insuro can open the door to home insurance quotes tailored to your specific needs.

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Fantastic service I had a renewal price of over £850 from my current insurance which had gone up by £150 from last year I now have a new insurance company and its £421 saving me over half the price amazing 👍👍👍
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Easy way to compare home insurance

Protecting the place, you live in (and its assets) is important for your peace of mind, and to manage any financial impact when things go wrong. However, as each home is highly individual, finding the right home insurance policy can seem tricky.

Fortunately, we have developed an easy-to-use online tool for comparing home insurance policies and costs. One that is quick and straightforward but helps you to compare insurance policies matched to your specific needs.

Separate or combined buildings and contents insurance?

There is no legal requirement to insure your property against the common risks that could impact on its structural integrity, or your ability to continue to live there. However, mortgage lenders are likely to make buildings insurance a mandatory thing! You can see why. They are protecting their investment in your property.

The buildings element of home insurance is also highly recommended if you don’t have a mortgage, but you own the freehold to your property. This is if you face considerable rebuild costs following a major incident.

Home insurance and tenancies

Do you need home insurance if you are a student, or rent your home?

Tenancies, including rooms in living accommodation provided by colleges and universities, sometimes include building insurance cover in your rental agreement.

However, you should still consider the best home insurance policy to cover your contents only. You are personally responsible for protecting things like your own furniture, computer equipment and valuables when you rent a property.

Also, if you are a property tenant, your landlord may require you to cover the cost of replacing items that were provided as part of your rental agreement, such as kitchen appliances.

Always check this with your landlord or accommodation provider. For example, assumptions that building insurance is provided can lead to big problems when the fabric of your property is damaged, and your landlord wants you to cover the costs of repair.

The sort of contents covered by home insurance

Generally, having both building and contents cover within home insurance is recommended for anyone who owns their own property, and contents cover is advisable for whether you own or rent a property.

However, what does ‘contents’ mean, when you compare home insurance policies?

The contents element of home insurance can vary from policy to policy, though it usually includes the sort of belongings the average homeowner or tenant would need to protect.

The best way to choose a home insurance policy would be to make sure it includes the sort of things you own, to the value of replacing them. Including the belongings of anyone who lives with you. (This is why you will sometimes see home insurance described as ‘Household’ insurance.)

For example, you may well need home insurance cover for:

  • Furniture
  • White goods (large electrical appliances such as fridge, freezer and washing machine)
  • IT equipment (like laptops and computers)
  • Carpets and curtains
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • TVs
  • Jewellery
  • Clothing
  • Cash kept at home
  • Cameras

Bicycles and play equipment are often included too.

Keep in mind that you're likely to need a home insurance policy that covers belongings of a high value.

Also, look at the finer details when you compare home insurance quotes for contents protection. For example, do you want a policy that replaces what's in your freeze, as well as the freezer? Also, can you make claims to replace stolen or damaged mobile phones? They may be items you need to make separate arrangements for when making sure you take out adequate home insurance.

Other things to consider when you compare home insurance

Apart from the important considerations mentioned above, there are other ways you need to think about to make sure your home insurance is the best fit for your property, contents and lifestyle.

Here are ten important insights on how to choose the right policy:

1. Replacement cost considerations

Most contents insurance replaces old with new. So, if an item is broken beyond repair or stolen, you can get a new replacement by claiming on your home insurance policy. What you need to be aware of is that some policies will only pay out for the ‘real time’ value of an item. In other words, the amount it is worth at the time it was damaged, lost or stolen.

2. Excess levels

Another thing to watch for when you compare home insurance is the excess level. What is excess in home insurance? This is the threshold for the contribution you would make when you submit a claim on your property or contents insurance.

For example, you may need to pay the first £200 of any claim made for damage to your building or loss of belongings due to a burglary.

Excess levels in home insurance policies vary, and in many cases, you can adjust them to what you think is appropriate. This has a knock-on effect on the cost of home insurance, as a higher excess can bring the cost of your policy down.

3. Vehicles kept at your property

Is your car covered by home insurance?

Some policies may include the ability to make a claim if your vehicle is damaged when stored on your property – such as on your driveway.

However, it is strongly recommended that you compare insurance quotes and get a separate policy for vehicles. Even when stored in garages attached to your home. That includes insurance cover for cars, vans and motorbikes.

4. Insuring household pets

Also, you will need to find pet insurance quotes for your household animals.

5. Property damage exceptions

Other things to look for when comparing home insurance quotes include any risks that are not covered as a standard element of a potential policy. For example, not all home insurance policies provide automatic cover for acts of vandalism and other forms of malicious damage to property or contents. Also, can you claim for acts of terrorism or civil disobedience, within the quote you are considering?

6. Household items you transport

Also, it pays to research reliable cover for household items you sometimes use outside your home. Such as laptops or jewellery.

7. High value single items

We have already mentioned that you need to be confident the level of risk covered in your home insurance protects especially expensive belongings or property features. However, if you have single items that are particularly valuable, you need to find home insurance quotes that provide the right level of protection for those single items.

8. Accidental damage

Home insurance tends to include risks to your property and contents linked to the weather, crime and other common occurrences. What you may need to research when you compare home insurance 2022, is whether your policy includes accidental damage too.

This is when you, someone in your household or a visitor, breaks an item covered on your contents insurance, or does considerable damage to your building. For example, a broken window or door, or an electrical item that gets dropped or misused, and needs to be replaced.

The rule of thumb is to not assume this sort of risk is covered, and check your home insurance comparison details for accidental damage cover levels.

Also, you are likely to find that wear and tear, or claims related to poor workmanship or faulty items, are not covered even if you have accidental damage included in your policy.

9. Home insurance and commercial property

What sort of home insurance do you need if you have a holiday home, or you are a landlord?

This is a specialist area of property insurance, and you are advised to find a home insurance policy to manage your specific risks. The level and type of cover needed will be impacted by occupancy frequently, and what contents you need to cover, for example, as well as buildings risks for properties you rent out.

10. Claims systems for home insurance

Lastly, when you find home insurance quotes, you may also want to consider the claims process and how easy it is.

Fortunately, Insuro works in partnership with experienced and efficient insurance providers you can rely on. Including companies who make home insurance claims as easy to understand and stress-free as possible.

Keep in mind that this still relies on you finding online home insurance quotes that cover your property and contents properly, and at the right level for your risks.

Why compare home insurance with Insuro?

Finding quotes for home insurance 2022 and beyond can be straightforward with Insuro. The alternative is visiting lots of different insurance provider websites and trying to compare ‘like-with-like’ home insurance policies. This is sometimes a lengthy and confusing process!

When you compare home insurance policies with us your basic information is analysed by our advanced algorithms in seconds. Then, we provide you with insights from our carefully selected panel of home insurance partners.

These are leading insurance providers, offering you peace of mind, and a trusted claims service.

This quick way to get insightful quotes for home insurance could also potentially save you money. By comparing home insurance quotes with Insuro, you could reduce your annual premium by as much as £162.

Next steps to compare home insurance

To use this simple online comparison site for home insurance, you need to gather some basic information.

This involves:

  • Your personal details – such as name and date of birth.
  • Your property details - including age of the property, how many people live there and whether it’s occupied year-round.
  • Home protection measures – such as alarms, lockable windows and key systems for main entrances.
  • Buildings insurance aims – usually the market value of your property, to gauge rebuilding costs.
  • Contents insurance aims – such as the value of your belongings, and any especially valuable items.

Once you enter your details in our Home Insurance cost calculator, you can compare quotes in seconds.