Choosing a Household Insurance Provider

Your home is likely to be your most expensive lifetime purchase and as such, protecting it is vital for your financial security and peace of mind. Protection can be gained through obtaining household insurance, which is a term used to describe the combined cover provided by buildings and contents insurance.

Buildings insurance: What’s covered?

Whilst buildings cover is not a legal necessity, if you have used a mortgage lender to buy your property, it is likely that they will insist you obtain it. Typically such a policy will cover the permanent structure of your home as well as any outbuildings such as garages which are on your land. In some cases a policy may also cover permanent fixtures and fittings, such as bathrooms or kitchens although as with any insurance, it is worth checking with your insurer to establish precisely what is covered.

What will you be protected against?

Household insurance covers a whole range of circumstances from natural events such as floods, earthquakes and bad weather to accidents such as falling aeroplane debris or vehicle impacts and of course, fires, vandalism and also subsidence. The insurer will normally look at the location of the property and ascertain the risk for each event that is covered, for instance if you live in a river basin floods are more likely and if you live under an airport flight path, the chances of falling debris are greater. Ultimately the insurer combines these risks in calculating the final policy cost.
Insurers will not normally protect against some factors such as war or terrorism, even pollution or radioactive contamination, although if you require cover for such occurrences, it can be worth speaking to a specialist insurer.

Contents insurance: What’s covered?

The combined value of all of your possessions is likely to reach a significant figure and as such protecting these items is sensible. Once again, such cover is not legally required although for peace of mind, it can be a worthwhile purchase. Contents insurance will normally cover items which are not built into the home including electrical equipment, furniture, entertainment media, clothing and soft furnishings such as carpets and curtains. Some policies may also cover external items such as bicycles, lawnmowers and even the items within your wallet or handbag when you are outside of the house or luggage whilst travelling abroad. Once again, checking with your insurer to see exactly what is covered is important.

What will you be protected against?

Similarly to the other element of household insurance, buildings cover, contents insurance will protect against events such as flooding, earthquakes fires, vandalism and theft. To obtain contents cover, draw up a list of all your items and assign each a value, you can then give this estimate to the insurer for your cover. In some instances, items worth a lot of money may have to be mentioned specifically in the policy or may even require a policy of their own.

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