Finance >> Home Insurance

Home Insurance

Home sweet home there is no place like it. All of us like the warmth and security of our homes. Who would not like to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere during holidays and the fun and frolic with children in our homes.

Have you ever though of the safety of your home. Yes, it is of prime importance when you finally decide to settle down and buy a home of your own. This is where insurance plays a major role. Home Insurance is the way to keep your home and family safe from the perils of nature and thefts.

Based on your needs there are different types of home insurance policies available in the market. Before buying any home insurance you do the following factors:
  1. Read the offer document of the insurance policy and understand the implications of the policy.
  2. Be sure of what percentage of your home you want to insure. This also includes the cost of demolishing and rebuilding.
  3. You should always insure at 80% of the total cost of your home.
There are many companies offering home insurance like Tesco, Go, Budget, Sage, Direct Hastings, Asda, Boot, Marks Spencer, AA, Atlas, Sainsbury, Norwich Union, And Halifax. The companies offer various types of insurance, but the coverages are generally of two types

Building Insurance

This if the protection you should have for the structure of your house. It also includes the cost of rebuilding your house in case of destruction due to forces like fire or nature calamity. To know the exact value that you should insure you should get property evaluation from a professional. Building Insurance also includes the cost of your accommodation till you rebuild your house and move back into it.

Contents Insurance

Damage may happen not only to the basic structure but also to the things inside your house. So Home Insurance should also cover these aspects of the home that is possessions inside and around your home. These possessions may be insured if they are damage due to natural disaster or by themselves. The possessions may be in areas like porches and patios also. Always make sure that porches and patios are also included in the property section of the insurance.

To be eligible for Contents Insurance there is a need for all the documents regarding the valuables to be available. Before you take the insurance create a list of valuable things. The other idea is to make a video recording of the house and of the things to be included in the valuables list. These documents should be in safe keeping. Valuables like expensive jewelery and antique pieces need to be covered with extended Home Insurance. Insurance company will also offer discounts for some possessions like deadbolt, window locks, burglar alarms, security systems and sprinkler systems. Discounts for home insurance are available for senior citizens also.

New policyholders for home insurance are always given discounts. These discounts are also available for those who have never made a claim. Local agents will help you regarding various discounts available.

The last but not least always read the policy document before you insure. You should be aware of all the rules and regulations of the company and also of the insured items. Only such awareness will help you in getting the best Home Insurance suited for you.

What is the most valuable thing that we gift ourselves with? Yes, you are right it’s the Home that we live in. Home is the place where we find space for our personal chores and spend time with our beloved families. Our home gives us invaluable peace and solace and thus we decorate our homes with the best items which are often quiet expensive. recognizes your desire to insure your home and thus we provide you with expert tips and comparisons from UK’s top Home Insurance companies. We recognize your need for adequate guidance and thus we have piled up a useful guide so that you are able to take-up accurate decisions and select the best policy.

Need for Home Insurance

We can be as optimistic as possible but it is a fact that uncertain happening in our homes is the worst event one can imagine. We are not willing to take up that risk. Statistics highlight that one in every fourth house is unprotected in the United Kingdom. They have not yet covered themselves by any kind of Home Insurance. A lot of uncertain events can happen which can disrupt our dream home such as
  • Thefts
  • Fire
  • Storms
All these uncertain events threaten not only our homes but even the valuable contents within it. Thus not being covered by a Home Insurance policy is a risk.

Now, home insurance policies are available for all. If you are a homeowner we have a home insurance policy for you. Else if you are a landlord we offer you Landlord Insurance. None the less if are a tenant we have a tenant insurance policy to offer you.

These days mortgage lenders have made it a requirement that you would be eligible for a Mortgage only if you are covered with buildings insurance. For Buildings Insurance you require to provide the insurer with all the information regarding the buildings. These include providing details about the date of construction and what materials were used in the building. They might not insure all the buildings. Assembled buildings are often uninsured. They also require all the information regarding the lands propensity to risk of flood.

Guide to Home Insurance

For most people, a home is one of the biggest investments that a person makes in his or her entire lifetime. This leads to the natural conclusion that protecting your home & securing it against all odds is of prime concern to every home owner.

At the very mention of protecting you home, the first thing that comes to your mind is a home insurance. Most home owners have over the years realized the necessity of insuring their homes. With the availability of the Internet one has the luxury of even shopping for an insurance sitting at home. There are plenty of websites, which in fact allow you to compare rates for Home Insurance so that you have a good idea of the amount of money you need to invest and what coverage’s you are assured of.

The necessity of a home insurance

Most of us live in a dream world where things can never go wrong with us until we face the brutal realization that danger never comes announced. As those who have faced the truth in a not so pleasant manner will know that, most houses are not protected and that leaves the house as well as the family vulnerable in the face of robbery, natural disasters or fire, etc. Under such circumstances wouldn’t it be nice if you at least had the solace of being able to rebuild your home.

Unlike in the olden days, home insurance now offers insurance for almost every part of your home and covers practically every facet. There’s insurance for tenants and landlords as well as homeowners. In fact in order to obtain a mortgage, it is gradually becoming mandatory to have your Building Insured.

Necessary verifications for insurance

Most insurance companies need to verify a few facts before they go ahead and insure your house for you. Most such companies want to verify things like:

The construction date of the building
  • Materials used for the building
  • Properties build of unusual materials or even prefabricated buildings and thatched houses are usually a strict no-no for most insurance companies.
  • Most Insurers need to know about the land structure and local climatic history to make an assessment of risks of flood or other natural disasters.
What coverage you actually need

You need to understand and know about not only what coverage you will get as a part of the insurance of your home but also the things that are actually needed to be covered as a part of your insurance. The most important factor that needs to be covered is the total rebuilding cost, of the house which may not necessarily be the market value. This is primarily because the value of the land whatever the fluctuations is only a third of the total cost of the property, besides most of the times it is primarily the house which is at a threat not the land. Building the same type of house in a different area may have lesser market value but the cost of rebuilding will be the same, whichever the area. There is plenty of options available on the net where you can in fact calculate the rebuilding costs with the help of a Home Insurance calculator.

Various types of coverage

Most home owners often make the mistake of ‘under insuring’ the contents of your home, in a bid to minimize short term costs, one makes these long term mistakes. Usually most policies ask you to outline a premeditated sum, which is the maximum amount you are paid as insurance. As in the case of most cases where under insuring is done if something happens to your house, you are given half the value of your belongings. So in case you want a proper payment for your damaged goods in case of a disaster, do ensure that the worth of the goods is correctly insured.

Before starting the process of insuring make a comprehensive list of all the valuables you want insured, outline their value and if possible maintain receipts of their purchase. This will help you in making the process easy for both you as well as the insurers.

An important point to remember while insuring valuable is that many insurance companies might not agree with your valuation of the items. In such cases you can use your negotiation tricks or insure separately for the particular item or break up the particular product where it is possible, example a separate cost for each of the parts of the computer, etc.

Options available for Contents Insurance

There are plenty of add-on options available apart from standard Contents Insurance policies. These include:
  • An all risk cover which includes items other than your home. Such items are have to be specified, they maybe individually, such as mobile phones, jewellery, artifacts, etc.
  • A legal cover will pay for all your court costs if so required.
  • Old replacement cover with new items, this assures you that you get a good replacement which is up-to-date.
Here are a few things you can claim money from an insurance company for:
  • In case of consumer disputes regarding buying, holding or selling of goods.
  • Compensation for injuries can be claimed from insurance in case the accident was not your fault.
  • Disputes with neighbors are also covered by insurance. Incase there is a fence or a tree blocking your light, or any other issue.
One can also claim insurance on, sports equipment cover like, squash racquets and golf clubs. Remember, while in use, they will not be covered. The re is also a freezer contents cover wherein you are paid a fixed amount in case the food in your fridge or freezer becomes bad or stale. A Garden equipment cover is available for protecting your garden tools from robbery.

Standard accident damage coverage is given for paint spillages, DIY accidents, etc. Both Building & Contents Insurance cover these damages.

Apart from the mandatory coverage for theft, robbery & fire, your policy should also take care of frozen pipes, subsidence, storms and flooding, etc. In case you plan on extending your property in the future make sure that your policy covers these changes too.

Contents insurance combined with Buildings

Before you zero in on an insurer for contents verify his/her accountability, it may be that different insurers are different thing though at times you might get a discount if you do different insurances from the same insurer.

Insurance for student possessions

A student possession insurance is one which is tailored made to suit the need sand insurance coverage of belongings of students which might be slightly different from that of homeowners. Student’s possessions are different from others, allied with the fact that they are away from home, as such their policies and coverage’s also have to be different. Usually such policies cover high-risk items such as games consoles, CD players, etc. Goods are covered against flood, fire, vandalism, accidents and theft.

If students have a separate coverage for themselves parents can save some money by not covering those items in their own insurance policies.

Insurance for self building

We present here a guide of some of the things one should consider while building a new home, which may incapacitates the self-builder:
  • Existing structures ensures that lender interest is kept in mind.
  • A public liability insurance guards you against claims from the public.
  • The CAR insurance insures the building material and structure and provides cover for materials which are ‘in transit’.
  • The Employers liability insurance –covers those working on the home, this could include friends and volunteers too.
  • Protection from injury to a third party, is covered by Further liability insurance
  • Disputes with contractor and suppliers are covered with the legal expenses for sub-standard work.
Building insurances

Most Home Insurance brokers do not go through the complexities of insurance coverage’s of UK listed buildings and some homeowners who under insure their properties are left stranded in the face of a disaster. One must therefore be careful of the various things to be considered while insuring:
  • A proper valuation is necessary for all historic buildings.
  • A set of specialist insurers are necessary for listed buildings.
  • A Reinstatement Cover ensures that the amount needed to rebuild the entire building in the same methods and styles are covered.
  • Be involved in the documentation process so that a resolution of a claim with the home insurance company can be decided upon.
  • Put such property in the High Net worth Cover section, this will cover contents more than £75,000 and a value more than £250,000.
Insure while in holiday homes

Staying for long out of home might make your home insurance lapse but now you could convert that into an insurance that covers your holiday home too, depending on the time you are spending there. Home insurances for those settling in Spain come in the form of Expatriate insurance coverage’s.

In case you work from home remember to look at the range of coverage options that are available from your Home Insurance policy applicable to you. Some insurers will give you coverage of £5,000 on home office equipment. This might be enough unless you have specialized equipment or work with other people. If that is the case then you need special coverage. Extra coverage is needed for valuable items, like laptops or other machinery. Insuring these items along with your general home insurance could mean less money at present but in case of coverage it wouldn’t give you a fair deal.

Insurance coverage for flood

Covering your home against flood is especially necessary keeping in mind the changing weather world over. Those staying in flood prone areas need to be especially careful.

Consult a Flood map available at all Government enquiry zones to check if your home falls within those parameters, if it does you need extra precautions with insurance too. In order to save recurring home insurance premiums the Environment Agency has issued ‘Preparing for Floods’ guidance documents which advice on simple, measures by which you can control damage yourself.

Some suggestions to help lower flood insurance premiums are:
  • All valuables should be stored in dry and high areas.
  • Make flood barriers wherever possible.
  • Fit high technology valves so that sewage water doesn’t flow back.
  • Use flood-resistant materials both on floors and walls.
  • All electrical sockets and gas appliances should be placed above the flood level.
  • Flood defenses should be installed within the landscaping of apartments.
Some of these suggestions might be more appropriate for builders rather than homeowners, but while insuring your home against flood you should be aware of these facts.

Insurance for the Landlord

Mostly the Landlord Home Insurance varies. Depending on how the property is furnished, the contents insurance varies.

Some additional options available for landlords are:
  • A rent guarantee pays the rent you are due in case a tenant refuses to pay or the house is empty until a new tenant moves in.
  • An emergency assistance covers the cost of a contractor’s call-out for a maximum limit for work completed. This does not cover incidents that arise from a lack of regular maintaining.
  • A legal cover – Cover is mainly to assist you with legal expenses like as, tenants not vacating a property or unauthorized inhabitants, or tenants not paying up the rent, etc.
Insurance for tenant’s

With changing times and changing issues and laws new coverage’s have to be planned for tenants.

Tenants don’t need a regular homeowner’s insurance policy, this way they have to pay a higher premium than necessary. A policy that covers specific tenant needs and includes home emergency cover is more appropriate.

Reducing the risk

You can reduce your home insurance premium by several methods:
  • Minimize fire risk, maintain smoke alarms.
  • Increase security measures by installing time-switch lights, fitting proper burglar alarms, change locks frequently, join a neighbourhood watch guard system, ensure security lighting, etc. By installing NACASS standard alarms you can get up to 7.5% discount on insurances.
  • Reduce your Home Insurance premium if you increase the standard policy excess and are willing to cover more of the cost of the claim.
  • The lesser the claims, the lower your. Check out for companies that offer a no claims discount. This way you can save you up to 20% of your premium money.
Read up before you insure

These days there is plenty of information available on the net, so before you commit yourself with one agency. You can even calculate how much premium you have to pay with the help of online calculators. Check well before you make your decision.

Ask the advice of friends and family before you decide on the ideal agency, which may not be the one offering the cheapest deal but should be reliable.

Move house to a less posh locality, if you fee that you are paying a very hefty premium on your insurance. At times premiums might differ by even 300% depending on the area.

How to make a claim

If you have to make a claim alert the insurance company quickly, most companies in fact have a clause, which directs the home owner to contact the insurance company as soon as possible.

Once the company is contacted, you have to fill out the claim form they send you. In case your coverage is ‘new for old’ claim for the total cost of the replacement items goods. In case of an indemnity policy deduct the amount estimated for wear and tear.

In case of a big claim it is normal for the company to send a loss adjustor who will assess whether you have adhered to the terms of the policy. In case of any discrepancies, the company can even refuse to pay. IT is therefore recommended that you read carefully all the fine print on the documents.

Beware of oblique exclusions

Be aware of points which threaten your claim, they include:
  • Lack of proper maintenance, which amounts to negligibility.
  • Not installing of security systems.
  • Not doing repair work based on previous claims.
  • Supplying false information to the company
In order to build up your no claims bonus as well as save yourself the hassle of a lot of paper work, at times it is better to carry out small repairs yourself.

Making a good home insurance quote

Be very clear about the options you have while searching for the ideal Home Insurance deal:
  • Try to approach the direct insurers, this saves you the money spend on brokers. Direct insurers usually spend loads of money on marketing.
  • Home Insurance brokers cab get deals for you but their options are limited since they have to go through insurers themselves.
  • Some times branded providers launch into insurance, but they still have to go through the direct insurer.
  • The ‘Full Search’ provider provides information on detailed quotes, while providing a list of direct insurers, insurers, and brokers.
So before you zero in on the best and cheapest deal, be upgraded and knowledgeable.