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Building and Contents Insurance

When you move into your new home, you must take out insurance to protect yourself and the property.

The cost of insuring your house depends on its size, type of property and where you live. If you live in an area with a high crime rate, you can expect your insurance premium to be higher.

You may be able to lower the cost of your insurance if you have a 'no claims' record, a fitted security alarm or security device or you belong to a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. This lowers the risk of you needing to claim on your insurance policy.

There are two types of insurance cover: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Buildings Insurance

  • If you have a mortgage on your home, this type of cover is compulsory. If you are renting, it is compulsory that your landlord has buildings insurance
  • It covers the structure of your house, including fixtures and fittings, against damage caused by fire, flood, storm and subsidence (where your home may be affected by the land it's built on)
  • The highest pay-out from your insurer (the sum assured) should cover the cost of rebuilding your home
  • Some policies may cover accidental damage, but be prepared to pay more for this

Contents Insurance

  • This covers theft, loss or damage to the furniture and possessions in your home. It is highly advisable that you take out contents insurance whether you own the house or are renting, but it is not compulsory
  • Most policies will pay out the full cost of replacing your furniture or possessions
  • Some policies may cover accidental damage, which includes damage or loss of valuable items like jewellery inside and outside of your home. Be prepared to pay extra for this cover
  • Read the policy carefully as you may find certain circumstances are not covered
  • When you are applying for contents insurance you will be asked to provide a breakdown of all the major items in your home worth insuring. Some very expensive items, for example, a bike or a watch, may need to be insured separately
  • It is advisable to have evidence of your insured possessions. You can do this by taking pictures or filming these items as a record of your possessions
  • Sentimental value of items is not calculated, the value is calculated in terms of how much money it is worth
  • Remember to renew your contents insurance at the end of the year. Keep track of new possessions worth insuring to add to your new policy and always give your insurer a true picture of the value of your possessions
  • Most contents insurance can be paid monthly by direct debit so you can spread the cost over the year
  • Policies and premiums will vary between different insurers so shop around for the best deal and make sure you fully understand what your policy covers, so you don't get any nasty surprises when you need to make a claim

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