Home insurance is a key requirement for homeowners, covering both buildings and contents insurance. But how is it best to buy home insurance? We take a look.
Table of Contents
Why Buy Home Insurance?
Consider Your House Structure, The Building
What if there was a fire in your house? Or if it was damaged in high winds, in a storm or through heavy snow? Would you be able to pay for the repairs?
You need to buy building insurance to cover these things.
As explained by the ABI (Association of British Insurers), ‘Building insurance protects you against the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it is damage or destroyed.
It covers the structure of your home (e.g. the roof, walls and windows) and any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as fitted kitchen units and bathroom suites.’
Consider The Contents in Your House
As a start, look around the living room and see all the valuable items – perhaps the widescreen TV, the leather sofas, the expensive ornament.
What about your jewellery? Your expensive watch? Your pictures, framed and hanging on the walls. Or you laptops and other gadgets?
You need to buy contents insurance to cover these and other non-fixed items in your house, basically to cover the things that you would take with you if you moved home.
Where Can You Buy Home Insurance?
Home insurance is offered by many providers, leading to strong competition to get your business, particularly if your requirements are considered ‘standard’ by the insurance providers.
You can buy home insurance, online for example directly from insurance companies such as Aviva or Direct Line, or via comparison websites.
You can buy from an insurance broker, an expert in insurance who can help you understand your needs and advise you on the best home insurance cover to meet those needs.
How About Home Insurance Comparison Websites?
Over the last few years there has been very strong marketing of the benefits of home insurance comparison websites – sites such as Confused.com, Gocompare.com and Comparethemarket.com.
Such sites enable you to enter your house risk details once and they then provide you with a range of quotes.
From these quotes you have the option to choose the one that best suits your needs and if you’re totall happy with it you can buy the insurance policy there and then.
If you have a standard set of home insurance requirements and therefore you meet certain assumptions that insurers set out, you are likely to get a number of quotes from these comparison sites and could well get some good deals.
Be careful to make sure you get the insurance cover you really need – the cheapest premium may not necessarily be the best for you.
If your requirements are not standard, it is unlikely you’ll get automatic online quotes provided.
Buying Non Standard Home Insurance
High Value Individual Items or Collections
Do you have a high value collection? One reason that your requirements for home insurance may not be considered standard is if you have items or collections of higher value than the average.
This could include jewellery, furs, precious metal items such as gold and silver, art work and collections of valuable items such as stamps, coins, watches, steiff teddy bears or maybe Clarice Cliff.
If either collectively or individually their value is greater than limits set by insurers you will not be able to get a standard quote.
Some insurers for example will not quote under a standard home insurance policy if you have individual items worth more than £2,000.
A High Value Property or Multiple Properties
Do you have more than one property or a high value property?
Another reason you may not be able to buy standard home insurance policy could be because you need to insure a property that is considered high value.
Alternatively you may have more than one property to insure, perhaps a holiday home that is left unoccupied for more than a set period.
Is Your House Built of Non-standard Construction?
If your house is built of standard construction, of bricks and a tiled roof for example then standard buildings insurance is likely to be suitable for you.
However, if your house is not of standard construction, for example it has a thatched roof, rather than a tiled rood, you are likely to require specialist insurance.
In these circumstances your home insurance requirements may be better covered by high net worth home insurance or high value home insurance or a specialist insurance, perhaps for thatched roofed properties for example.
In these cases you’re likely to benefit from getting professional insurance advice and guidance from an insurance broker.
Buy The Home Insurance Cover You Need
Whether you need to buy home insurance that is standard or non-standard or specialised, the key is buy the cover you need.
This doesn’t mean necessarily buy the cheapest policy, nor does it mean you need the most expensive or have all the add-ons that may be offered.
There are a number of further factors that affect the premium you’ll pay, such as your claims history, the execess or deductable you’re willing to have and also the proximity of your property to trees.
Find out more in our article ‘As Home Insurance Costs Rise Buy the Cover You Need‘.
So as we’ve covered, the answer to the original question of ‘how to buy the best home insurance?’ will, at least to some degree, depend on the type of property and contents you have.
Basically these will determine whether you need standard home insurance or a specialist or high value policy.
For either scenario you can use the expertise of an insurance broker to help you buy your home insurance.
For a standard policy though you can also use comparison sites, such as MoneySuperMarket or GoCompare to get quotes and buy your cover.
Remember though that there are some insurers, such as Direct Line, who you will need to go direct to for a home insurance quote as they do not subscribe to the comparison sites.