Home insurance can mean building insurance, contents insurance or both. Building insurance covers the cost of rebuilding your home should the worst happen. It generally covers you for damage to your home caused by fire, bad weather, natural disasters, damage caused by burglary or attempted burglary, vandalism and subsidence caused mainly by tree roots or ground heave. Coverage will differ between home insurers so it is important to check your policy documents.
Mortgage lenders may require proof of buildings insurance as part of their mortgage offer particularly if you are a first time buyer about to buy a house. The amount of buildings insurance you take out needs to cover the cost of replacing the building itself and all permanent fixtures and fittings inside it. A Fitted Kitchen or bathroom is an example of a permanent fixture.
As well as the actual property, buildings insurance can include garages, sheds, driveways, swimming pools, paths, walls and fences. Not all policies have the same coverage for all these items as standard individual policies do differ in what they include.
Contents insurance usually covers all the contents in your home against theft or attempted theft, fire, water damage, storms or floods, smoke, lightning and malicious damage. Contents refers to all the things in your home that are not permanent and fixed, such as sofas, tables, TV’s, Home Entertainment equipment etc.
Standard contents insurance cover often works out to be the cheapest, but does not cover you for every eventuality if you need to make a claim. Adding accidental can cover you for any unforeseen accidents in your house.
Some insurance companies include cover for contents in your garden too – but the amount of cover can vary greatly.