A guide to the different types of home cover

A British home

September 15, 2021

As a homeowner, your house is probably one of the most valuable assets you’ll ever have, which is why it’s so important to protect it at all costs.

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, or you’re already a homeowner looking for a new or different type of home cover, we’ve got all the information you need about home insurance coverage, including buildings only insurance, contents only insurance and specialist house insurance so that you can be well-prepared when it comes to taking out cover for your home.

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Types of home insurance

While most people are aware of the standard home buildings insurance and home contents insurance, they might not know that you can actually get combined buildings and contents insurance, as well as many other types of insurance for your home as well.

Below, we take a look at the many different home insurance types, plus what they cover you for.

What does buildings insurance cover?

Buildings insurance protects the core structure of your house, as well as permanent fixtures and fittings such as bathrooms, kitchens and even outdoor structures such as sheds and garages. This type of cover will protect you against damage caused to the structural elements of your property, but not the internal contents.

While it’s not strictly a legal requirement, it is highly advisable to have at least the most basic form of buildings insurance and many mortgage lenders won’t offer you a mortgage without it. 

What does contents insurance cover?

Contents insurance protects your personal belongings, including all of your possessions, furniture and other goods from theft and damage caused as a result of a fire or flood, for example. You don’t have to have contents insurance, but if you think about the total cost to replace all your belongings if they were stolen or damaged, you could end up having to fork out tens of thousands of pounds, so it is certainly worth considering taking out contents insurance cover.

Home insurance optional extras

As well as the basic form of home insurance, there are a few optional extras that you might want to consider as well.

Family legal protection

This type of cover offers you and the family you live with legal protection for things like personal tax issues and personal injury claims.

High-value items cover

High-value items cover is useful to have in order to protect any of your belongings that are worth over £1,500.

Portable property protection

Home contents insurance protects your possessions if they’re damaged or stolen while on your property, but not if you take them away from your home. Portable property protection can offer cover for your belongings when they’re not at your home.

Home emergency cover

In some instances, standard house insurance might cover you for home emergencies, but it might also be a good idea to have a separate home emergency cover in place as well to protect you against things like your boiler breaking down or things going wrong with your gas or electricity.

Key protection

If your home or car keys are lost, stolen or damaged, you can get cover for key replacement or locksmith charges.

Types of specialist home insurance

As well as home buildings and contents insurance, plus all the optional extras that you can add to your policy, there are also some specialist types of house insurance policies that you might need to think about, depending on your own personal situation.

Landlord insurance

As a landlord, you have a duty of care and responsibility to properly maintain the property that you’re renting out, which includes having a good insurance policy in place to ensure that you’re covered for any damages or liabilities that occur while you have tenants living in your property.

Unfortunately, as a landlord, typical buildings insurance won’t offer you enough cover so you might want to get a specialist landlord insurance policy.

Tenants insurance

As a tenant, you won’t be responsible for taking out buildings insurance as that is the responsibility of your landlord, but you may still want to ensure that your personal contents are insured and you can do this by either taking out a regular contents insurance policy or by obtaining specialist tenants insurance.

Non-standard construction insurance

If you have a home that’s not quite your typical house with traditional building structures, such as having a timber frame house, for example, you might need to get non-standard construction insurance to ensure that your home will be protected even though it doesn’t fit standardised norms of buildings.

High-value home insurance

As well as getting high-value contents insurance, you can also get high-value home insurance that offers cover for homes that would cost more than £500,000 to rebuild. 

It’s not entirely essential to get this type of home insurance cover, but if your house is considered to be high-value, then it might be worth taking out this type of cover.

Listed buildings insurance

In the UK, many buildings, including many houses, are classed as Grade I or Grade II listed buildings. This means that there are often restrictions in place when it comes to repairing them or rebuilding them due to damage, so having a listed buildings insurance policy in place can help to cover any costs associated with a listed building. 

Holiday home insurance

If you’re lucky enough to not only own your own home but a second property that you use as a holiday home as well, it’s important for you to be aware that you will need specialist holiday home insurance so that the property is covered against any theft or damage that occurs when the property is not in use.

If your holiday home is left unoccupied when you’re not using it, you can take out regular holiday home insurance, but if you rent out the property on Airbnb, for example, you will need to get specific Airbnb insurance.

Get an affordable home insurance quote

If your home insurance is due to renew, you should look to switch providers if you want to save up to £300 on your next policy. If your home cover is not yet due, it's worth taking a look at quotes to see how much you could be saving.

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