Home Insurance Guide

Here’s How to Find the Right Amount of Coverage for Your Home with the help of Amar Mustafa - The REAL Estate Agent

With such a vast range of companies offering a spectrum of different policies, it can be challenging to know where to begin your search for home insurance.

Building Insurance v Contents Cover

Home Insurance can be broken down into two distinct types of protection.

The first is buildings insurance, which covers the structure of the home. It provides a safeguard should damage occur to the walls, windows, or roof of your property.

On the other hand, contents insurance covers the valuables inside. Upon opening the policy, your insurer will usually ask for details of any expensive items in the home. In the event of a fire or flood, you will be able to claim money for items such as laptops, jewellery, and furniture.

Is Insurance Compulsory?

Home insurance is not a legal requirement. However, it is strongly recommended.

Knowing you have a robust insurance policy in place will settle your mind in the event of a disaster. It can also save you vast amounts of money, providing for repairs and replacements you might not otherwise have been able to afford.

However, for those with a mortgage, the rules may be slightly different. Most mortgage lenders will add a clause into the contract that stipulates a valid building insurance plan must be in place.

Conversely, for those in rental properties, the landlord must have a building insurance policy. It will then be up to you as the renter whether to take out content insurance.

Insurance Add-Ons

Many additional features can be tagged onto a standard home insurance policy. These are beneficial to many homeowners, as it allows you to develop a bespoke approach for your family’s current needs.

Legal Expense Cover

Legal expense insurance will cover the family for any legal proceedings relating to the home. Many policies also take this one step further and provide insurance pertaining to personal injury, death, and employment.

This insurance will usually fund the costs associated with appointing legal representation, and some insurers even cover the loss of earnings incurred during a dispute period.

You should be aware that insurers will only incur the costs for legal representation where there is a reasonable chance your claim will be successful.

It is also worth noting that legal expense insurance taken under a home policy will not cover disputes relating to your car, divorce, or illegal activity.

The value that is accounted for can range between £25,000 – £100,000, so it is worthwhile to conduct a thorough investigation if you believe that your household would benefit from this cover.

Emergency Protection

Home emergency cover is an excellent addition to standard insurance policies.

As the name suggests, this will protect your family against emergencies in the home, including damaged pipes, a broken boiler, or a pest infestation. Insurers class an emergency as anything that makes your residence uninhabitable or dangerous.

However, as a homeowner, you should be aware that there are exclusions to this emergency guarantee. Where reasonable care has not been taken, or the insurer believes the damage was caused by negligence, the issue may not be covered.

Additionally, the policymaker will have an extensive list of events that they deem not to be an ‘emergency situation’. This might include the boiler breaking in the summer months. It should also be noted that emergencies happening within 14 days of the policy starting will not be covered.

Contents Insurance for Students

As with other rentals, building insurance is the responsibility of the landlord for student properties. However, many students and their families choose to add contents insurance to the home, protecting any valuables.

Student contents insurance can be a stand-alone plan or added to the family home policy. This will cover student possessions in the event of a burglary, fire, or flood.

Home Insurance for Unoccupied Properties

Many properties are left empty for a variety of reasons. These include the fact that some owners may have second homes, properties are regularly renovated, and some homes are passed between family members through inheritances.

However, homes left unoccupied for more than 30 days are not covered by standard home insurance and will require a different policy from a bespoke company.

Home Insurance Recap

  • Home insurance comes in two primary forms: building insurance and contents cover.
  • Neither of these are compulsory, yet strongly advised, regardless of whether you rent or own your home.
  • There are several ‘add-ons’ to standard policies, which can make a massive difference to the overall cover your home receives.

Thinking of buying, selling, or letting your property? Amar Mustafa - The REAL Estate Agent is your local property experts for Hackney, Walthamstow and the surrounding areas. Call me on 020 3150 5007 or email amar@therealagent.co.uk to have a chat.