General Home Insurances

The costs for all General Home Insurance policies vary based on things like the size of the property and the type of cover you choose; unfortunately it’s not a tick box exercise of just going for the cheapest policy to say you have it – it’s about making sure you have a policy that meets your needs and covers you in the event you need to claim against it.

Buildings and Contents Insurance

What is buildings and contents insurance?

If you own your own house, whether that’s a one bedroom flat, or a three-bed detached property, you’ll need to have buildings insurance in place to ensure you would pay for any necessary repairs, should your home suffer any damage.

Buildings insurance is usually a condition of your mortgage and you will need to take it at the point of exchange.

If you own your own home, it makes sense to have this type of insurance in place and without it, you could be putting your mortgage and your home at risk – something you won’t want to do.

What are the options?

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Buildings insurance

Buildings insurance covers the structure or fabric of your house, so the walls, roof, windows, floors, and often fixtures and fittings too. For instance, if you have a fitted kitchen or bathroom, your insurance is likely to pay for any repairs you need if they get damaged during your time living there.

By taking out home cover, you will be covered against a range of risks, an example of such are: fire, lightning, earthquakes, storms, floods, theft, vandalism, falling trees, water leaks and subsidence etc. Accidental damage to underground pipes and cables will normally be covered too. However, it is critical to check the actual wording of the policy to know what is and what is not specifically covered.

The buildings element of the insurance cover includes the cost to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged to a set rebuild cost although some insurance companies have an unlimited level of cover.

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Contents insurance

Contents insurance is for things like furniture, TVs, personal belongings and some types of flooring, including carpets. A simple way of putting it; if you turned your house upside down, contents insurance will cover you against the belongings that fall out of it.

Contents insurance covers you for your household contents – things like the television, stereo, computer, furniture etc. Generally, it is the total value of everything that is in your home that you would take with you if you were to move. Different policies provide different levels of cover but usually you’ll be covered against theft, fire and flood.

With most contents insurance there is the ability to insure your personal possessions away from the home. This optional cover allows you to insure your personal items normally worn or carried outside the home, e.g. watches, jewellery, cameras, anywhere in the world for up to 60 days a year.

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Accidental damage cover

Accidental damage cover also insures your belongings against any accidental damage. It’s worth keeping in mind that accidental damage cover is usually optional so don’t assume it’s included in your policy and there will be an additional charge.

Do I have to buy them as separate policies or a joint policy?

You can buy both buildings and contents insurance separately or as a joint policy. If you buy a combined policy you normally get a discount on the joint policy.

How much cover do I need?

How much cover you need to have in place will depend on the value of your property and your personal possessions.

Think about what you might need to replace in the event of a disaster or burglary and more importantly how much it would cost to replace these items. This will help you work out how much cover you might need to take out.

Your advisor will check what the individual insurer and policy cover is, as policies vary from one insurer to another in exactly what and how you are covered, as well as for how much. There are often exclusions to policies, so you will need to confirm you are happy to proceed with the proposed cover.

Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance is home insurance designed for rental properties, often combined with other insurance options for landlords. Generally it includes one or more of the following insurance elements:
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buildings insurance

covering the same things as the buildings insurance above.
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contents insurance

covering items such as furniture, carpets and curtains that you have provided in the property.
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rental protection insurance

to cover you if, for example, you can’t rent out the property due to damage.
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liability insurance 

to cover you if you’re taken to court – this type of insurance can include property owners’ public liability or employers’ liability.
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unoccupied property cover

to cover you in-between tenants.

Ordinary home insurance will not normally cover a rental property as you are not living there. Regular home insurance is not designed for the specific situations that you might face as a landlord or claims made against you by your tenants.

It depends on a few factors. Let’s take a look at the options and see why you might need them. 

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Landlord buildings insurance

This covers you for loss or damage caused to the building itself and could re-imburse you if your property is damaged due to fire or flood etc. Some buildings insurance covers malicious damage caused by tenants.
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Landlord contents insurance

Your tenants are responsible for insuring their own personal belongings but if you’re renting out a furnished property you might want contents insurance to cover the things you own. You could also add accidental damage cover to your landlord insurance, which would cover spills, breakages or damages caused by your tenants. If you’re renting out multiple flats you could get contents cover for communal areas such as halls, receptions, stairs and landings. Many policies include this cover as standard and you can tailor its limit to your needs.
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Rental protection insurance

Rental protection insurance, also known as cover for loss of rent, can protect you if your building is seriously damaged and you are unable to rent out your property. It’s important to properly assess the rebuilding time for your rental property before you take out the cover.
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Property owners liability (public liability) insurance

Public liability insurance will cover you for your legal defence costs and expenses, as well as any damages that may be awarded if one of your tenants has an accident at your rental property and considers it to be your fault.
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Employers’ liability insurance

This is a legal requirement if you employ anyone at your rental property who is directly under your supervision and control. This might be a cleaner or gardener or even a volunteer. You will be responsible by law for arranging employers’ liability insurance to cover you for legal defence costs and any awards made for accidental bodily injury, illness or disease caused to staff due to your negligence.
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Unoccupied property cover

Usually “unoccupied” means there’s no one living at the property for over 30 days and so this type of cover might be useful if you need to make renovations to the house or flat before you rent it, or if you are in-between tenants.

Because the extent and cover of Landlord Insurance premiums vary, make sure you compare what is actually covered within your policy to ensure that you are getting the best and most appropriate deal for you.

If you rent out multiple properties you can either take out individual policies on each property or have a multi property policy.

If you’d like to speak to a protection adviser to find out more about General Home Insurances, please feel free to connect with us and we will carry out quotes for you.

Need more help or have any questions?

We need to be honest with you… Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.