What Types of Household Insurance Cover Are Available?
Household insurance can be confusing, especially for a first-time buyer. The abundance of policies and the varying types of cover may lead some to put off buying home insurance entirely. However, home insurance really is not as complicated as it seems. There are two types of cover that make up a typical home insurance policy in the UK: buildings insurance and contents insurance. While some people only buy buildings insurance, insurance companies may offer you a better premium rate if you bundle the two policies together.
Building insurance protects the structure of your home and sometimes the buildings on your property such as sheds, greenhouses or garages. Buildings insurance also covers the walls, roofs and any other fixtures that are permanently fitted within your home. Windows, plumbing, electrical wiring, floors are considered to make up the permanent structure of your home. Some policies may also cover the land and other features such as patios, gates, driveways, fences, a tennis court or a swimming pool. Buildings insurance may also reimburse for you alternative accommodations should damage render your house inhabitable. Although buildings insurance is not compulsory, if you have a mortgage on your home, chances are your lender is going to request that you buy this insurance anyway.
Contents insurance covers your belongings and your possessions within your home. If you are not quite sure if a certain item would be protected under this policy, the general rule of thumb to follow is that if you would take it should you move house, then it is covered by your contents insurance. For example, this type of policy would reimburse you if damage or theft occurred to your antiques, jewellery, collections, furniture, perishables, decorations, individual valuables, personal belongings, electronics and audio equipment. However, each policy and insurer is different, so make sure you fully understand what is covered under your specific policy. If one or more of these items are lost or damaged as the result of a fire, flood, lightning, explosion, storm, theft or earthquake, your contents insurance should reimburse you for the cost of repairing or replacing the items. You may even buy special occasions cover for your home’s contents; this policy is appropriate only for events in which you will have numerous people in your home for a family event such as a wedding, Christmas or the birth of a child.
Specialised household insurance is also available for homes made of non-standard materials such as those fitted with a thatched roof; this policy may be more expensive because a thatched roof poses a greater liability because it is more prone to fire damage. Additionally, you may need to buy holiday home insurance to cover a separate home other than your permanent residence. Holiday home insurance is appropriate for properties that are left vacant for extended periods of time or those that risk damage due to short-term renters. Landlords insurance is available for those who wish to protect their structures and properties when subletting flats or homes to rogue tenants who do not pay rent.
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