There are two types of home insurance - buildings insurance and contents insurance. If you have a mortgage then your mortgage company will have required that you take out a minimum of buildings insurance, and surprisingly a great many people tend not to reassess their choice of buildings insurance for many years, despite often being able to make significant savings.
For those people who may be renting and therefore don't need buildings insurance, contents insurance is the only type that's usually required, protecting all possessions kept inside the home.
In most cases insurers will offer significant discounts if you take out combined buildings and contents insurance, helping not only to keep the cost of your home insurance down, but eliminating any possible problem with identifying which insurance company is responsible in the event of a claim.
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What Is Home Insurance?
Broadly speaking there are simply two types of home insurance, buildings insurance and contents insurance. Buildings insurance will cover the physical building, any permanent fixtures and fittings such as fitted kitchens, baths and sinks, garages and sheds.
Contents insurance covers more or less everything else inside the home. From personal belongings, televisions, clothes, jewellery, carpets, furniture and even things such as the value of frozen food in your freezer in the event of a power cut.
It's easy to see that there can sometimes be overlaps between the two types of home insurance. In the event of a flood, for example, the buildings insurance would cover the physical damage to the property caused by the flood water, whilst the contents insurance covers carpets and furniture. This is why it helps to have combined home insurance from one company, as well as the fact that it's often much cheaper.
What Are The Different Types Of Home Insurance?
Although it is often much cheaper to have combined home insurance from one insurer, it's important not to lose sight of what cover you're actually getting. It might look a good deal as far as your annual premium is concerned, but if you're not getting the level of protection you need then you could end up paying much more in the long run.
Buildings insurance will cover the physical home, up the full rebuild cost, as well as outbuildings such as garages and sheds. Buildings insurance will not usually cover you for 'Acts of God', which may include unpredictable and unpreventable circumstances such as storms, flooding or war, but insurers will vary as far as what they consider to be classified as an Act of God, so it's worth checking the small print, especially if you live close to a water source such as a river.
Buildings insurance generally protects against the following eventualities:
- Damage by vehicles
- Damage from objects falling from aircraft
- Malicious behaviour
- Storm damage
- Damage cause by falling trees or branches
Contents insurance will provide cover in the event of a theft or damage caused by fire or flood. Accidental damage is often an additional option, but well worth it if you have children or pets. Items that are often included range from carpets, curtains and furniture to personal possessions and clothes. However, the following additional features may also be available, and may be worth adding to your home insurance policy:
- Laptops used outside of the home, such as at work or school
- Bicycles that may be kept outside
- Contents of your wallet or handbag either in the home or away
- Contents of outbuildings such as sheds and garages
- Credit cards and luggage when travelling abroad.
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