What is covered in home insurance?

By: Weknowmoney  18/08/2011
Keywords: home insurance, contents insurance, buildings insurance

With the variety in home insurance policies available, and given the fact almost all homeowners require some level of cover for their properties, it is obviously important to ensure an understanding of the degree of cover home insurance provides. Whilst this sounds simple, many people do not actually know what protection is afforded to them by their insurer. Before purchasing any insurance policy, you should have a clear idea of what level of cover you require, and how much you can afford. Terms may obviously differ depending on the insurer, so be sure to check the details thoroughly (especially if purchasing a cheap policy). The minimum home insurance you can purchase is buildings insurance. This is generally required by most mortgage brokers as a condition of the loan when purchasing any new property. Simply put, building insurance covers the basic bricks and mortar of the property in the event of any unforeseen damage. This usually extends to damage caused by disasters such as earthquakes, storms or floods or from events such as fire or subsidence – the policy will provide the homeowner with the appropriate funds to rebuild or repair the property if these incidents occur. In some instances, insurers also cover the property for damage due to theft, vandalism or vehicle collision; however this is dependant on the policy and may incur an extra charge. Some policies also include home emergency cover, allowing the policyholder to reclaim any call out charges for emergency repairs and the like, and payment protection in the event the homeowner suddenly cannot meet the premium repayments. A step up from basic building insurance is additional contents insurance, covering the homeowner’s possessions. Essentially, contents insurance covers any item within the property than can be taken away when moving to another property, i.e. electrical items, furniture, valuables or less obvious items such as carpets or decorations. In a similar vein to building insurance, contents insurance normally allows the policyholder to replace their belongings in the event of loss or damage from flooding, fire or theft as a minimum. Extra services are often available (sometimes at no extra cost) to cover business equipment and even loss or damage to food in the event of power failure. Some insurers will pay for replacement locks if keys are stolen, and may pay for damage as a result of leakages. Additional wedding or Christmas insurance is also sometimes offered, allowing the policyholder to temporarily increase cover up to 10 per cent during these periods. Another less commonly required type of cover is specialised landlord insurance. This usually covers the building in a similar fashion to above, but with added inclusions or exclusions. Landlord insurance effectively insures the contents of the property against potential damage by the tenant; for instance policies afford the holder cover for accidental damage of sanitary fittings and fixed glass such as windows, damage to carpets, flooring, kitchens etc. A landlord insurance policy does not, though, generally afford the holder insurance against damage or theft of any furnishings (this requires separate, additional contents insurance) or for the theft of any items by the tenant (theft claims must usually be supported by evidence of violent entry/exit). With all types of cover mentioned above, it is important to understand the terms of cover before entering an agreement with the insurer. Some will offer more or fewer benefits than others, so it pays to shop around.

Keywords: buildings insurance, contents and building insurance, contents insurance, Home Cover, home insurance, landlord insurance,

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