5 tips to help you choose a home insurance policy

Home insurance might not be the sort of subject that gets your pulse racing, but unless you want to end up shelling out more than you need to for this cover, or you’re willing to risk your personal finances in the event that something happens to your home, you’ll need to spend some time picking out the perfect policy. To help you along the way, here are five handy tips.

1) Contents cover vs building insurance: know the basics 

Firstly, it’s important to understand that the general term ‘home insurance’ is often used to describe two different forms of financial cover. One is buildings insurance, which protects you for damage to the structure of your property and its permanent fixtures and fittings. If you own your home, you will almost certainly need to have one of these policies in place. As specialist broker Chill highlights, banks require you to have buildings cover in place as part of any mortgage agreement.

In contrast, contents insurance covers the things you keep in your property, like your computers, TVs, clothes and jewellery. You can buy this protection separately, but it’s also possible to get it along with buildings insurance as part of a joint policy.

2) Be sure to shop around

Regardless of the type of cover you decide you need, make sure you shop around before you commit to a deal. Scouring the web may take a little time, but it can save you a considerable amount of money. Also, note that you can speed the process up by using broker services and comparison sites.

3) Always read the small print

When perusing the policies on offer, make sure you always read the small print to see exactly what you get for your money. For example, find out if your personal belongings are covered if you take them out of your house and check the ‘single article limit’. This is the most an insurer will pay out for an individual item if you make a claim. Check if policies cover digital property too, like music downloads and computer files. In addition, you should look into whether any possessions that you store outside, like gardening equipment, are included.

4) Assess the optional extras

It’s also important to bear in mind that on top of basic policies, it’s possible to get add-ons. For example, if your standard insurance doesn’t include it, you can get personal possessions cover for things like your jewellery and laptops that you take outside your home. You might also want accidental damage cover, as well as home emergency insurance to pay for any plumbing disasters or other domestic mishaps. You can include legal cover to pay for court costs too. These extras may drive your premiums up, but they could save you money in the event that you make a claim.

5) Consider adding a voluntary excess

To help bring your premiums down, you might want to raise your policy excess. All insurance products have a compulsory excess, which is the amount you pay if you need to make a claim. However, you have the option of adding to this excess, and doing so could help you to access more competitive deals. However, you must be able to afford to pay this sum if you put in a claim.

Equipped with nuggets of knowledge like these, you have a great chance of finding the right home insurance for you.