There are approximately 23 million homes in the UK. Almost a quarter of British homes have no home insurance. Also, 55% of Londoners have no insurance cover, leaving their home and its contents vulnerable to different risks and threats.
If you are worried about meeting with the expensive cost of repairs to your home or stressed about your valuables being stolen, you need a home insurance plan.
What is home insurance?
A home insurance plan is also known as household insurance or homeowners insurance. It protects your home and its contents against damage from unforeseen circumstances. It provides insurance coverage to your home and belongings against unwanted events like theft, damage due to water leaks, flooding, and fire to name a few.
Types of home insurance
Home insurance protects your home against both man-made threats as well as natural risks. We at White Recovery offer comprehensive home insurance plans that provide coverage to the building and its contents.
Here are the different types of home insurance plans that you may choose from:
A typical buildings insurance plan is designed to provide you coverage against damage or loss occurring to your building. A buildings insurance plan provides monetary compensation to replace or repair the damage that may take place to your building due to theft, fire or floods, bad weather, and other unavoidable causes.
The buildings insurance provides coverage for the building structure including:
- External features like roofing, walls, cables, drains, and pipes
- Internal features like rooms, fitted cupboards or wardrobes, kitchen, bathrooms, and electrical fixtures
- Outdoor features like garages, sheds, pools, fences, boundary walls, gazebos, and other outbuildings.
In case of extensive damage to your home property that may render it unsafe for you to reside in it, a comprehensive insurance plan also provides you alternative accommodation until your home is repaired and safe for use.
Some buildings insurance plans also provide compensation for the property owner’s liability and legal or professional expenses that may occur due to building damage.
A contents insurance plan for your home provides coverage for your personal belongings including:
- Personal valuables like jewellery, cameras, mobiles, watches, collector’s items like stamps and coins, items made from precious metals, art, and antiques
- Vehicles like bicycles, bike, cars, aircraft, caravans, boats, and kayaks
- Sporting equipment
- Animals and pets
- Household items including kitchen equipment, furniture, home furnishings, carpets
- Important documents, deeds, money, and credit cards
- Office equipment like a laptop, printer, keyboard, and fax machine.
Combined Home Insurance
A combined home insurance plan is also known as a Buildings and Insurance plan. It provides insurance coverage to both the building structure as well as your personal belongings. The combined home insurance plan is a combination of the building’s insurance and the contents insurance. It saves you the hassle of buying two separate plans. Buying a combined home insurance plan gives you the peace of mind of having comprehensive coverage for your home.
Causes Covered Under Home Insurance
Home insurance provides claims reimbursement for damage caused due to:
- Smoke and fire
- Explosions, fireworks
- Thunderstorms, rain, lightning, floods
- Political disturbance
- Civil unrest
- Riots or strikes
- Theft or robbery
- Water leakage
- Oil leakage due to faulty oil-based heating systems
- Crash with flying devices, aircraft, other vehicles, or animals
Factors affecting the cost of home insurance
The cost of home insurance in the UK largely depends on an assessment of risk factors. By thumb rule, your insurance premium is directly proportional to the risk of damage to your home.
In simple words, the higher the risk of damage to your property means the higher the insurance premium.
The insurance premium is assessed keeping in mind the following factors:
- Location of the property: A higher insurance premium is charged if your property is located in an area prone to theft, burglaries, flooding, or other natural hazards.
- Size of the property: The larger the size of the property, the more is the insurance premium.
- Type of the property: Usually homes made of brick and mortar have lesser insurance premiums as compared to homes made of inflammable material like wood.
- Age of the property: Properties that are recently constructed have lesser risks associated with them. The insurance premium of newer properties is substantially lesser as compared to older homes.
- Security features: A home with advanced safety features like CCTV cameras, high-quality locks, fire alarms, burglar alarms, smoke detectors, and other advanced technology shall have a lesser insurance premium.
- Claims history: If you have no previous history of claims you can earn a “No Claim Bonus” or “No Claim Discount”. Having no previous history of claims helps reduce the burden of insurance premiums.
- Valuation of contents: Insurance companies charge higher premiums on households with high-value contents like art, antiques, collectibles, and jewellery.
- The lifestyle of the owner: The owner’s marital status, age, number of family members, profession, and previous criminal records are assessed to determine the household insurance premium.
- Add-on features: A home with add-on features like Jacuzzi, swimming pool, entertainment system, home-theatre, and trampolines may have higher insurance charges.
Approximate Cost of Home Insurance
Depending on the risk factors the approximate cost of homeowners insurance in the UK is:
- Buildings Insurance: £100-125 per year
- Contents Insurance: £60-80 per year
- Combined Insurance: £ 140-160 per year
By paying less than £5 weekly homeowners in the UK can buy an all-inclusive safety net for their homes.
Understanding Optional Add-On Plans
While basic home insurance plans provide insurance coverage for fundamental risks and threats, you may consider Add-On insurance plans to further extend your insurance coverage.
- Legal expense cover: This add-on plan provides additional coverage for meeting the cost of legal services that may be needed in case of issues arising due to property disputes, accidents, medical negligence, consumer law, and personal injury.
- Accidental damage cover: This add-on plan as the name suggests provides insurance coverage against accidents that may cause extensive damage to your home leading to expensive repairs and replacements. For example:
- It provides insurance for your expensive Oriental rug against damage caused by accidental spilling of red wine
- It covers breakage of glass window caused by cricket ball impact on it.
- Home emergency cover: A home emergency cover provides coverage for expenses of professional essential services like power breakdown, heating problems, plumbing, pest infestation, and broken roofs to name a few.
- Unoccupied home cover: Standard householder’s insurance provides coverage to unoccupied or empty properties for a period of one to two months. If you own a property that may remain unoccupied for prolonged periods you may need to buy such a plan.
Your home is much more than a permanent asset. It is your sanctuary, your haven, your personality. Contact our team of experts to protect it with the power of home insurance.
Home Insurance – FAQ’s
1. Is home insurance mandatory?
Home insurance is not legally mandatory in the UK. However, in case of mortgages, home insurance may be required by your mortgage lender. A mortgage usually requires building insurance up to the amount of the outstanding mortgage is needed.
I am staying in a rented apartment in London. Do I need home insurance?
If you are staying on rent it is the responsibility of the landlord to safeguard the building property from damage. As a tenant, the only home insurance you need is a contents insurance policy to provide coverage for all your personal contents, belongings, and valuables.
2. I am sharing my apartment with a friend. Can we buy a joint home insurance policy?
Absolutely Yes. If you are sharing your home with another person you may buy a joint home insurance policy to reduce the burden of insurance premium. However, you may keep in mind that in such cases the claim may also be shared between the joint policyholders.
3. Does home insurance provide cover damage caused due to wear and tear?
Home insurance provides insurance coverage caused due to sudden, unavoidable events. It does not provide insurance cover for damage caused due to wear and tear.
My credit card was stolen during my recent trip to Europe. Can I get a claim under my Contents Insurance plan?
A standard contents insurance plan provides insurance coverage for loss of valuables including your credit card while it is in the insured premises. Loss of valuables while traveling is not covered under standard insurance plans.