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* *Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, (April ’22). 51% of home insurance customers could save £150.18 on a combined policy.

What is home insurance?

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If your home is damaged or your belongings are broken or stolen, home insurance can be the protection you need to cover the cost.

Whether you rent or own your home - be it leasehold or freehold - if it's damaged or your belongings are broken or stolen, home insurance can offer the protection you need to cover the cost.

Like other types of insurance, home insurance involves signing up to a monthly payment premium and you are then covered up to a set limit for the duration of the policy.

The best home insurance is one that will cover the true cost and worth of your home contents and repair to the building itself, so be as accurate as possible with these details when you compare policies.

Home insurance can be split into two separate policies; buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can buy each separately, or get them together as a combined policy.

What does home insurance cover?

At its basic level home and contents insurance covers the value of replacing your possessions and rebuilding your property, less the policy excess, in the event they are damaged or destroyed.

However, there is huge variety on exactly what you are covered for and how much a policy will pay out. There are also limits on the maximum claim per item as well as the total payout.

Almost all polices cover you for theft and fire damage - but accidental damage is included as standard on far fewer contents insurance polices.

Policies also vary on whether items are covered away from the home (for example your if phone is stolen while at a restaurant), and if things in the garden are included or not.

Contents insurance and buildings insurance cover very different things - as explained in detail below.

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What is contents insurance?

Contents insurance covers the personal belongings in your home against theft or damage. This can include items like furniture, clothes, electronics and kitchen equipment.

Some content insurance policies also cover items you take out of your home, like your phone, bike or laptop. But this isn't often included as standard, so you should check individual policies if you want to include it.

With contents insurance, your belongings will be replaced with new versions. This is called ‘New for Old’ cover. It means that if your phone was stolen, your insurance would cover the cost of a new one, equal in value to the original.

There are several specific kinds of contents insurance you can get. These include:

  • Rental contents insurance (to protect your belongings if you’re renting)

  • Landlord insurance (if you’re a landlord who lets furnished properties)

  • Unoccupied property insurance (for a holiday home)

  • Student home cover

Here’s more information on what contents insurance covers.

What is building insurance?

Building insurance (or buildings insurance) covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged. Having buildings insurance is generally a requirement of mortgage lenders.

It usually protects the structure of your home and external fixtures like pipes against damage from bad weather, fire or theft. It can also cover internal fixtures and fittings like bathrooms and kitchens, and outdoor structures like sheds.

If there’s been a lot of damage to your property and it’s unsafe to stay in your home, your insurer will pay for you to stay somewhere else until it’s been repaired.

There are some exclusions with buildings insurance that mean you may not be covered.

Most policies don’t cover general wear and tear, loss or damage, if your property’s been left empty for more than 30 days.

If you live in a flat, it's the responsibility of the freeholders to take out a policy that covers the whole building - although this is generally passed on to the tenants and leaseholders through a service charge.

Here’s some more information on what buildings insurance covers.

Why do I need home insurance?

Buildings insurance is a requirement of mortgage lenders before they make an offer. But even cash buyers and people who have paid off their home loans should strongly consider it.

That's because the simple fact is that the cost of replacing all your worldly goods at once - or rebuilding your home - isn't something most of us can afford.

Buildings and contents insurance mean that, should the worst happen and a fire leaves you with nothing more than the clothes you stand up in, you'll have somewhere to stay while your home is repaired and cash to replace your lost possessions.

  • It covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged
  • It is often cheaper than paying for repairs yourself
  • If you're a homeowner, your mortgage provider will likely make it a requirement
  • You can protect the cost of damage to the contents of your home
  • You can even protect your belongings when they are outside your home

How much does home insurance cost?

The average price of home insurance was £129.69 or less for people who bought building and contents insurance between January and March 2021 when using our comparison service, powered by Confused.com.

Figures from Consumer Intelligence¹ show  younger homeowners pay slightly more than average, while Londoners pay the highest average premiums and people in the North East get the cheapest home insurance cover.

Bought separately, buildings insurance is typically more expensive than contents insurance, with prices of about £110 and £61 respectively according to recent figures².

However prices will vary considerably from house to house, and region to region - as well as by what you choose to include in your coverage.

Six ways to make home insurance premiums cheaper



Some insurers ask you to have specific locks on your windows and doors to even take out a policy with them. If your home has high-quality locks, insurers will see you as less of a risk and so generally offer lower premiums.



A working house alarm can reduce how much you pay for home insurance. Make sure the model is approved by the insurer. Also, remember to use it at all times if you’re out of the house, or your insurance could be invalid.



Your excess is the amount you have to pay yourself when you make a claim. Insurers usually offer a cheaper premium if you’re happy to pay a higher voluntary excess. But make sure you can afford the excess in case need to make a claim.



Simply picking a big number could mean you pay for cover you don't need. Add up the value of your belongings instead and remember to include possessions in the garden and shed as well as the home and look at the single item limit too.


Home Rebuild Cost

This is how much it would cost to rebuild your house from scratch. It’s not the same as your home’s market value. The rebuild cost is usually listed on your mortgage valuation. This guide explains how to work out your rebuild cost.


No Claims Bonus

You earn a no claims bonus for each year you have a policy and don’t make a claim. The longer you have with no claims, the lower your premiums will be - which means it can work out cheaper to pay for small amounts of damage yourself.

What optional extras can I get with home insurance?

It's always worth checking exactly what your home insurance policy includes as standard - and what can be added on as an optional extra.

You might find, for example, that the cheap home contents insurance policies come with fewer features, or that a more expensive policy adds in things as standard that you don't need.

Extras can increase your premiums sharply, even with the best home insurance companies. UK providers offer a whole host of different policies, so make sure to check what's included with each when you compare home insurance.

Here are some of the most frequently added home insurance optional extras:

  • Accidental damage: This is for damage you cause unintentionally. For example, it might cover you for smashing a window, spilling paint on a carpet or a pet chewing furniture.

  • Home emergency: This covers you for household problems, like a broken boiler or burst pipe. You’ll usually get access to a 24-hour emergency helpline.

  • Legal expenses: This covers legal issues. It could include costs for property disputes and faulty goods or services.

  • Alternative accommodation: Some policies don’t offer alternative accommodation as standard. It’s a way of making sure you’d have somewhere else to live if your home was damaged and needed repair work.

  • Personal possessions: This covers you for items you take out of your home, like gadgets, phones or jewellery, so it can sometimes be handy. Otherwise, you can insure these items separately.

  • Bicycle cover: You’ll need to decide whether you just want cover if they were taken from your home, or if you want cover away from home, too. Sometimes it can be better to get a specialist bicycle insurance policy.

  • Protected no claims: If you’ve built up a good no claims discount over several years, you might want to pay a bit extra to protect it. Then, if you did need to claim, your no claims discount would be protected.

"When working out how much home insurance cover you need, a handy trick is to go room-to-room, adding up the value of what's in each one. You might be surprised at the total you come to - especially at how quickly the value of your clothes adds up.

"And remember the single item limit - expensive possessions won't be covered above this amount unless you list them out separately."

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Why compare home insurance with money.co.uk?

By comparing home insurance, you could save money on the policy. The best value Home insurance will offer the cover to your home and content. Choose a cover plan from the best UK home insurance companies and see the online discounts they offer.

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¹Consumer Intelligence report into the cost of home insurance, March 2021.
²Contents and buildings insurance costs from the Money Advice Service

Last updated: 27 August 2021