What home insurance do you need?

Whether you live in a flat or a mansion, getting the right home insurance policy is essential. Here is how to find the best cover for your property.

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2 Scottish houses by a road. One house has a white door and the other has a red door.

Why do you need home insurance?

Although it may not be a legal requirement to insure your home, it can cover you for huge costs if your home is damaged by fire, flooding, subsidence or if your belongings are stolen.

What types of home insurance can you get?

Home insurance comes in two types:

    You can buy these policies separately, or in a combined home insurance policy.

    When you take out a mortgage most lenders insist you have a buildings insurance policy for the property you are buying.

    What type of property do you want to cover?

    Your home can influence what sort of policy you should get.

    If you own a property of standard construction, most home insurance policies can cover you, but if your home is slightly different you may need different cover:

    Rented accommodation

    If you rent your home, you should not need buildings insurance. It is your landlord's responsibility to arrange this and sort out repairs.

    You can get a contents insurance policy to protect all of your belongings like furniture, electronics, white goods and clothes you have in your home.

    If your property is furnished, your landlord should have their own policy in place to cover the furniture that belongs to them.

    If you are a student and you rent with friends, or live in halls of residence, you may need specific contents cover. Find out how to get the right student home insurance here.

    Compare contents insurance for tenants here

    Compare student contents insurance here

    Non-standard properties

    If your home is not of a standard construction, you may need a specialist insurance policy to cover it. Non-standard homes include:

      Here is how to find out what cover you need if you live in a non standard home.

      Large or expensive homes

      If your home is worth a lot of money, or has a large number of bedrooms, a standard home insurance policy may not be able to cover you. You may need specialist buildings cover if your home:

        If you have an expensive home, you may also need higher levels of contents cover to protect your possessions. Some insurers offer high net worth home insurance designed to cover large homes and expensive contents.

        Compare high net worth home insurance here

        Holiday homes

        Many standard policies do not cover holiday homes, because most insurers will not insure properties left empty for more than 30 consecutive days.

        You may need to get a specific holiday home insurance policy, which can cover your property if you do not stay there often.

        It can be even harder to get cover if your holiday home is overseas. This guide explains how to insure your holiday home abroad.

        Unoccupied properties

        If you need to insure a house that will stay empty for an extended period of time, you need a specialist unoccupied home insurance policy.

        Here is how to find the right insurance to protect an unoccupied house.

        If you own another property you stay in regularly you may need a second home insurance policy.

        Properties with subsidence

        Most insurers will not cover your property if you have made a claim for subsidence damage in the past.

        This is because repairing the foundations of your property can cost tens of thousands of pounds. There are insurers that can cover homes with subsidence, but you may be charged more and have to pay a higher excess if you claim.

        Here is how how to get the right subsidence insurance for your home.

        Compare subsidence house insurance here

        How much cover do you need?

        When you apply for home insurance you need to work out:

          By working out the correct amounts you can avoid paying more for your insurance than you need to, or not having enough cover to replace your contents or repair your home.

          Case study – Fatema's story

          "When I receive a yearly renewal letter for an insurance policy, the premium often increases from the previous year. I do my homework and see if I can find a better deal elsewhere with another provider as a new customer."
          Fatema, West Yorkshire

          Do you need extra cover?

          Most home insurance policies come with optional extras you can add to your policy. Common extras include:

            These come at an added cost, so think carefully about whether any of these extras would be useful. They could save you money and hassle in the long run if you do need them.

            Work out what home insurance you need

            To get the right home insurance policy for your property you need to:

              Once you know what type of policy you need, and the levels of cover, you can compare home insurance here.

              Protect your home and belongings for less by comparing home insurance policies to cover a range of property types and individual circumstances.