The rules governing the answers to the questions below vary from insurer to insurer but the answers have been compiled by reference to the general approach of most. The answers given as a general guide only. You should always read your policy and, if you have any doubt at all, check with your insurer.
What Is The Difference Between Home Buildings And Home Contents Insurance?
Buildings insurance covers the bricks and mortar, ie the general structure of the property and will include most permanent items such as kitchen units and fitted bedrooms. Contents insurance, on the other hand, deals with movable household items such as furniture and personal belongings.
What Is New For Old Cover?
Some policies insure house contents on an indemnity basis which means that, in the event of a claim, the insurer will settle the claim less an allowance for wear and tear. Most modern policies are set up on a new for old basis which, provided your sums insured are not understated, covers your property for its replacement value at today's costs. You should always read your policy to check for any exceptions.
What Is Accidental Damage Cover?
With most house contents policies if you pay an increased premium you can extend your cover to include accidental damage. Typical examples of accidental damage are cigarette burns in carpets, paint spillage or dropped ornaments. You may also be able to extend the cover on your buildings insurance to include accidental damage. This will cover you for such things as putting your foot through the ceiling when you are in the attic. Do ask for more details.
What Is All Risks Cover?
The new for old and accidental damage cover normally relate to incidents occurring within the house but, again for an increased premium, you can buy additional cover for property outside the house. The cover is normally on a worldwide basis and will include such things as loss or theft of baggage whilst on holiday, loss or theft of jewellery away from the home or something as simple as losing your spectacles.
My House Is Worth £150,000 But My Lender Says I Only Have To Insure It For £120,000. Why?
Buildings insurance is put into effect to cover the rebuilding cost of your house and its outbuildings such as a garage. You do not need to insure the value of the land on which the house is built or, indeed, any the extra value attributed to a property because of the area in which it is situated - you only need to cover the cost of demolition and rebuilding. There can be exceptions - if you own a building that would need specialist reconstruction (as in the case of many listed buildings) you may actually have to insure for more that the market value of the house. If you are not sure about how much you should insure for then contact us.
I Have A Valuable Oil Painting. Is This Covered Under My Contents Policy?
Your policy will normally cover individual items up to a value of between £1,000 and £2,000 depending on your insurer or they may give cover for a specific percentage of the overall sum insured. For individual items that exceed the allowed values you must specify them separately and pay an additional premium. Your insurer will probably want to see a recent professional valuation. It is surprising how many people fall into the trap of thinking that their valuable antique furniture is covered under their general contents policy - they have a nasty shock when they submit their claim form. Also keep abreast of changing values - your policy will usually be indexed linked to the retail prices index but collectible items quite often gain value at a much quicker rate and your sums insured should be regularly reviewed.
What Can I Do To Reduce My Premium?
There are many ways to obtain discounts on your home policy. You can consider inexpensive ways such as joining your local neighbourhood watch scheme and fix smoke detectors. You can spend money on installing window locks and improved door locks (check with us to ensure that the locks conform to your insurers minimum standards) or consider a burglar alarm (again check with us that the installation is approved by your insurers). Getting older also has some advantages as most insurers have reduced rates for over 50's. If you remain claim free your insurers may also reward you with a no claims discount.
Do I Have To Insure My Buildings With My Mortgage Provider?
No, unless you are tied into a special package which insists that you insure with your lender . You may be surprised at how much you can save by changing your home insurance. We have access to many markets - if you would like us to give you a quote why not spend a couple of minutes by giving us a call to find out how much you could save.