Looking for the best home insurance in 2023? We've got you covered...
Make sure you protect your property and possessions by having the right home insurance
Home insurance is one of the key essentials for homeowners, so it's worth shopping around to find the best cover as well as the best deals, as premiums and coverage can vary widely among different providers.
In the UK there are two main types of policy available: buildings insurance, which covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your property if it is damaged or destroyed, and contents insurance, which covers the cost of replacing your possessions if they are lost, stolen or damaged. Some policies also offer additional coverage for things like accidental damage, legal expenses, and alternative accommodation in the event that you are unable to live in your home.
With different policies available, along with varying levels of cover, our handy guide will help you determine which is best for you.
And, if you’re looking to compare up to 50 of the best home insurance providers, check out the home insurance comparison tool that we’ve developed with Quotezone.
Best home insurance in the UK for 2023
Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your home (the walls, windows and roof) as well as fixtures and fittings such as fitted kitchens, basins and baths – essentially anything that can’t be taken with you if you move. This can often extend to garages, greenhouses and sheds, but check the small print.
Contents insurance covers the cost of replacing items that get damaged or destroyed in a fire or flood, or are stolen. It’s for everything from clothes and carpets to phones and furniture.
Combined building and contents insurance
Combined buildings and contents is the most popular policy as it covers everything – the structure and all the things inside it. The specifics of coverage may differ depending on the insurance company, but in general, buildings and contents insurance safeguards your property and its belongings from various risks such as:
More like this
- Damage due to severe weather conditions like storms and floods
- Fire damage (excluding cases of negligence on your part)
- Water damage resulting from broken pipes
- Structural damage caused by falling trees or lightning strikes
- Theft or burglary (as long as the property was securely locked at the time)
Landlord insurance is not a uniform insurance product; instead, it is customised to cater to the requirements of individuals who own buy-to-let properties. It combines various types of insurance coverage to safeguard against a range of 'insurable risks'. Besides securing your building and your own property contents, landlord insurance policies may also offer coverage for any harm caused to other people's belongings or any physical injuries for which you may be held responsible.
If you are a renter, the protection of your personal property will likely be your topmost priority, rather than the actual property itself. However, while this sounds like contents insurance, there is a product specfically for tenants.
S0 what's the difference between tenant's insurance and contents insurance? Both policies will provide coverage against theft, fire, and flood for your furniture, electrical appliances, gadgets, ornaments, books, and clothes. Moreover, some of the more comprehensive policies will also insure valuable items such as mobile phones, watches, and jewellery up to a certain amount.
However, there is one significant difference between the two policies. Many renters opt to add tenant's liability coverage as an optional extra to their tenancy insurance. This add-on coverage will protect the tenant in case the property, its fixtures, or fittings suffer damage or are destroyed. In contrast, standard contents insurance typically only covers the tenant's belongings.
Why do I need home insurance?As your home is the biggest financial investment you’re likely to ever make, here’s why insurance is essential…
- You’ll get financial protection should your home be damaged due to fire or flood or if anything gets stolen.
- Buildings insurance is a must when looking for a mortgage, as this is the lender’s security on the loan. It should cover fire, storms, flood and subsidence.
- A policy should arrange for an alternative place to stay should yours become uninhabitable due to fire or flood.
- Accidents such as hammering a nail through a water pipe or staining a carpet can be covered with accidental damage.
- Look for ‘new for old’ – if you need to replace items, you’d expect to have the money to buy the latest versions.
- Adding home emergency to your cover can pay for things like locksmiths and burst pipes, as well as offering 24-hour help.
What should I include for content insurance?
Contents insurance provides coverage for the expenses associated with replacing or repairing the personal belongings inside your home. These items can include but are not limited to your television, media players, sound system, computers, household appliances, furniture, artwork, home decor, and clothing.
Aspects to consider when working out how much cover you want
- For contents insurance, it should be the approximate total value of all your possessions including furnishings,
furniture, clothes, electrical items and office equipment.
- Make sure anything inside the garage, shed or greenhouse is included too, such as bikes, scooters, lawn mowers, garden furniture and any expensive plants.
Factors to consider when taking out content insurance
Cover for high value items
The term 'high value' typically encompasses all the belongings inside a residential property that a homeowner would pack up and transport when moving to a new home. These items may include furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, jewellery, artwork, and other possessions that are not permanently attached to the structure of the house. In contrast, fixtures such as built-in shelving, lighting fixtures, and plumbing fixtures are considered part of the real property and generally stay with the home when it is sold or transferred to a new owner.
What is not included in contents insurance
The aim of your insurance policy is to safeguard you from the financial burden of unforeseeable accidents or incidents. However, it's important to note that typical wear and tear of your belongings will not be covered by your policy.
In addition to normal wear and tear, there may be other situations where your insurance provider may not offer coverage. These could include:
- Accidental damage to your contents (for example, liquid spills on electronic equipment or cigarette burns on upholstery)
- Damage to your contents caused by your guests or visitors
- Damage caused by your pets
- Damage caused by leaky guttering
New for old cover
Under the 'new-for-old' provision, your insurance policy will cover the full replacement cost of your personal belongings and the cost of rebuilding your home from scratch.
Indemnity policies take into account the depreciation of your possessions and therefore, the payouts are adjusted accordingly. Although they are a more cost-effective option, indemnity policies do not offer the same comprehensive protection as new-for-old cover.
What is the average home insurance cost in the UK?
The average cost of home insurance in the UK can vary depending on several factors, including the location, the size and age of the property, the level of cover required, and the insurer chosen.
According to the Association of British Insurers, the average annual cost of home insurance in the UK in 2022 was £300. However, this figures is based on average costs across the country and does not take into account the regional variations that can significantly impact the cost of home insurance.
In general, home insurance tends to be more expensive in areas that are prone to natural disasters or high crime rates. For example, if you live in an area that is at risk of flooding, your home insurance premiums may be higher due to the increased likelihood of damage from flooding.
Similarly, if you live in an area with a high crime rate, your home insurance premiums may be higher to account for the increased risk of burglary or theft. The type of property you own can also impact the cost of home insurance. For instance, if you live in a listed building or a property with a thatched roof, your insurance premiums may be higher due to the increased cost of repairs or replacement in the event of damage.
Ultimately, the cost of home insurance in the UK varies depending on a range of factors, and it is important to shop around and compare quotes from different insurers to find the best deal for your needs and circumstances.
How do I estimate the value of my belongings?
Estimating the value of your belongings can be a time-consuming and challenging task, but it's an essential process if you want to ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage or need to sell some of your items. Here are some steps you can follow to estimate the value of your belongings:
- Create a list of your belongings: Start by creating a comprehensive list of all your belongings, including furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, jewelry, and any other valuable items you own.
- Determine the age and condition of each item: The age and condition of your belongings can significantly impact their value. Make a note of the age of each item and whether it's in good, fair, or poor condition.
- Research current prices: Conduct online research to find out the current prices of the items on your list. You can use online marketplaces or retail websites to get an idea of the current market value for each item.
- Account for depreciation: Keep in mind that the value of most items depreciates over time, which means that their value decreases with age and use. Account for depreciation when estimating the value of your belongings.
- Consider replacement costs: Replacement cost is the amount it would cost to replace your item if you had to buy it new today. Keep this in mind when estimating the value of your belongings. You can use online tools or consult with a professional appraiser to determine replacement costs.
How do I calculate the rebuild cost of my home?
This is different from its market value and with most online comparison sites you can either accept an estimated rebuild value or enter your own figure using a calculator from the Building Cost Information Service at calculator.bcis.co.uk.
Things to look out for when buying home insurance
While the internet makes it easier to compare home insurance policies, it's important to take a thorough approach when shopping for coverage. Choosing the cheapest policy available may not be the best decision, so it's important to examine the level and type of coverage offered by each policy.
It's wise to carefully review the details of each policy to avoid making assumptions about what is covered. For instance, some policies may not cover damage caused by the homeowner or loss of personal items taken outside of the home. Additionally, coverage for homes that are rented out or unoccupied may be limited.
How to find the best home insurance?
Get the best price with these top tips
- Compare levels of cover and check exclusions to ensure you’re only paying for what you need.
- Use online comparison sites to find the cheapest quotes. Some insurance companies aren’t on these, so contact them directly.
- Opting for a combined home and contents insurance policy from a single provider may offer a homeowner a slight discount.
- Raising the excess on a policy could potentially lower the premium, but it may also require the homeowner to pay a higher out-of-pocket amount when filing a claim.
- Some insurance providers may offer a discount of approximately 5% to homeowners who pay their premiums annually rather than monthly.
- An insurance broker could save you money and is worth paying for if you have a listed building or other specialist needs.
- Having a house alarm, security lighting or joining the local Neighbourhood Watch could reduce your premiums.
It's worth spending time finding the right home insurance policy because it not only ensures that you have adequate coverage to protect your home and belongings, but can help homeowners save mone. Choosing the cheapest policy available may not provide sufficient coverage, and it's important to review policy details carefully to avoid making assumptions about what is covered.
And, if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, why not start by checking out the home insurance comparison tool that we’ve developed with Quotezone.
While we're on the subject, why not tackle all those house admin jobs that you've been putting off, with our helpful guides, which include Boiler types: how to choose the right boiler, Smart thermostats: what are they and are they worth investing in?and How to save money on your energy bills. Alternatively, if you're considering a move, check out our comprehensive guide, How to sell your house without an estate agent or for homebuilders, What are the rules for renovating a listed home?.