Home Insurance


Penguin home insurance with house copy
Home insurance is a name that covers a variety of aspects of the policies that are available to cover the building you live in and the contents of your home. So when you are choosing your policy, or policies, it makes sense to take some time to understand what it is you are signing up for.

There are a number of things to consider when you are looking for the right policy for your home, and while price is important, any insurance policy is effectively worthless if you cannot make a claim when the time comes. So always be honest with your insurer, answer the questions as fully as you can, and make realistic estimates of the value of cover you need.

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Penguin home insurance with house copy
If you have a mortgage, then your mortgage lender will ask you to have building insurance, and it will also want to be listed on the insurance policy as an interested party in the property. Even if you haven’t got a mortgage, you should have buildings cover as it will insure you against damage to your property from any event such as fire, flood or subsidence.

To get the right level of cover, you need to estimate how much it will cost to rebuild your property if the whole thing was destroyed. That figure is lower than the market value though, so be sure to work out precisely how much you need to insure the rebuild cost for. The Association of British Insurer’s has a House Rebuilding Costs calculator which will help you get the right figure so you are not paying too much for your insurance.

You need to take into account the cost of fixtures and fittings too – you cannot live in a shell, so get the cover that will put your home back to where it was.

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Penguin home insurance with house copy
Contents insurance will cover you for everything within your home that is not nailed down or attached to a wall. It will cover everything from your jewellery to your laptops, your clothes to your curtains – so you need to get the right amount of cover in case you lost everything you own in a fire or flood.

You should remember to include all items that you own, and you may want to get additional cover for some items such as laptops or mobile phones if you use them outside the home. It is always better to go for a ‘new for old’ policy, as any damage or theft of an item with this policy means you will get a new item to replace it. If you do not have this, then you would only receive the value that your existing item was worth. For example, an old TV would be worth a lot less than a new state of the art set that is the upgraded version of what you had.

Without new for old cover, you would be left out of pocket. Also, remember to always compare like-with-like. You can get all sorts of bells and whistles on your home insurance, and that can make it hard to compare products directly. But you can set your excess – the first part of any claim you are prepared to pay – and that will give you a good basis to start comparing your cover.

Cheap home insurance, and cheap contents insurance, is not always the best option. The only value in an insurance policy is being able to claim. A cheap policy may have hidden small print you did not realise negates your claim, so always read the terms and conditions.

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Penguin home insurance with house copy
If you are a collector of fine art, antiques, classic cars or expensive wines – or anything else you can think of – you will need a specialist policy to cover your home contents properly. These specialist policies will cost more, but the value you have in them if you need to claim is also much greater.

The add-ons are tempting too, such as having unlimited cover on items that are used outside the home, or having ‘new for old’ cover in place as standard. You will often be able to add things to your policy that are hard to include on a normal policy too, such as high value bicycles, or expensive jewellery.

Whatever you do, do not be tempted to try and reduce the premiums you pay by under-insuring. That is as bad as having no insurance at all, since you would not be able to claim the full amount if you needed to.

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Penguin home insurance with house copy
Reducing the amount you pay for your insurance is not easy, as you do not want to under-insure, or get a policy that you cannot actually claim on when you need to. However, there are some things you can do:



1. Compare the market – you can get a variety of quotes from different insurers, but always make sure you are comparing them on the same basis. Choose the same excess, and the same policy additions to be sure you are getting the right information. Using an online insurance comparison service is a good way to do this. Use the comparison service provided by Quotezone below to get an idea of what deals are available.

2. Increase your excess – the more you are prepared to pay out of your own pocket if you have to make a claim, the lower your premiums will be. The excess is the first part of any claim you are prepared to cover yourself.

3. Don’t claim on your insurance – sounds crazy, right? After all, what do you pay it for? But if you do not claim on your home insurance then your no claims discount will rise, which should reduce the amount you have to pay. Think about how much of your claim you would have to cover out of your excess, and then decide whether the extra you would get for the claim is worth the likely rise in premiums for the following year.

4. Ask for a loyalty bonus – if you are staying with your home insurer then ask for a reduction in the premium for doing so. Home insurance is a competitive market, and if you switch providers each year, you will usually get a better deal. Check what is on offer, and ask your existing insurer if it will match it.

5. Shop around – always check what is available elsewhere before signing up to a new deal.

Get a home insurance quote now on MyMoneyDiva from the comparison service provided by Quotezone