When you’ve secured your mortgage and bought your home, what comes next? Sure, you’re going to have to move in, but is your home protected? One of the key things to ensure that you have for your new home is, of course, home insurance. Although you may think it’s an extra cost you could do without, the fact is, it’s so important to have it (and in most cases, a lender requirement). But why?
Well, Zing are here to tell you! We’re going through the basics of home insurance in our post. Everything from what it is, to why it’s important, including the importance of Accidental Damage cover and Trace and Access cover. If you’re looking to understand the basics of home insurance, and why it’s essential for your home, stay on this page and read our blog!
Find out all you need to know, below.
So, like you may be able to guess, home insurance is insurance for your home, and can be broken down into two parts. The first is Building’s insurance. This covers you for the actual bricks and mortar of your property. The second part is Content’s, which covers everything inside your home. Whilst building’s insurance covers fixtures and fittings, like your kitchen and bathroom, as well as the bare bones of your home, content’s insurance covers your gadgets, possessions and anything of value in your home. The simplest way to determine what Is covered by building’s insurance and what Is by contents; if you were to pick your home up and tip It upside down, anything that fell out is contents. Anything that stayed put (this includes carpets), is buildings.
We should say that you are not required by law to have home insurance, however, most lender’s will stipulate that adequate building’s Insurance Is secured against the property as an absolute minimum. Insurance on your home and contents is essential to have, because who knows what could happen – and re-building your home / replacing your stolen/damaged possessions isn’t cheap, so insurance covers you for this. Let’s see what each part of home insurance means for you.+
Let’s start with the bare bones of your home – the building. Building’s insurance protects your home against damages caused by the likes of fires, falling trees, floods, subsidence and burst pipes too. Most standard buildings insurance policies will cover you for this, but extra cover is an option that some choose, such as storm damage. Standard policies may not cover you against damage from war or terrorism OR general wear and tear to your home, so it is vital you check exactly what you are covered for before taking out a policy.
Your buildings insurance policy will outline all of this for you, and you’ll better understand what you are and aren’t covered against – so read the small print! As mentioned above, by law ,you’re not required to have building’s insurance. However, this is where most lenders will ask that you do have sufficient insurance for your home. Why? Because technically, lenders own your home until your mortgage is paid off in full. If anything happens to it and you’re not covered, well it’s not going to be cheap for you.
A vital thing to look out for when choosing adequate building’s insurance is Trace and Access. As said above, your building’s insurance should cover you, as standard, for burst water pipes. However, this is for the replacement of the pipe, NOT ‘tracing’ and ‘accessing’ the pipe itself that has caused the leak. This part of the process can run up into thousands due to needing to rip up tiles, carpet and flooring, and is often far more costly than the replacement of the pipe itself and is one of the top claims for insurance. But amazingly (possibly due to the high claim numbers) some lenders have now excluded Trace and Access as a standard cover of their policies, so don’t be caught out and make sure you have cover for Trace and Access for at least £5,000.
What you’ll pay for your insurance is dependent on the size of your property and the level of cover you opt for. But, it’s important to know what the pay out of building insurance will be. Your insurance company will not pay out the value of your home, they will pay for the costs of re-building it. Which means you’re going to need to find out what it could potentially cost to rebuild, to make sure you’ve got sufficient buildings insurance cover.
Now, we move onto contents…
Laptops, jewellery, basically the whole contents of your home, are covered by your contents insurance, as long as they are in the home at point of claim. However, we must state this for a third time, you are not obliged by law to take out contents insurance, but should something happen, are you willing to pay out of your own pocket for a new TV, computer and everything else? Didn’t think so… So, making sure you have sufficient cover for your contents is key for your home.
You’ll have your contents protected from damage and loss caused by floods, storms, water leaks, theft and fire too. Some policies cover explosions and earthquakes too! But, most policies have a single item value limit. If you own anything overly expensive, it has to be accounted for separately, as most insurers only pay out for items up to the value of £1,500. So, take stock of the value of your contents to make sure you’ve got proper cover!
As an additional part of content’s insurance, you can include Personal Possessions cover. What this does is it protects your possessions that you take out of your home regularly (phone, laptop, iPad), whilst they are out of the home. Standard content’s cover will not cover you for damages or thefts of ‘personal possessions’ If they are lost or damaged outside of your home, so if this is something you’re keen to protect, make sure you include Personal Possessions Cover.
Accidental Damage is one of the top claims in the UK, so is definitely something you need to be considering when insuring your home and contents. Yet, it isn’t covered as standard on most insurance policies. From things such as spilling wine on a carpet to drilling through a water pipe, any damage you cause to your home or contents unintentionally will be classified as Accidental Damage.
Now, who do we know that offers quotes for home insurance? Oh wait, it’s us. Yes, Zing can help you find an insurance policy that is right for you. Simply head to our Buildings & Contents page to find out what we can do for you! Speak to one of our brokers today.