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Home Insurance - Buildings & Contents

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Finding Best Home Insurance Providers
  Buildings & Contents

Your house is your home - and you need to protect it. Most insurance companies provide you with insurance for both buildings and contents to keep your household and garden insured against damage and loss.

Online home insurance providers lets you manage either your building insurance policy, contents insurance policy or both buildings and contents policy in your own time - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why bother with call centres and automated phone lines? Buying online saves you time while reducing the cost of your home insurance.

Whether you own or rent your property, whether it's a terraced, semi, bungalow, detached or a townhouse, many insurance companies can provide competitive home insurance quotes online.

Distinguish between Building and Contents Insurance

Buildings Insurance protects you against damage to the bricks and mortar and permanent fixtures and fittings. It also usually covers outbuildings like your garage, greenhouse or garden shed. If you're a leaseholder, you don't usually need to have this cover. The freeholder does.

Contents Insurance protects you against damage to or loss of anything you'd normally take with you if you moved furniture, kitchen equipment, television, computer and audio equipment, clothing and valuables.

Both types of home insurance cover against a range of perils including fire, subsidence, theft, flood, lightning and storm. They also provide important cover for your legal liabilities as a homeowner. To read  for more information - Click here...

Choose the right level of cover 

Make sure you buy the right amount of cover, or any claim you come to make could be rejected or reduced pro rata. In other words, if you are under insured and in the event of a claim, the Insurance company could reject or only pay you a reduced amount. With buildings insurance you need to insure for the cost of rebuilding the property, which is likely to be less than its market value. You might find the rebuild figure on your mortgage survey or you can have it assessed by a surveyor. With contents insurance, there are two main ways to get cover. It's a good idea to get quotes for both types: 

1. A bedroom-rated policy is based on the number of bedrooms your home has (often subject to a maximum amount of cover) 

2. A sum-insured policy is where you work out how much cover you need, from which the insurer calculates your premium (regular policy payment) 

If you need to use a calculater, you can find one here - Click Here 

New-for-Old and indemnity policies 

The better contents policies replace damaged or stolen goods on a new-for-old basis, which means you'll either be paid the full cost of repairing damaged items or the cost of replacing them with equivalent new articles if they are stolen or destroyed. Indemnity policies are cheaper but they deduct an amount for wear, tear and depreciation. Clothing and household linen can only be covered on an indemnity basis. A man's suit, for example, is only reckoned to have a life span of five years. 

Add-Ons or Extras

You can pay an additional premium to extend your insurance to cover a range of things: - 

  • Personal possessions (also called 'all risks') covers loss of items when they're out of the home, for example your handbag or camera. 
  • Accidental damage. Standard contents policies include some cover for accidental damage, for example glass in furniture, but not accidental damage to goods or furnishings.
  • Food in your freezer  
  • Bicycles
  • Personal money and credit cards
  • Legal expenses. To cover the cost of legal proceedings you need to bring or to defend a claim, typically in personal injury, consumer or property disputes 

High-value items 

It you have any valuable items, always check that these would be covered; if not, you may have to pay an additional premium. Some policies specify a certain value as 'high value', which may go as low as £1,000. You should keep proofs of purchase; you may be asked to get a valuation certificate for expensive items like paintings, antiques and jewellery. 


You may qualify to save money if you buy your buildings and contents insurance from the same company. Some insurers also offer no-claims discounts on contents insurance. Other things that may help you get a discount: 

  • Fitting an approved burglar alarm
  • Secure locks.
  • Membership of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
  • Increasing the voluntary excess - an amount you would pay towards any claim.

                    Do Not Be Under Insured

Checking you're not under-insured
One in five people with home insurance runs the risk of being under-insured, and that could mean having your claim reduced or even refused. It can be the same with other types of insurance too, so take 10 minutes to check that you're adequately covered.

Before you begin: Dig out your documents Gather together details of the insurance cover you already have, such as home contents, buildings, life and income protection, and make a note of the sum insured in each case. Work out how much it would actually cost to cover your possessions, rebuild your home, and safeguard your family's income in the event of your death.

Make a list of your house contents
A typical family home has contents worth around £40,000 (think about all that expensive equipment like computers, hi-fis, and digital TVs). If your contents are worth £40,000 and you only insure for £20,000 then your insurer will only pay half of any claim and may even reject it altogether Make a list of everything in your home that you would take with you when you move, from clothes to kitchen appliances. The best way to do this is to go round each room systematically, list what's there and estimate how much it would cost to replace if you were buying new. Don't forget the loft, garage and shed. If you have valuable items such as antiques or jewellery, you may need to get a valuation from an expert.

Keep up to date
Don't forget that we all tend to accumulate things over a period of time. If you have children, you'll have a whole new range of furniture, gadgets and toys too. Remember to review the list regularly as you buy new things - five CDs a month can add as much as £800 a year to your contents total.

Use a guide
Most insurers have a guide to help you work out how much home contents cover you need. You can usually find these online.

Check the rebuild cost of your home
Make sure the sum assured on your buildings insurance is enough to meet the full rebuilding cost of your property (which may be different from the market value). Your mortgage survey may include the cost, or you can pay a surveyor for a cost, or use an online ready reckoner to help you. The Association of British Insurers has one on its website - CLICK HERE 

                            Summary of the cover provided under a Home Policy

Cover can be arranged for contents only, buildings only or combined contents and buildings. Most insurers provide:-

Building Cover - What is covered under Buildings insurance?

The structure of the property including its walls, fences, drives and patios. Outbuildings within the boundaries of the home. All permanent fixtures and fittings. Fixed glass and windows in the home and fixed sanitary ware (accidental damage is provided as standard)
Cover is up to the selected sum insured (which is the cost to rebuild the property.
What events are insured?

Fire, Smoke, Lightning, explosion, thunderbolt or earthquake, Storm or flood, Escape of water or oil from any fixed water or heating installation or domestic appliance, Riot, civil commotion, strikes, labour or political disturbances, Theft, attempted theft, vandalism or malicious acts, Subsidence, ground heave or landslip of the site in which the property sits, Damage caused by falling trees, Optional accidental damage extension (an additional premium will apply). For example, someone putting their foot through the ceiling whilst in the loft or a DIY disaster.

What Extra cover is provided as standard?
Cover during the sale of the property
Accidental breakage to mirrors and glass provided they are fixed
Property Owners Liability cover  
Alternative accommodation up to the lower of £10,000 or 20% building sum insured if the home cannot be lived in following an insured event
Cover during sale

Contents Cover - What is covered under Contents insurance?

Household goods including non permanent fixtures and fittings such as carpets
High risk items such as TV's, video, DVD's, computers and jewellery, Personal belongings
Up to £3,000 of office equipment and furniture for a business run from the home
Cover is up to the selected sum insured which can range from £15,000 to £99,000. Within this sum insured the limit for high risk items will be 20% of the contents sum insured

What events are insured?
Fire, Smoke, Lightning, explosion, thunderbolt or earthquake
Storm or flood, Escape of water or oil from any fixed water or heating installation or domestic appliance, Riot, civil commotion, strikes, labour or political disturbances, Theft, attempted theft, vandalism or malicious acts (limitations apply for cover for theft from outbuildings), Subsidence, ground heave or landslip of the site in which your property sits,
Damage caused by falling trees, aerials or satellite receiving equipment, Optional accidental damage extension (an additional premium will apply).

What Extra cover is provided as standard? Limitations apply
Freezer Contents,  Alternative accommodation, Cash and use of Credit Cards where stolen from the home , Guest's property, Cover for Personal Documents and Title Deeds, Legal responsibility as a tenant, Public Liability cover, Increase in contents cover by 10% during the Christmas period and before and after Weddings, Loss of oil or metered water, Cover for contents in the open,   Replacement locks and keys cover, Accidental breakage to home entertainment equipment  

Personal Possessions
In addition to Contents cover (which in the main insures the contents whilst in the home) cover can be extended for an additional premium to add personal possessions cover. This is designed to cover clothing and personal articles designed to be carried on or around your person, both in and away from the home, for example camcorders, sports equipment or luggage on holiday.

Pedal Cycles
If required, you can pay an additional premium to add pedal cycle cover to the standard policy.

Additional Products
Family Legal Protection
For an additional premium, you can include Family Legal Protection which will provide cover to pursue legal claims for incidents such as employment disputes and personal injury claims.

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If you're looking for flexible home insurance that offers great cover, turn to LV=. The majority of our customers pay under £100 for contents insurance. (based on new policy sales March 09 - February 10)

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