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A Guide to Choosing the Best Home Insurance

Tue 18 Feb 2014

Your home is the most important purchase you will ever make in your life and it will most likely be your biggest asset, this means it is vital that you have the best home insurance plan to protect it. There are tons of different options and plans available, you just need to make sure that you choose the best one for you.

Some deals might sound great but not be suitable for your property, so it is really important to make sure you spend time going through all the option and weighing up the pros and cons of all your different choices.

Having good home insurance will minimise the risk of loss caused by theft, fire or weather damage and more expensive policies may even cover damage from floods and earthquakes. Mortgage lenders will usually insist that you have suitable home insurance that covers the building to protect their own interest.

Building Insurance

A building insurance policy covers the actual structure of the home and any surrounding land, as opposed to what's actually in the home itself. This insurance will not just cover the bricks and mortar of your home, but also any permanent fittings such as toilets, sinks and in some cases a fitted kitchen. Make sure you check exactly what is covered before making the decision to buy it and finding any problems later on. If you have a garage or shed these may be covered too, along with any fences or walls.

When organising your mortgage, the lender may offer you building insurance with them, but don't be tempted to go for it just for the sake of convenience, it could cost you a lot more than if you take the time to shop around for a better deal.

The cost of your policy will be determined largely by the area of the country you live in. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding for example, your policy will be higher than for those who live in a high area that generally doesn't have any problems. 

Contents Insurance

While building insurance is essential if your house is being funded by a mortgage, content insurance can be purchased completely at the discretion of the home owner. It is however highly recommended that you choose a contents insurance policy to protect your valuable belongings.

The entire contents of your home is likely to be worth quite a large sum of money and contents insurance will cover items such as sofas and chairs, TVs and computers, curtains and carpets, and all your clothing. Some policies will also cover garden furniture, bikes and the contents of your wallet or handbag.

Again, it is important to understand exactly what cover a policy gives you before you sign up for it and find problems further down the line.

How to Get the Best Deal

Shop, shop shop. Make sure you have at least three full quotes before you make any decisions on your policy. Make a sensible list of all your belongings and how much value they each have to you, so that you have an accurate sum of the contents you need covering. Weigh up what every policy will give you against the price it will cost you, a good deal may catch your eye but it might not provide everything you need.

There are some great comparison sites out there which will take into account all your needs and provide you with a list of options and even allow you to purchase a policy through the site. This can be a very cost effective and time saving way to go about it. Many companies will offer a discount if you purchase both your building and contents insurance through them and you may also get a discount for buying your policy online.

Just remember though, while saving money is always a priority, making sure you have the appropriate insurance for your building and contents is crucial if the worst does happen and you end up in a bad situation. It is always better to be over-insured than under-insured.

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