Buildings and Contents Insurance
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Buildings and Contents insurance is purchased to provide some financial protection should your home be damaged and require repair.
You need to find the correct insurer for your needs based upon the property that you are wanting to insure. Insurance premiums will be calculated based upon numerous factors.
What is buildings and contents insurance?
Buildings insurance will generally provide you cover should your home be flooded, vandalised, or damaged by other means. This insurance is focused upon the main structure of the building and will be assessed by insurers based upon the rebuild value of the property. It is often described that if you were turn your house upside down, whatever does not fall out will often be covered by buildings insurance.
Contents insurance covers a range of personal items that are in your home including cash, jewellery, furniture and computers, to name but a few. The main purpose of this insurance is to allow you to replace those items that make your standard of living similar to before the loss. It is important to be realistic when adding up the value of your possessions as you do not want to over insure your belongings and pay higher premiums than necessary. You may also find that your policy provider requires items over a certain value to be named items on the policy in order for them to be included in the policy cover.
You do not need to have buildings and contents insurance if you own your property outright, but it is not recommended to do this. If you have a mortgage however most lenders require you to have at least buildings insurance.
There are a few combinations of buildings and contents insurance that you can purchase:
- Buildings only insurance – Provides you with the security of financial protection if the hard-shell of your property is damaged; often including permanent fixtures and fittings e.g. kitchen units, bathroom suite, etc. If you have a mortgage it is likely to be a stipulation of your mortgage provider that buildings insurance is in place.
- Contents insurance – Provides protection for your personal belongings e.g. laptop, TV, etc.
- Buildings and contents insurance – A combination of the last two options
- Landlords insurance – Provides financial protection for people letting a property, usually this covers the buildings insurance as above, some contents if the house is furnished and some legal/liability cover. Some landlords policies also cover rent protection to cover loss of rental income due to a claimable event.
- Holiday let insurance – Similar to landlords insurance but designed to cover landlords letting their property to holiday makers.
You need to find the correct insurer for your needs based upon the property that you are wanting to insure. Insurance premiums will be calculated based upon numerous factors, including but not limited to:
- Alarms in property
- Door locks
- Day and night time use
- Local environmental factors
- Age of house
- Construction of house
- Rebuild value
- No claims discounts
- Property location (postcode)
- For landlords: employment status of occupants
How will my Special Risk affect this?
Your special risk should have no impact upon the acceptance of your buildings and contents cover. If your property has required significant structural alterations to accommodate your health then it may be worthwhile informing the insurer of this so that they are aware of the property condition. For people who partake in hazardous sports and have expensive equipment stored within their home you may wish to inform the insurer of these items so that you can arrange for them to be covered by the policy.
Additionally people who live in high flood risk areas, places with subsidence, etc could find it difficult to find cover with standard providers.
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