Home insurance and the things you need to know this winter

With winter on its way, now could be the perfect time to take out home insurance cover with a company like HomeServe. It will help protect your premises in an emergency, but what should you look out for and what do you need to know about the different policies available?

The difference between home and contents cover

If you have become a property owner for the first time, it’s essential to understand that there are two main types of home insurance available – buildings and content. The former protects the physical structure of your home including the windows, roof and walls, as well as permanent fixtures such as a newly-fitted bathroom suite. It should also provide you with adequate protection against instances of fire, flood, subsidence, falling trees and other things that could damage your premises. You must insure your property for the amount it would cost to rebuild it from scratch including legal fees.

Contents cover, on the other hand, will offer you a financial safety net for the things inside your home including furniture and jewellery. It provides peace of mind that you’ll be compensated in the event of a natural disaster or theft, but you must read the small print to fully understand the contract. As the contents of your home might tally up to more than you think, estimate the value of your belongings as accurately as possible to avoid being underpaid if you ever need to make a claim.

Is there anything buildings insurance won’t pay for?

All policies are different, so take the time to read the terms and conditions carefully. You’ll probably find that major incidents are covered, but that normal wear and tear will be down for you to pay for. What’s more, if no one is living at your home for more than 30 days in a year, the insurance policy could become invalid, so always double check this with your provider. If you have a mortgage, the property lender might advise you on the type of insurance you need, but don’t sign a contract until you fully understand what it entails.

Do I need insurance if I’m renting a property?

While the landlord should sort out buildings insurance, it’s a good idea to protect the contents you have within the property including laptops, computers and other technical gadgets. Families and students are responsible for looking after their belongings, so think about insurance as soon as you move somewhere new. There are many different policies available, but be aware that some providers won’t insure you if you live in shared accommodation.

Theft and crime can happen all year round, but with temperatures set to drop, make sure you are insured this winter.

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