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Home Insurance

Guide to what’s covered by home insurance

Learn what’s protected and get the right cover for your property

What does home insurance cover?

No one likes nasty surprises. So it makes sense to know what you’re covered for before you need to make an insurance claim. Avoid the frustration of unexpected repair or replacement costs for your property, and make sure your chosen policy gives you the protection you need.

We’ve put together this guide to help you get to grips with the things you can expect your home insurance policy to include. And what you might need to add on as an extra, depending on your requirements.

Do all policies cover the same things?

There’s no such policy that would suit every homeowner and every kind of property. The policy that’s right for you will depend on your particular circumstances.

For example, the amount of cover a renter will need usually differs to that of a homeowner. Many insurers will offer home insurance policies with a standard level of protection that you can build upon to suit your needs.

The things you’ll be covered for depend on the type of policy you take out. There are three main types of cover: contents, buildings and combined buildings and contents.

1. Buildings insurance

This covers the structure of your house and includes things like window glass, walls and the roof, as well as permanent fittings like your bath, toilet and fitted kitchen. Many policies also cover outbuilding and structures within the boundaries of your property, like sheds and garages.

2. Contents insurance

Your household belongings and valuables are covered by this type of insurance. This includes electrical equipment, jewellery, furniture and clothes. The primary purpose of home contents insurance is to cover the replacement costs of items that are unexpectedly lost or damaged.

3. Buildings and contents insurance

Combined buildings and contents insurance covers both your property and possessions. For example, in the unfortunate event of a burglary, combined home insurance can cover the cost of replacing window glass damaged during the break in, as well as any items stolen. 

To find out more about the different types of cover available, take a look at our guide to home & contents insurance.

What does house insurance usually cover you against?

Home insurance policies often insure against: 

  • Theft
  • Loss
  • Deliberate damage or vandalism by someone else
  • Fire
  • Flooding
  • Weather-related damage
  • Leaks
  • Subsidence

All insurance policies are different, and not all of them cover these things. So always read your policy document carefully to find out what it includes – and what it doesn’t. If your property encounters problems due to an unforeseen event, the last thing you want to learn is that it wasn’t adequately covered.

It’s recommended that you consider your circumstances carefully to select the right amount of cover. For example, if the area you live in is flood-prone or has a high crime rate, you’ll want to make sure this is factored into your policy. Doing so may mean you have to increase your cover at an additional cost, but this could save you money in the long-term.

Will it include cover against accidental damage?

You might be asking, “What does house insurance cover against accidental damage?” Many insurers offer some accidental damage cover with their standard home insurance options. However, it’s suggested that you check their policy information as not everything will be covered against all kinds of accidents.

For example, if you’d like your cover to stretch to things like repairing a pipe you’ve accidentally cut through, you may need to add enhanced accidental damage cover.

Consider your home contents and favourite electronics, it’s important to note whether you’ll need further accidental damage cover for outside of your home. Most policies protect your possessions in your house and garden, but you may require extra cover for accidents while travelling or abroad.

What else can I expect to be included? 

Again, it varies between insurers. You should always read the small print to double check. But, usually, there are a few things you can expect to see as standard.

Limits, excesses and exclusions apply, for more information about our home cover, please take a look at our policy documents.

Trace and access cover

If something’s leaking in your home – like your pipes, meter lines or central heating – trace and access insurance covers the cost of finding the source of the leak and fixing any damage made in the process.

Your plants, trees and garden contents

Outside, your home insurance includes things like BBQs, children’s toys and lawnmowers. It also covers your plants, trees and shrubs against damage and loss caused by bad weather, vandalism, fire and theft.

Sainsbury’s Bank home cover can help protect items typically left outside, as well as those that are locked away in outbuildings. This means your power tools and garden maintenance equipment can all be included.

Your mobile phone and gadgets

Many people like having their gadgets to hand at all times, so it’s important to make sure they’re properly covered. Your portable electronics – like laptops, tablets and mobiles - automatically receive some cover with our home contents insurance.

You can even limit the inconvenience caused by loss, theft and damage outside of your home, by increasing your gadget protection with our Personal Possessions Cover.

Your jewellery

Your precious items - like engagement rings and watches - are covered if someone breaks in or forces their way into your home and steals them.

It’s important to adequately value all of your belongings. For more information on appraising expensive items, read our guide on how to value your home contents. You should make sure you’re aware of your policy’s single item limit and inform the provider of any high-value items you’d like covered.

Your bicycles

Your bike is usually insured against theft, loss and damage while it’s in your home, kept in your shed or garage, or locked up in your garden. However, most policies don’t cover your bike while you’re out and about as standard.

Sainsbury’s Bank offers bicycle cover outside of your home as an optional extra to our home insurance.

Student cover away from home

If your child is at university, it’s likely their possessions will be covered against loss and damage under your policy. As long as they’re in full-time education and studying away from home, your cover can extend to their student residence.

However, you should make sure to check any exclusions, especially if they’re living in shared accommodation. For example, many policies will not cover their house or halls while they’re empty during the holidays.

Further to this information, you might find our student security tips a useful read.

Celebrations and special events

If you’re planning a special event, some insurers will temporarily increase your protection to include all the extra food, drinks and presents you’ll have in your home.

When it’s time to celebrate, the last thing on your mind is insurance cover. At no extra cost, Sainsbury’s Bank can offer additional cover for special occasions up to six times during the period of your policy.

Your contents while you’re moving house

Removals cover protects your belongings against loss, theft and damage while you’re relocating. This is a valuable component of home insurance as your possessions may be left exposed while packing and loading, leaving them susceptible to burglary.

However, most policies require you to use a professional moving company and don’t typically cover all items against accidental damage. As spills and breakages are some of the most common problems associated with moving, you should check whether you’ll need additional accidental damage cover for your buildings or belongings.

Can I add extras to my home cover?

 Absolutely. If there’s something you’d like to add to your policy, you should speak to your insurer. Popular add-ons include:

  • Accidental damage cover for buildings and home contents – so those little accidents don’t cause big headaches
  • Family legal protection – for covering court costs in case you’re involved in a legal dispute
  • Personal possessions cover – to protect items like your handbag and laptop while you’re out and about
  • Bicycle cover – so your bike is insured against damage, loss and theft when it’s not in your home or garden
  • Excess cover – to make sure you get a refund on any excess paid, in the case of a successful claim on your Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance

Got a question?

You may find it helpful to look at the frequently asked questions about our products.

Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance is arranged and administered by Sainsbury’s Bank and is underwritten by a carefully selected range of insurers. When you get a quote we will tell you who the insurer is before you buy the policy.