What is home insurance?

Home insurance can cover various aspects, including damage to the property, together with loss/theft of and damage to belongings.

Policies are often available with three cover levels: contents only cover; buildings only cover or combined buildings and contents cover.

Contents cover typically relates to damage to your personal belongings such as household goods and fixtures and fittings like carpets and curtains while buildings cover typically relates to damage to the structure of the building.

Home insurance may include the following which is optional on some policies:

  • Sum insured – under buildings cover this typically represents the amount you would have to pay if your home had to be built again in the event of a total loss, for example in the event of a fire. This is not the home’s market value. For contents cover – this typically includes the sum of the items insured or a fee for the single most valuable item.
  • Contents in the garden - protection can extend to loss of or damage to items in the open inside your garden such as garden furniture, BBQs or even children's toys.
  • Family Legal Protection – this can cover legal costs reasonably and proportionately incurred by a solicitor. It may also cover costs you're ordered to pay by a court and any other costs agreed to in writing.
  • Protection of student home contents – parents of a son or daughter studying away from home can take out a contents insurance policy for their own home; they could receive the added bonus of covering their child’s possessions at the same time.
  • Personal Possessions - the insurer may pay for accidental loss of or damage to belongings that you would normally take outside of the house such as jewellery or a laptop, even when they're not in the home. Additional cover is available on some policies to pay for theft or accidental loss of money and other aspects such as unauthorised use of credit cards.
  • Home Emergency – cover may pay for an authorised repairer; a person, company or organisation appointed to temporarily or permanently put right an emergency or carry out emergency repairs or prevent further damage where possible.
  • Buildings Accidental Damage Cover – can pay for non-intentional damage to the property itself - for example walls, roofs, drives, patios and outbuildings.
  • Contents Accidental Damage Cover - can pay for non-intentional damage to your belongings - for example if you break a treasured ornament.


Before choosing policies it's important to compare cover levels, and to consider if there are any discounts or reward offers for buying a policy online.

Look after your home, a place you call your own.

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