If you have a mortgage, it is highly likely that your property (and of course, the lenders security) should be protected by buildings insurance. Buildings insurance policies will usually pay out if your property is damaged by fire, floods, or subsidence (although you will need to make sure that you do not live in a high risk area) Damage to fixtures and fittings such as bathrooms, kitchens etc. are often included as well as the likes of garages, greenhouses and sheds.
You may well be offered insurance with your mortgage by your lender but you do not have to accept what they offer. It’s always best to shop around to see what is best for you.
If you have purchased a leasehold property such as a flat which is self-contained in a block, the freeholder of the building may well have arranged the insurance for everybody in the block which would mean that you would not need to arrange it.
INSURE YOUR BUILDING
The amount that you should insure your buildings for is how much it would cost to re-build. You can actually check the amount needed yourself. Just go to the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) website. It has various tools that will help you to calculate the sum required for your property just in case it has to be completely rebuilt.
If you have considerable improvements done to your home, then you will need to inform your insurer of these improvements. These would be improvements such as an extension, loft conversion or conservatory. Remember that this is purely for buildings cover and not for your contents. These would be covered separately under a contents insurance policy.
You may be able to get a really good deal for a combined buildings and contents policy. Most companies would expect you to have a standard excess charge which, for example, would mean that you would have to pay the first say £100 of any claim. If you prefer, you could opt for a higher excess and a cheaper premium. It’s not always just about the price though. You do need to check the policy information so that you are sure you know what is covered. Some policies may be cheaper, but do they have the same level of protection?
Additional benefits could include accidental damage, no claims discount, building cover, legal liability, loss of rent or costs for alternative accommodation. It’s therefore important to get the right advice to suit your needs and requirements which is where we can help.
Remember that certain things can happen when you least expect them to. Having contents insurance will cover loss or damage of the contents of your home. This would include items such as furniture and electrical goods and other items that you have in your home. Some policies will even cover you for items that you can take outside of the home like cameras, jewellery and brief cases. Different companies and different policies offer different levels of cover but most of them will cover you against fire and theft. You can choose to take various options such as damage that may be caused by accident and with buildings insurance, it is important that you read and understand the policies terms and conditions. There are some policies that will offer travel insurance so that you are insured for loss or damage to personal belongings that you have taken away with you perhaps on holiday.
LEVELS OF COVER
However, there may be times when you are not covered although you thought that they would be. This is can be quite a common problem where people have just continued with their insurance without checking the amount of cover that they have which could mean that you would exceed the amount that the company will pay. In addition to that, some companies have limits to the values of individual items under their general policy. This would mean that you would need to specify certain individual items such as jewellery and cameras. It is also necessary to check the policy conditions on the length of time that you may spend away from home as some companies will not exceed a certain period of time, also check your policy if you intend to let out your home at some point in the future. Damage to the building itself would not be covered by a contents policy as this would come under buildings insurance. Quite a few insurers, these days, will offer policies that give you “new for old”. This means that they will replace old items lost, stolen or damaged, with the equivalent new ones when you claim.
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