Compare home insurance in the UK
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Good home insurance can give you confidence that you’re financially protected if your home or its contents are damaged or destroyed, or if you’re the victim of theft or burglary. But the level of cover can vary, so it’s important to do your research before you buy. Use the table below to compare home insurance policies from many of the UK’s leading providers. When you’re ready to get a quote, hit the green button.
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What is home insurance?
Home or house insurance is designed to cover any unexpected harm to your home and belongings. It means that if your house or its contents are damaged or destroyed, for example in a fire or flood, or if valuable items are stolen during a burglary, you will receive a financial payout to cover the cost of all or some of your loss. This will enable you to repair or rebuild your home or to replace your belongings.
What are the different types of home insurance?
There are 2 main types of home insurance. If you own the property you live in, you’ll need to buy both to be fully protected.
Building insurance protects the brick and mortar structure of the home from things like fire and flood. It also covers any parts of your property that are fixed in place, such as a fitted kitchen. If you wouldn’t take something with you if you moved house, it’s probably covered by building insurance.
Contents insurance covers the moveable items in your home, from food in your freezer, TVs and computers, to furniture, clothing and jewellery. If something would usually come with you in a house move, it’s likely to be covered by contents insurance.
You can buy building insurance and contents insurance as separate policies, or together as a combined home insurance policy. The best choice depends on your personal circumstances. Combined policies are more convenient and often cheaper, but may not be practical if you live in a flat where the building insurance policy is shared between multiple flat owners, for example.
Do I need home insurance?
Home insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but if you don’t have it, you risk losing everything if the worst happens – if your home burns down in a fire, for example. Even if the loss is less extreme, the cost of home insurance is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that you’re financially covered for any damage to your property or its contents.
If you have a mortgage, it’s likely to be a condition of the loan that you must have building insurance on the mortgaged property.
If you rent your home, you don’t need to pay for building insurance as that’s the landlord’s responsibility. However, particularly if you are furnishing the property yourself, you may want to take out contents insurance to cover your belongings.
What does home insurance cover?
The situations covered by your home insurance will vary depending on the insurer you choose and the level of cover you opt for, so you’ll need to compare home insurance policies carefully. However, the best policies generally provide cover against the following as standard:
- Theft or burglary. Covers you against loss or damage caused by theft, attempted theft or burglary.
- Malicious acts and vandalism. If your home or contents are damaged due to vandalism or a malicious act, your policy will cover you.
- Riots or civil commotion. Financial protection in the event that a riot, civil commotion, or industrial or political disturbance results in loss or damage to your home.
- Burst pipes and other water damage. When water or oil escapes from gutters, pipes, baths, toilets, appliances or a range of other household items, home insurance covers you for the resulting loss or damage.
- Flood. Protects you against loss or damage caused by water that has escaped the normal confines of a lake, river or a number of other bodies of water. Some home insurance policies only offer flood cover as an option, not as an automatic inclusion, so make sure you check your policy documents.
- Fire. If your home and/or contents are lost or damaged due to fire.
- Storm. Loss or damage caused by a storm, including violent winds, hail, snow, rain, thunderstorms, fallen trees or branches.
- Lightning. Loss or damage caused by lightning, or by a power surge caused by lightning.
- Earthquakes. This benefit ensures that you are covered against loss or damage caused by an earthquake.
- Explosion. Loss or damage caused by an explosion, as well as a landslide or subsidence that occurs as an immediate result of an explosion.
- Impact damage. This benefit covers you against impact from objects such as falling trees, power poles, TV antennas, motor vehicles and meteorites.
- Subsidence. This is when the foundations of a property give way, gradually or over time, typically causing cracks in the walls or other damage.
What doesn’t home insurance cover?
It is important to be aware of what isn’t covered under home insurance. Generally any damages caused by the following instances would not result in a home insurance payout:
- Existing damage. You wouldn’t be able to claim for any loss or damage that happened before cover started. Some policies also have a delayed start time too, so be aware of the exact date you will be covered from with your policy.
- Wear and tear or inadequate maintenance. Home insurance exists to cover unexpected loss or damage. It won’t cover you for things wearing out or breaking because they’re old and well-used, or because you haven’t maintained them properly.
- Failure of computers and electrical equipment. Damage or loss due to any computer or other electrical equipment failing to correctly recognise the true calendar date or computer viruses.
- War. You would not be covered if damages were a result of war, invasion, rebellion or similar event.
- Radioactive contamination. You won’t be covered for damages resulting from ionising radiation or radioactive contamination from any nuclear fuel or from any nuclear waste.
- Sonic bangs. You would not be covered if damages were a result of loss or damage caused by an aircraft travelling at or above the speed of sound.
- Pollution. You wouldn’t be covered by home insurance if damage or loss was the result of pollution or contamination.
- Terrorism. Each insurer will have its own definition of terrorism, but as a general rule, any damage caused in relation to terrorist acts would not be covered by home insurance.
- Deliberate acts. Any loss or damage caused by you or anyone lawfully in your home will not be covered.
What are home insurance add-ons?
Home insurance add-ons are extra elements of cover that you can take out at the same time as you buy your main home insurance policy. Common add-ons include:
- Accidental damage. It may seem surprising, but not all accidental damage is covered as standard by a home insurance policy. Many policies cover accidental damage to specific items – fixed glass, ceramics and mirrors, and home entertainment equipment are typically covered, for example. But many other mishaps caused by members of your household or visiting friends aren’t usually covered as standard. So if you want to be protected against a dinner guest spilling red wine over a cream sofa or a DIY disaster, you’ll need an accidental damage add-on. You can take out accidental damage cover for both building and contents.
- Bicycle cover. Bikes up to a certain value might be covered as standard in your home insurance policy, but there’s likely to be a limit on how much an insurer will pay out, and bikes may not be covered when you’re out and about. A bicycle add-on can offer reassurance that your wheels are fully protected, as long as you’ve left your bike securely locked up.
- Home emergency. This covers the immediate cost of dealing with home emergency problems. These could include, for example, fixing a broken boiler or a burst pipe or, in some cases, sorting out a pest infestation. Bear in mind that home emergency cover won’t pay for the cost of damage to the structure of your home or your belongings as a result of the emergency, such as water damage to walls as a result of a burst pipe. That will be covered by your regular home insurance policy.
- Legal expenses. This typically covers the cost of legal proceedings relating to your property, such as a dispute with a tradesperson over shoddy work or a boundary dispute with a neighbour. It often also covers legal expenses incurred as a result of employment disputes or if someone is injured in your property.
- Personal possessions. Standard contents insurance only covers you for belongings inside your property. The personal possessions add-on extends cover to portable items you take out of your home, such as jewellery, your mobile phone, laptop and other gadgets.
What is a home insurance excess?
A home insurance excess is the amount you contribute in the event of a claim. It’s usually broken down into 2 elements – a compulsory excess, which you can’t change, and a voluntary excess, which you can adjust during the quote process. The higher the voluntary excess, the lower your premiums will be, but the more you’ll have to pay in the event of a claim.
Some areas of cover may be subject to higher excesses than others. For example, subsidence and flood damage often have much higher excesses than other building insurance claims.
How to compare home insurance
To compare home insurance policies effectively, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps.
- Know your basic cover needs. Before you start shopping for a policy, think about the risks you want to cover and the level of protection you need. For example, do you need both building and contents insurance? What is the value of your home and belongings, including individual valuable items, and how does this affect the level of cover you need? Once you’re clear on the type of home insurance you’re after, you can start looking for the right policy.
- Decided which add-ons you want. Some policies include various add-ons as standard, but more often you’ll need to pay extra. If you like the sound of accidental damage or personal possessions cover, for example, make sure you take account of any additional costs when you compare home insurance policies.
- Use a price comparison site such as Finder to compare policies. Don’t settle for the first policy you find. Instead you should compare the benefits, costs, features and exclusions of a wide range of policies to work out which option provides the best value for money. Bear in mind some insurers aren’t on price comparison sites, so you may need to check a handful directly to get a complete picture.
- Ask for recommendations. Check out online reviews, and ask friends and family for their home insurance recommendations. Hearing from people who have actually had to make a claim on their policy is a great way to sort the strong policies and insurers from the weaker ones.
- Read the policy docs. Don’t wait until it’s time to make a claim to check your policy documents, read the terms and conditions of shortlisted insurers before you buy the policy. This will allow you to determine exactly what the policy includes, how much protection it offers, and under what circumstances cover would not be provided.
How much does home insurance cost?
The cost of home insurance depends on a number of different factors, including the type of policy you want to take out. However, the price of your policy is a crucial factor when comparing and choosing home insurance policies. When calculating the price of your home insurance, an insurer will consider the following factors:
- The sum insured. This is the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay in the event your home is totally destroyed. So the higher the level of cover you select, the more your premium will be. For example, if you want to cover your home to the tune of £1 million, don’t be surprised if your premiums are much higher than they are for someone who selects a sum insured of £300,000.
- The options you select. If you choose to tailor your policy to suit your needs by adding extra-cost options, your premiums will also be more expensive.
- Amount of excess. Many insurers offer a flexible excess on home insurance policies, allowing you to choose a higher excess in return for lower premiums.
- Your home. Insurers will consider the age and construction of your home when calculating your premiums. This will help them determine how likely it is to withstand damage and how much it will cost to repair or rebuild.
- Where your home is located. If you live in an area prone to crime or floods, you may find that the increased risk of damage will push up your premiums.
- Security features. Insurance underwriters also consider how well your home is protected against theft and burglary. Installing a back-to-base security alarm is one way to reduce the cost of your premiums.
- Your claims history. If you’ve previously made multiple claims on a home insurance policy, you can also expect higher premiums when you take out a new policy.
- When you pay your premiums. Paying your premium as an annual lump sum is typically cheaper than if you pay in monthly instalments.
How can I save on my home insurance?
It is important to remember that the cheapest home insurance isn’t necessarily the best home insurance. If you’re looking for the cheapest insurance cover for your home, the single most important thing you can do is compare home insurance policies. Shop around for the best deal on the right kind of policy for you. This will help you make sure you are getting true value for money.
- Choose a higher excess. If you are given the option, you might want to consider opting for a higher excess in return for lower premiums. Bear in mind that setting your voluntary excess very high in order to reduce your premiums could be a false economy if you need to claim.
- Don’t add options you don’t need. Adding optional extras to your policy allows you to tailor home insurance protection to your requirements. Unfortunately, it also increases the premium, so make sure anything you add is absolutely essential.
- Build up a no claim bonus. Sometimes making a claim is unavoidable, but if your insurer offers a no claim bonus, the cost of cover will be greatly reduced if you don’t submit any claims.
- Take advantage of discounts. Home insurers offer a variety of discounts to customers. These include discounts for having multiple policies with the insurer or for purchasing online.
- Review cover regularly. Just because a particular insurance policy was right for you a few years ago doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for you now. Cover needs change all the time. Maybe you’ve just invested in a top-of-the-line home entertainment system and want to upgrade your contents cover. In addition, insurers are constantly updating policies and premiums. Don’t be afraid to compare your options and see if you can find a better deal.
- Improve your home’s security. Simple things like installing a burglar alarm or extra door locks could help reduce your premiums. It reduces your risk for the insurer and you are likely to rewarded with lower premiums.
- Pay annually. Insurers tend to charge more if you pay your premiums monthly rather than in a single annual sum.
How do I work out what level of home insurance cover I need?
Finder expert Liz Edward answers
Home insurance can feel like a necessary evil, and it can be tempting to cut corners and opt for lower levels of cover to keep premiums down.
But try to resist the temptation to underinsure just to save a few pounds. Buying insurance with too-low limits could come back to bite you if, for example, you need to make a claim and find that your £10,000 worth of belongings are only covered to a maximum of £5,000.
There are calculators that let you accurately estimate the rebuild value of your property and the total value of your contents. The Association of British Insurers has commissioned a rebuild value calculator and many insurers have their own contents value calculators.
Make sure you check the maximum limit to which an insurer is willing to cover any single item, too. For example, while your engagement ring may be worth £15,000, your insurer may only provide up to £3,000 cover for jewellery as standard. If this is the case, you should be able to increase cover for this item. It’ll cost a bit extra, but it’ll be worth it if criminals target your home and steal your jewellery.
Our 2021 home insurance customer satisfaction league table
We asked policyholders to rate their satisfaction with their insurance company and whether they’d recommend it to a friend. We’ve shown both for each brand in the table below. Our independent survey of 1,173 insurance customers was carried out in December 2020.
|Overall satisfaction||Customers who’d recommend||Issuer||Review|
|★★★★★||84%||Aviva is the largest general insurer in the UK. There are 3 levels of cover to choose from and its customers find it to be reliable and trustworthy.||View deals|
|★★★★★||81%||With 2 levels of cover to choose from, Home and Home Plus, and a flexible approach to contents insurance, LV= is a strong option for home insurance. LV= customers raved that it was good value, easy to set up and that they felt that the company was trustworthy.||View deals|
|★★★★★||79%||Saga is a specialist insurer catering to the over-50s market, offering 2 levels of home insurance cover. The policy can be tailored to your needs, and customers praised it for its competitive prices and helpful advisors.||View deals|
|★★★★★||77%||Direct Line has 3 levels of home insurance cover to choose from, including its SELECT Premier policy, which features unlimited contents and building cover. Customers in our survey commended its quick payouts and excellent service.||View deals|
|★★★★★||76%||Who’d have thought that major supermarket Tesco Bank offers home insurance as well as your local shop? Customers find that it’s great value for money and really easy to renew.||View deals|
|★★★★★||75%||Churchill’s home insurance comes with a wide range of features. Policies can also be upgraded with optional extras such as legal expenses cover and home emergency cover. Its customers find that it is reliable and that there’s an easy claim process.||View deals|
|★★★★★||73%||Admiral has 3 levels of home insurance available, with the Basic one being pretty limited, but the Platinum policy offering very comprehensive cover. Customers surveyed said that it has great customer service, its policies are easy to understand and that it’s cost-effective.||View deals|
|★★★★★||75%||Swinton lets you build a home insurance plan that suits you and exactly what you’re looking for. You can also add optional extras to your policy whenever you like. Its customers like that it’s well-priced and reliable, and that the staff are helpful.||View deals|
|★★★★★||73%||Getsafe has several different types of cover depending on what you’re looking for, including accidental damage, personal possessions and home emergency. Its customers say that it’s got good customer service and that it’s reasonably priced.||View deals|
|★★★★★||73%||AXA has 3 levels of home insurance cover – HomeSmart, HomeSure and HomeSafe. The benefits offered differ with each level, but customers in our survey reported that it’s good value, easy to deal with and competitively priced.||View deals|
|★★★★★||70%||Popular high-street bank Halifax offers 2 levels of cover – Home Insurance and Home Insurance Ultimate. It also offers renters insurance with a good range of benefits. Customers find Halifax to be reliable and supportive, and the policies competitively priced.||View deals|
|★★★★★||68%||More Than has several home insurance options. Its standard building and contents insurance are standalone policies, but you can combine these if needed. Its customers think that it has good prices and that it deals with claims efficiently.||View deals|
|★★★★★||62%||Home Protect’s specialist home insurance is available to homeowners, holiday homeowners, landlords, tenants and students. Basic home emergency and legal expenses cover are included as standard in the broker’s policy and its customers think it offers a helpful and friendly service.||View deals|
|★★★★★||66%||Policy Expert offers 2 levels of home insurance cover and a range of optional extras. It also compares a range of home insurance policies from other providers. It has Defaqto ratings between 3 and 5 stars.||View deals|
|★★★★★||62%||Age Co (formerly Age UK) is an over-50s specialist, but offers cover to customers of all ages. It only has 1 level of home insurance cover, but it’s a decent one. The policy comes with the extra benefit of access to 24/7 legal advice and a free identity theft advice line. Customers found it to be reliable.||View deals|
|★★★★★||61%||A newcomer to the home insurance market, Urban Jungle is a modern take on insurance aimed at a younger audience and renters in particular. Urban Jungle’s customers liked that it has personalised cover and low prices.||View deals|
The bottom line
Don’t simply pay your annual home insurance renewal when it arrives each year. Insurers are always competing for more business and offering attractive savings to new customers. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare home insurance policies to see if you can find the same or better cover at a more affordable price.
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Frequently asked questions
Choosing the right option
Adjusting your policy
Making a claim
Home insurance for the new normalFinder published a paper in July 2020 on how the coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent rise in home working, are affecting the home insurance industry. Our paper includes original research and predictions from experts including Jimmy Williams, CEO of Urban Jungle; Amy Brettell, head of customer for UK claims at Zurich; Mark Eastham, CEO of Avantia; Yasha Kuruvilla, analyst at consultancy GlobalData; and Laura Hughes, property insurance policy manager at the ABI.
Read more on this topic
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Finder Home Insurance Customer Satisfaction Awards 2020
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