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House Insurance Policies Explained

House insurance or as it is most commonly known, home insurance, is a type of policy designed to protect homeowners against a number of factors that could damage their property or the belongings within that property.  Most insurance policies cover losses equivalent to the cost of completely rebuilding the property, repairing damage to the property or the cost of replacing or repairing items within the property.  However, policies can also be tailored to include cover for bankcards, personal money, individual high value items or expensive sports equipment.  Many mortgage lenders in the United Kingdom require the home insurance policy to cover the total cost of rebuilding the home, in case it is completely destroyed.  Always be accurate and honest about the level of cover required.  Unless the insurer offers an unlimited amount of cover the cost of the property and its contents will need to be valued.  Every insurer is different and the terms of the policy need to be checked.As more and more people look for cheap house insurance, the United Kingdom is seeing an increasing number of policies being purchased through price comparison sites.  Installing a home security system can frequently reduce the cost of the policy.

What Type of Home Insurance?

The world of home insurance can be a daunting and confusing place to visit, seemingly full of numbers, statistics and bewildering terms. For most people, this can be simply sorted by going through a broker and letting them figure out what’s best for them, but with online comparison sites and direct websites becoming the more popular way of purchasing home insurance, it is important to understand some of the terms used in the insurance world.Combined home insurance is generally what most home owners will go for; it covers both building and contents insurance, which means that the structure of the building is insured against damage and the cost of rebuilding as well as the goods such as furniture and appliances inside the building being covered. Some people may wish to go for one or other of these policy types separately. For instance, landlords offering rentable accommodation may wish only to purchase what is expected of them, buildings insurance, while those living in the rented accommodation will want only what is not covered – contents insurance.Home insurance can be an expensive item and as it is an expense that will occur annually it is best to make certain that you get the right type of policy and shop around the various sites, brokers and companies such as Policy Expert to get the best rates available. The cost of home insurance will depend on where the home is, how much it cost to build and various other factors, such as the risk of floods, etc.Some matters affecting home insurance prices can be varied by the owner, such as installing good security to lower risk of theft, or setting up a neighbourhood watch scheme. These simple steps can have a great affect on the price of home insurance.Depending on the value of the furnishings in your home, it may be a good idea to go with high value home insurance, which covers houses with contents over the value of £80,000.

Home Insurance Explained

Buildings and contents insurance is often referred to as term home insurance.  This type of insurance can be purchased as a combined package, or as two separate policies.  Policy Expert buildings insurance covers a consumer in case their property is subject to damage to the property where it is so badly damaged that it would need to be completely rebuilt.  This damage can be as a result of something that is completely beyond the control of the homeowner; for example, flood or storm damage, burst pipes or water leakage, a major fire or even third party vandalism.  In the UK, this insurance is usually a prerequisite for the purchase of mortgage cover, because lenders are able to recover their losses.  It works essentially as a security for the lender which will cover the amount they have loaned to the homeowner by way of a mortgage.In comparison, a contents insurance policy will cover possessions within the house that are usually not affixed to the main structure, or non-permanent structures.  This includes everything from furniture and appliances from clothing and jewellery; even the contents of the freezer if there is a massive power failure!  There are many different types of this insurance.  Indemnity replaces like with like; so possessions that have been used or are a number of years old will be replaced with the same standard, or the policyholder will be reimbursed for the market value of such a possession.  Additionally, ‘new for old’ policies which tend to be more expensive will replace older possessions with brand new replacements.  Additionally, these insurance policies will cover theft.  All claims must be validated by proving that the situation was beyond the control of the insured person.

Will My Roof Affect My Home Insurance?

When looking for cheap buildings insurance quotes for your property, you may be surprised to discover that the type of roof on your dwelling could affect your house insurance premiums.If the roof of your house is standard pitched and tiled, then you shouldn’t attract any untoward attention.  However, if your house has a flat roof, in part or entirely, it could mean higher premiums.  Statistically, flat roofs generate more insurance claims than pitched roofs as they are considered to have a shorter lifespan than conventional pitched roofs, and are more prone to weather damage.  Leaks in flat roofs that go unchecked can cause substantial structural and interior damage.  There are plenty of insurers who will offer cover for flat roofs, but be prepared for more questions and the likelihood of higher premiums.What about if the roof of your house is thatched?  When it comes to home insurance, thatched roofs are considered a higher risk than standard tiled roofs.  Fire is believed to be a greater threat to buildings with thatched roofs.  This is not because thatched roofs are more prone to fire, but because once fire takes hold it spreads more quickly and can be difficult to extinguish, causing greater damage to a building and its contents.If home insurance quotes are coming in a little higher than expected, you might want to start looking at changing the type of roof above your head.

Home Insurance and Living in a Flood Plain

Approximately two million homes in the UK are situated in flood plains. If you own one of these homes, you may find it difficult, if not impossible to get home insurance. However, if you do manage to find insurance cover, since your home is considered high risk, your home insurance may come at a hefty price.Taking steps to lower the risk of your property getting damaged by flooding can reduce your home insurance premiums.  You can seal floors to prevent water coming up through the ground, raise door thresholds, install your TV and other electronic equipment approximately 1.5 metres above floor level, or install a pump in your basement or under-floor void to disperse flood water. There are many more measures you can take to reduce damage to your home and belongings, and as a result, possibly reduce your home insurance premiums.If you are still having difficulty getting insurance cover for your flood zone property, there are insurance brokers who work particularly with properties that are difficult to insure. Another option is to contact the National Flood Forum, an organisation that strives to help those people affected by flooding. If you are fortunate enough to be able to find some prospective insurers willing to insure your home, it is still a good idea to compare home insurance quotes to guarantee you get the best coverage for your home at the most affordable price.

Compare home insurance and get the best deal

If you have a mortgage, your lender will most likely require you to take out a home insurance policy, but which one to choose?  There are many policies on the market and choosing the right one for you can be a daunting prospect.  Here are just a few tips to help you get started before you compare house insurance.  Firstly, it is most important to calculate how much cover you need.  This is in terms of both possible damage and current value in possessions and furnishings.  Be sure to obtain a good idea of the worth of all your belongings in your home.  This includes everything from your new sofa to the television in the bedroom and your clothes in your wardrobe.  A contents insurance policy will cover these items in case of burglary or damage due to fire, so be aware of all your most prized possessions.  It is also necessary to take stock of the structure of your house.  Insurance premiums are based on the cost of completely rebuilding your home in case of the very worst scenario.  Therefore, it is important to get to know your home and the materials used to build it.  This includes all exterior fittings and any construction within the boundary of your property.Thankfully, there is help for those looking to insure their home.  A myriad of internet sites allow you to compare cheap home insurance, often allowing you to choose the amount of cover you want.  For further advice, think about using an insurance broker to find the insurance policy that will not leave you out in the cold when a claim is necessary.

Understanding the Home Insurance Cover Limit

It is natural to want to cover the contents of your home with the right home insurance policy. No one wants to be burgled or be the victim of a natural disaster of some kind. But if the worst should ever happen to you, at least you will know your home is covered by your insurance policy. Your actual property will be covered by your buildings insurance and the contents will be covered by your contents insurance.When you take out a new policy you must be sure to look for the cover limit. This is the amount of cover your policy will extend to you should you need to make a claim. For example if your cover limit is £25,000 this will be the maximum the insurance company will pay out. If the maximum cover limit is £60,000 this would be the appropriate maximum.The higher the cover limit is on your home insurance policy, the more you can expect to pay in monthly premiums. Whatever happens, your payout will only reflect what you have lost. Thus with a £60,000 cover limit and £5,000 worth of damage or losses, you will only receive the £5,000 that is warranted. This makes perfect sense and adheres to the terms of your policy.The cover limit is essentially very easy to understand. Once you have the meaning clear in your mind you can focus on looking for the best policy to cover your home contents – and the best cover limit too.

How to Reduce Home Insurance Premium Increases

Over time, your home insurance premium may increase.  This can be due to environmental changes in your location, company changes and even claims that you’ve filed.  There are a few ways to decrease premium increases.  Remember that you do have the option of shopping around if premiums become too high from specific insurers.Secure Your HomeAdding security features to your home can decrease your premium, and counter any increases.  If you have regular locks, then install deadbolts, which are harder to break into.  Make sure that you have a smoke alarm in each room for early detection of fires and to prevent as much damage as possible.  If possible, install a security system.  The more secure your home is, the lower your premiums will be.Shop AroundGet home insurance quotes from other insurers.  Many providers offer discounts to new customers.  Not only will you receive better premiums, but discounts as well.  You can also contact your current insurer to change your current coverage or ask about any discounts that may be available.Reduce ClaimsThe more claims you make, the higher risk you are.  This equals higher premiums.  Unless you need to make a claim, then don’t.  Take steps to reduce the number of claims you make.  For instance, use surge protectors to protect electronics from power surges and lightning damage.  You can also unplug electronics during storms to prevent damage.  If you have trees leaning near your home, have them cut down.  This prevents the tree from falling on your home during a wind storm.

Characteristics of the Best Home Insurance Providers

There are several characteristics you should look for in any home insurance provider.  These signs signal that the provider is reliable, honest and eager to help when you are in need.  It is easy to see if a provider meets this criteria or not through a few simple checks.Answers Your QuestionsA home insurance provider should be able to easily answer your questions.  If they don’t know the answer right off, they should be willing to go the extra mile to find the answers as quickly as possible.  Good customer support is a must.  This means filing a claim will be a much less stressful process.Detailed PolicyThe best home insurance providers give you detailed, easy to understand policies.  It should be clear as to what is and isn’t covered.  All coverage limits and excesses are listed as well.  Contact information should be available within the policy for filing claims and answering questions.Steady PremiumsThough increases are to be expected, constant premium spikes should not be tolerated.  A good home insurance provider gives legitimate reasons for severe premium spikes.  Normally, premiums remain steady with only slight increases over time.BonusesThough this isn’t required, the absolute best home insurers give bonuses and discounts to loyal members.  From bonuses for no claims to discounts for renewing, an insurer that meets the above criteria and provides bonuses is one that you should consider.

Obtain Some Home Insurance Quotes

The internet has opened up the world of home insurance, making it cheaper and faster to obtain home insurance quotes from a range of providers with the click of a mouse.Insurance comparison websites take a few details concerning yourself and the property you wish to insure and then compare all the relevant insurers to come up with a neat list of those with deals applicable to you and what you are looking for, usually listed with the cheapest first.Having obtained this condensed list of home insurance providers, you can contact them separately yourself and check whether they have a tailored policy to suit your needs.  You can usually play them off against each other, as they will be willing to undercut the premiums offered by competitors in a saturated market.Contents insurance is optional but it is usually a good idea to take it out as it will protect your movable belongings against theft and damage whilst in the house, and many items are also protected when taken out of the house, such as cameras and watches.Travel insurance will cover items you take with you on holidays or business trips and will have to be arranged separately. Buildings insurance is also optional if you own your home outright, but if you have a mortgage, the lender will insist that you have it, to protect their investment against subsidence, flooding and suchlike.New-for-old contents insurance is the most popular type, although indemnity insurance is also common because it is cheaper.

Obtain Home Insurance Quotes

Home insurance is something that every property owner needs to have in place, to protect both the structure and contents of the property against damage, whether by acts of nature or other unforeseen events.  Buildings insurance covers the cost of rebuilding the property should it suffer catastrophic damage by, for example, subsidence, or flooding.  It is compulsory to have it if you have a mortgage as it protects the lender’s investment as well as your home.  Contents insurance protects against theft and accidental damage to non-fixed items in the home and should always be taken out, though it is not mandatory.If you rent a property, the landlord will already have the buildings insurance in place, and the contents cover will be left to you to sort out.Comparison websites or insurance brokers will compare home insurance quotes and provide you with details of the best deals on offer, and you will need to ensure that the cover provided is suitable to your needs.  It may have to be adjusted for extra cover or trimmed of unnecessary cover.  You can pay a lump sum or spread the premiums over the year as you please, though the latter usually carries an additional charge.Most people take out old-for-new contents cover as this replaces lost or damaged items with brand new equivalents whereas indemnity cover, though costing less, replaces them with items of the same age.  Bear this in mind when you compare home insurance quotes.

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