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Home insurance

Home Insurance
Protecting your home is vitally important – after all it is probably your most financially valuable possession. There are generally two types of home insurance – buildings and contents.

If you think of all the things you wouldn't take with you when you move house - then those are probably covered by buildings insurance. It's not just for your bricks and mortar but things like your bathroom and some kitchen appliances, too.

It is mandatory according to UK law that you insure the actual building you live in if it's mortgaged. Whoever you get your mortgage through will probably try to sell you one of their insurance policies - but be sure and shop around in order to find the best deal.

However it is advisable to have buildings insurance if you are the sole owner of the building, too. It's basically a policy which pays the cost of rebuilding or repairing your house if it's damaged or destroyed.
It usually covers damage to buildings including fixed glass, landlords' fixtures and fittings, central heating systems, paved or asphalt forecourts, yards, terraces - and of course the all-important lavatories and sinks. When you take out a policy you will first have to get a quote of the price it will cost to re-build your home. This is not to be mistaken with the price you would expect to get when selling the property, as this could vary significantly from the re-build price of the house, and could affect your premiums accordingly.

Home contents insurance covers you for loss of, or accidental damage to, your belongings. It's not only for home owners; people renting properties usually need to arrange their own contents insurance.

It's essential that you're accurate when you add up what possessions you have and how much they are worth. Do a sweep of each room and also think of your other possessions that may not be kept in the house, but are on your property, such as bikes and lawn mowers. Also consider photography equipment and any antiques perhaps, as these would need to be valued (and re-valued over time) and specified as high value items. Keep receipts and take pictures of them too - you might need to prove you're the owner one day!

It is important that if you have high worth items they are recorded as such. You would not simply add an expensive item as something cheaper in the same category, i.e. a £1000 television added as a £500 model, as it more than likely that it would be very difficult to claim the full amount back in the event the television was damaged.

You could also ask for legal cover to be included in the policy which will pay court costs or, 'all risks' which means property taken outside your home like laptops or jewellery will be covered.

Like any insurance policy, home insurance relies on correct information from the policy holder, and if it appears that all or some of the information given is incorrect, the policy could be void and the insurer has the right to refuse payment.

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