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Building and Contents Insurance

Having made the most important purchase of your life, your home, it makes sense for you to protect it and your family from unexpected damage that could leave you financially vulnerable. All Mortgage providers will want confirmation that you have buildings insurance at the time of purchase, although they will not expect you to use their insurance, allowing you to shop around for a policy that suits your needs and is affordable. Mortgage lenders will not insist on contents insurance; their lending you money to buy the property, not the contents.

Building Insurance covers the structure of the building for repair or rebuilding costs where damage has been caused, e.g. by flooding, fire, or a storm. Building Insurance also covers fitted permanent structures in your home like your kitchen, bathroom and fitted bedroom furniture.
Contents Insurance covers the items in your house that you own and could be damaged or stolen, e.g. (non-fitted) furniture, jewellery, or clothes. Generally, policies will offer protection against the same damage reasons as for Building Insurance.
You can purchase Buildings Insurance separately from Contents Insurance, but it is likely to cost you more, even with shopping around. You may not need both depending on whether or not the property you have purchased is for you to rent out, in which case, unless you rent it furnished, you will purchase Buy-to-let Buildings Insurance.
Most people purchase an Insurance policy that covers both Buildings and Contents. There are a few things you should consider prior to applying.

  • Have a clear idea how much contents cover you need now as replacement values for your contents may be more than you think. Use any previous policy (if you had one) as a guide and take account of recent purchases, todays replacement costs and amend your cover accordingly.
  • Think about what you want from your policy; do you want to include
  • cover for accidental damage
  • Additional cover if you live in a high-risk area e.g. prone to flooding or subsidence
  • Legal cover to assist with legal advice and to take legal action
  • Individual valuable items (jewellery, antiques, watches, bicycles, etc)
  • Cover for items your family routinely take out of the house, e.g. lap-tops, mobile phones, etc
  • Think about how much it would take to rebuild your home (not its market value). Remember to include your garage or outbuildings, like sheds. Rebuild costs can be less than the current market value (although they will rise over time), so take that into account and you won’t over or under insure yourself.
  • Don’t forget to review your building insurance if you improve your house by adding an extension or a loft conversion as this may increase your rebuilding costs.

You may not have thought about some of these things when considering the amount of Building and Contents Insurance you need and although you might find a low quote on a comparison website and think it’s a great deal, you might find the actual policy details don’t reflect everything you and you’re family actually need.

It’s worthwhile reviewing your situation on a regular basis and if you have any questions about your current level of cover, contact your Mortgage Lender (who may be limited to certain insurers) or a Mortgage and Insurance broker who will, if appropriate, provide you with a new quote. The majority of brokers, including Finance Expert Ltd, will not charge you for this service or for completing the application on your behalf.

Ultimately, the goal is for you and your family to have the right level of cover to ensure that, should the worst happen, you do not lose out financially.

If you think we at Finance Expert Ltd could help you, contact us at info@financeexpertltd.co.uk or give us a call on 0141 261 8678.

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