Home insurance covers you against the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home or replacing its contents.
If your home is damaged or destroyed, repair and rebuilding costs quickly mount up. Replacing your possessions can also be expensive; the average value of contents in a three-bedroom family home is estimated at £55,000. Without home insurance you would have to cover these costs yourself.
Home insurance covers you against damage caused by a variety of perils, such as:
Types of home insurance
Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home and any permanent fixtures and fittings such as fitted kitchen units and bathroom suites.
You should consider insuring your home against the cost of rebuilding it, not its sale price or current market value.
Contents insurance covers the cost of replacing or repairing your possessions if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen.
You can add additional cover to your basic buildings insurance policy to include extras such as accidental damage and legal expenses.
You can extend your contents insurance to protect your possessions when you take them outside your home.
Do you need home insurance?
If you are a mortgage holder
If you have a mortgage most providers will insist you take out buildings insurance as part of the conditions of your loan. You may also want to take out contents insurance to cover your possessions against damage or theft.
If you own your home outright
Even if you have already paid for your home you should still consider buildings insurance to protect you against the cost of repairs or rebuilding. You should also think about contents insurance to cover the cost of replacing your home’s contents.
If you are a tenant
If you live in rented property, buildings insurance is your landlord’s responsibility. But you may want to take out contents insurance to protect your possessions.
See the ABI's tips on how to cut the cost of your home insurance premium while still ensuring you are adequately covered.
Contact your home insurance provider as soon as possible if your home or possessions are damaged or destroyed and you need to make a claim. Most insurers run 24-hour claims helplines – you should make a note of this number and keep it somewhere safe.
For more information on buying home insurance see the ABI's guide to home buildings and contents insurance (pdf 484kB) and common questions about home insurance (pdf 706kB).