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Nine top tips for choosing home insurance

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Protect your home properly with the right contents cover
Nine top tips for choosing home insurance

A quarter of UK households have no contents insurance at all, according to Go Compare.

The comparison site noted that this is despite big increases in sales of high-value purchases for the home during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the UK, the sale of TVs increased by 31% in the early weeks of lockdown, while gaming consoles saw a 259% increase.

The sale of freezers soared by 317% to allow people to store more food, and the sale of kitchen equipment to make cooking easier also rose significantly.

Lee Griffin, founder and CEO of GoCompare, said: “With people staying at home to stop the spread of the virus, some might think they don’t need insurance against theft because their home isn’t left unoccupied, nor are they out and about with their possessions.

“While the risk of theft may be reduced, more time spent at home increases other risks such as accidental damage to property. So, it’s important to take time to consider how you would afford to replace your belongings or repair damage to your property if you were faced with a household disaster.”

Getting the right cover

Home insurance is divided into two parts – buildings insurance, which covers the rebuilding costs for the structure of your home, and contents insurance, which gives financial protection for your possessions. They can be bought together or as separate policies.

GoCompare Home Insurance has compiled a list of nine things to consider when buying home and contents cover:

Shoparound – insurers offer slightly different cover and price differently for each household, so the only way to be sure you are getting a good deal is to shoparound to compare cover and price.

Rebuild costs – buildings insurance considers the cost to rebuild an identical property on the land you own. The cost to rebuild isn’t the same as the market value of your home, so use a rebuilding cost calculator to get it right.

Value of contents – walk around your home, making a list of your possessions – including carpets and curtains. Estimate how much each possession costs.

Accidental damage – accidental damage is one of the top five most common claims, but cover isn’t always included as standard. Check what cover is available.

Cover for individual items – in addition to your total contents cover, expensive single items, like jewellery, watches, or gadgets may need additional cover. Check your policy limits for individual items, and if need be, get an up-to-date valuation for your items.

Gardens and outbuildings – different policies cover gardens in different ways, so don’t assume your outbuildings, garden furniture, and expensive plants are covered.

Cover away from the home – as lockdown eases, hopefully, we will spend more time away from the home. So, don’t forget to check what cover you have for your possessions outside the home.

Bike cover – bike sales have soared during lockdown, but often cover for bikes isn’t included as standard within home policies. Check how bikes are covered and make sure you have cover for your bike away from the home.

Never accept a home insurance renewal – home insurance needs to be renewed each year, which is a good time to check your cover is adequate and see if you can get a better deal with a different insurer.

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