Buying your first home can be a really exciting time in your life. But it can also be one of the most stressful. Particularly when it comes to dealing with the finances.
To help you with your first step on the housing ladder, we’ve put together a quick guide to some of the types of insurance cover that can help protect you and your new home.
Generally, there are two main types of home insurance – buildings and contents.
- Buildings insurance covers the main structure of your home, such as external walls, roof tiles, fitted kitchens and bathroom fittings
- Contents insurance covers your personal belongings, such as furniture, clothes and electrical appliances
If you’ve already started the purchase of your new home, you’ll know that your mortgage provider will often insist you take out buildings cover as part of the purchase.
Buildings cover insures you against damage to the structure of your property from things like fire, theft and flood damage. And it often also covers any garages, outbuildings or external areas such as patios or driveways.
However, if you’ve settled on buying a flat or apartment (perhaps in a managed block), buildings cover can sometimes be included in an annual management charge or ground rent that you might pay.
Contents insurance protects your personal possessions and belongings from damage or theft – so if you’re thinking about the level of contents cover you might need, try to estimate how much it would cost to replace your belongings overall.
Most insurers specify a single item value limit within their contents cover, for example, a standard policy might not cover any individual item worth more than £2,000.
However, if there are individual items that are of a higher value, they’ll often ask you to list these separately or take out extra cover to protect them – for example, any high-value jewellery or electronics you might have.
As well as buildings cover, you might find that your mortgage provider requires you to take out life insurance as part of the house-buying process.
They’ll often ask you to do this (and it’s a sensible idea) to make sure that your family can continue to make the mortgage payments if you weren’t around or were unable to work.
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to life insurance – and the options you have often change as you get older. But cover is often designed to pay out a lump sum if you die – which could help your family stay in your home.
What to do next
Make sure you check out all the details of what’s covered in each policy before you get started.