Understanding household insurance policies

Knowing that your home is protected by a comprehensive insurance policy is great for putting your mind at rest, but do you really understand what you’re paying for? Many homeowners and renters choose home insurance at the request of their mortgage provider or landlord and haven’t taken the time to look at the facts. 

Insurance policies that protect against theft, fire, structural damage and accidents and emergencies in the home can become extremely valuable should the unexpected happen. Understand the various different policies available, what kind of cover they will provide and whether you really need them.

Insurance requirements in the home

In the UK, you are not legally required to take out cover for your home, although you may have been required to take out a policy when arranging a mortgage. A short and snappy list from Risk Heads has a good guide to compulsory insurance. Most lenders insist that when you apply for a home loan, you also take out insurance policies that will reduce risks for them, such as building insurance or a payment protection policy. The website has a handy guide to insurance when buying a home which explains some of the most common mortgage requirements.

Once you’ve successfully bought a home, there is nothing to say that you need to continue to pay your insurance premiums. While you will have take your policy out for a particular period of time, you can choose to let it lapse when your contract ends. This is entirely your choice, but it is generally advisable to keep paying insurance if you wouldn’t be able to afford to cover the loss you’d face if the worst happened. This is especially true now that there are new insurance laws to protect claimants and help you get the cover you deserve.

Types of home insurance

The main types of insurance available for the home include building insurance, which covers structural damage caused by fires, burst pipes and similar problems and contents insurance, which protects the possessions you have within your home. Check out Staysure’s guide to home insurance for a more in depth look at the differences between the two. Aviva also has a very useful list of common insurance questions, which highlights some of the surprising things that are or aren’t covered by the average home insurance policy.

To be sure you’re getting the amount of cover you need for the lowest price possible, it’s always worth comparing quotes with a site such as Money Saving Expert, where you’ll also find some top tips for cutting your premium costs.

Understanding what home insurance is and how it works is one thing, being able to decipher the wording of your policy is another. Most agreements make liberal use of legalese and complicated sounding terms so having a look at Moneysupermarket’s insurance jargon buster or spending some time reading Nationwide’s home insurance glossary can really help you get to grips with what’s on offer.


The contents of this article are for reference purposes only and do not constitute financial or legal advice. Independent financial or legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific matter. Articles are published by us without any knowledge or notice of the circumstances in which you or anyone else may use or rely on articles or any copy of the information, guidance or documents obtained from articles. We operate and publish articles without undertaking or accepting any duty of care or responsibility for articles or their contents, services or facilities. You undertake to rely on them entirely at your own risk, and without recourse to us. No assurance of the quality of articles is given or undertaken (whether as to accuracy, completeness, fitness for any purpose, conformance to any description or sample, or otherwise), or as to the timeliness of the publication.

The following two tabs change content below.
Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!