Every item in your home has been carefully selected, purchased, found, bartered for or collected by you. Therefore, it’s important that you put some practices in place to protect these belongings. This could include installing a burglar alarm, setting up timers for your lamps and introducing a security light that senses movement. But it’s also important to have buildings and contents insurance.
Buildings insurance will cover the building itself, including fixtures and fittings, garden walls, fences and driveways. Contents insurance includes any household goods and valuables, including money, business equipment and electrical gadgets. It’s important that you have both to ensure that everything in your home is protected.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions around what home insurance includes. Do be sure to check your own policy documents for details, as cover can vary depending on your provider.
Your buildings insurance will usually protect your home against loss or damage that’s caused by fire, lightning, earthquakes, smoke, floods, theft or malicious damage. It also includes protection if your home is hit by any objects, such as tree branches, fireworks or lamp posts. There are some incidents that may not be covered. For example, if a theft occurs because a door has been left unlocked or a window left open, your insurance might be void. This is why it’s so important to read your policy documents thoroughly and make sure that your home is completely secure.
Contents insurance does not usually include mobile phones, so it might be worth getting it insured separately. If your phone is lost or broken outside the home, then it may be covered if you've taken out an additional personal belongings extension. It’s worth noting that mobile phones do not come under ‘business equipment’.
If you fall ill or are made redundant, you might be worried about keeping up with your mortgage payments. While your buildings insurance will cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home following an incident, the insurance provider cannot cover the cost of your mortgage.
Does home insurance cover lost jewellery?
Valuables are typically covered under your home insurance. There are a whole host of items that are classified as ‘valuable’, including jewellery, clocks, telescopes, musical instruments, works of art, stamp or coin collections and antique furniture. Pairs or sets will be treated as one item. For example, a pair of earrings or a set of antique tables will count as one valuable and not two.
If you have any valuables with a value of over £2,000, these may need to be insured separately.
If your laptop is damaged in the home or stolen off the premises, then it will be covered on your home insurance. However, if the laptop is lost outside of the home, you may not receive compensation.
A laptop comes under ‘business equipment’, which also includes any desktops, laptops, keyboards, printers, photocopiers and office furniture that you or your family own.
You will not be able to receive any money from the insurance company for general wear and tear on your laptop or if it’s broken as a result of its age.
Insurance won’t usually cover damage that occurs over time or that is caused by vermin. This includes problems such as dry/wet rot and damp. Issues that are caused by moths, vermin, insects or parasites are also not covered.
Woodworm is caused by beetles that lay their eggs directly onto the wood. The wood-eating larvae will begin to burrow themselves in the material, causing the tell-tale holes that many people associate with woodworm. You may also notice a fine dust on the surface or that the timber has been damaged. If this problem isn’t resolved, the infestation could get worse and may weaken the structure of your floors or ceilings.
If your home is flooded, the building and its contents will be protected under your home insurance. Even certain features in your garden will be protected, including hedges, lawns and plants.
It’s worth noting that storm damage and flood damage are two different things. A storm is characterised as high winds (over 55mph), rainfall of over 25mm in 60 minutes or under and 30cm of snow within 24 hours. Therefore, flooding could be caused by a storm, however a storm won’t always result in flooding.
If rain or water is able to enter the home due to faulty workmanship or poor maintenance, then your insurance would not be able to cover the cost of repairs. You may also not be covered if you’ve left a tap or shower on accidentally.
For information on what Age Co insurance will cover you for, see our policy documents.
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