BUILDINGS & CONTENTS INSURANCE

If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist that your property is protected by buildings insurance.

If you took out your buildings insurance policy at the same time as your mortgage, it might pay to shop around as many people pay the same monthly payment year after year without considering that there may be a better deal to be found…

You may also find that you get a better deal if you buy buildings and contents insurance together. Most policies have a standard excess charge which means you agree to pay the first part of any claim, for example the first £50 or £100. If you agree to pay a higher excess you might get a cheaper monthly payment policy. However, it’s important to always compare what’s covered by a policy, not just the price – as a cheaper policy may not offer the same level of protection. (The key policy information will help you do this)

Buildings Insurance Benefits Can Include:
* Accidental Damage Cover
* Building Cover
* No Claims Discount
* Legal Liability
* Metered Water
* Loss of rent or costs for alternative accommodation

Protect Your Possessions with Home Contents Insurance

Home contents insurance gives you the security of knowing that your personal possessions are covered against damage, loss or theft…

Our home contents policies can be tailored to meet your required level of cover.  The competitively priced Essentials policy will cover you for loss or damage from fire, storms, floods and theft and will cover high risk items up to 20% of your Contents sum insured.
Alternatively, our Extra policy provides a more comprehensive level of cover, including additional features and higher cover limits. For example, the Extra contents policy covers high risk items including jewellery, paintings etc. to 33% of your Contents sum insured.
Your Harris Begley Financial Advisor can search through a range of policies to find the one that suits you best, so just one phone call could find the best cover and price for you.

Get in touch on 01736 366550 or email enquiries@harrisbegley.co.uk to see if we can find you a cheaper, no obligation quotation to protect your property and possessions.

Frequently asked questions when purchasing a policy:

How do I calculate the rebuild cost of my home?

As the term suggests, the ‘rebuild cost’ is the amount of money you would need to completely rebuild your home from scratch. The cost of rebuilding your home is not the same as its market value and is usually less. That’s because the market value takes into account what the plot of land is worth as well as location, local amenities and supply and demand.

Many insurers offer the option of accepting an estimated rebuild value or providing your own figure. If you choose to arrive at your own figure, you can do so with the help of websites such as the Building Cost Information Service or the Association of British Insurers.

If you make any structural alterations to your property, such as an extension or a loft conversion, these are likely to affect the rebuild cost. It is important to check that your buildings insurance cover remains aligned with any work on your property so that you don’t run the risk of being under insured.

Will my buildings insurance cover the garage and shed?

If you need cover for buildings other than your home itself, your broker or adviser will be able to find a suitable policy for you. This could include garages, outbuildings, sheds, extensions, conservatories and summer houses. The contents stored in these places would need to be included in your home contents policy.

Policies can also provide cover for patios, drives, gates, fences, walls, swimming pools and tennis courts, within the boundary of your property. As ever, it is paramount to clearly specify what needs to be included under the policy so that you get the right level of cover.

I’m renovating a property, can I get buildings insurance?

If the property is uninhabitable during renovations, then most standard policies will not cover your property as it is not occupied on a permanent basis. Insurers do not generally cover a property if it is left unoccupied for more than 30, or in some instances 60, consecutive days. However, there are insurers who will provide suitable cover for a range of specific risks including storm, flood, fire and theft.

What about home emergencies?

Home emergencies are usually defined as sudden and unexpected events that in the insurer’s opinion require immediate action to prevent further damage to your home and/or make your home safe, secure or habitable. This can include boiler breakdown, burst water pipes, or gas or electrical failures. This is usually an optional extra and is available with many policies.
If you purchase a leasehold property (such as a flat in a block of flats) the freeholder may have arranged buildings insurance for the whole block, in which case you may not need your own buildings policy.

What isn’t covered?
Your cover is based on what your home would cost to rebuild. You can check whether you have enough buildings insurance through the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) website. It has an online tool to help you calculate the sum you should insure your building(s) for, in case your home has to be entirely rebuilt. You need to tell your insurer if you extend your property, for example with a loft conversion or conservatory.

There are other providers of Payment Protection Insurance and other products designed to protect you against the loss of income. For impartial information about insurance, please visit the website at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk