Why is Home Insurance important in the UK?

Karina Hutchins

Head of Home by OpenMoney

July 20, 2021

Why you need insurance

Home insurance is an important item on your homebuying list. There are a few different types of insurance you’ll need to have a think about and although there isn’t a requirement to have all of them, you’ll want to make sure you have the right cover in place to keep you protected whatever happens.

What insurance will I need?

Buildings Insurance

If you are a buying a home with a mortgage, your lender requires you to have buildings insurance. This covers the bricks and mortar of your home, along with any permanent fixtures and fittings, like fitted kitchens and bathrooms.

You will need to have the insurance in place when you exchange contracts to confirm the purchase of the property. This is because you will be the legal owner and, should there be a fire, or a problem with the structure of the property, you are responsible.

We recommend taking buildings insurance with Uinsure as they offer 5* Defaqto cover at a competitive price. We feel the quality of cover provided by Uinsure sets them apart from other insurance providers and ensures your home is protected if something unexpected happens.

If you’d prefer to choose a different insurance provider, we’ll be happy to work with you to find a recommendation that suits your needs.

What insurance is good to have?

Content Insurance

Whilst there is no requirement to have it, content insurance goes hand in hand with building insurance, as it covers your possessions once you’re in your new home. It usually includes furniture, home appliances, clothes and carpets. If you’re taking just a few possessions with you, you might find that you can insure for less when you add up the value of your contents. If you’re moving to a big property and end up buying lots of new stuff, you may have to increase the level of contents cover you need.

Life Insurance

Not everyone needs life insurance (also known as life cover and death cover). But if your children, partner or other relatives depend on your income to cover the mortgage or other living expenses, then the answer is yes – you probably do want life insurance, since it will help provide for your family in the event of your death.

Life insurance can pay your family money as a lump sum or as regular payments if you die. It’s designed to provide you with the reassurance that your family will be looked after if you’re no longer there to provide.

Critical Illness Insurance

Critical illness insurance, also known as critical illness cover, is a long-term insurance policy which covers serious illnesses listed within a policy. If you get one of these illnesses, a critical illness policy will pay out a tax-free, one-off payment. This can help pay for your mortgage, or alterations to your home, such as wheelchair access, should you need it.

For example, if you borrowed £200k over 30 years, we’d recommend that you are covered for £200k over 30 years. This cover would reduce as your pay off your mortgage and that way, you’ll always have enough cover to fully repay your mortgage.

Critical illness insurance will pay out if you get one of the specific medical conditions or injuries listed in the policy, but be aware that not all conditions are covered and the policy will also state how serious the condition must be.

Examples of critical illnesses that might be covered include:

  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • certain types and stages of cancer
  • conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Income Protection

Income protection insurance is a long-term insurance policy designed to help you if you can’t work because you’re ill or injured. It pays you a set portion of your income whilst you are unable to work. This usually starts after your sick pay has ended. It means you should have enough income to continue paying your bills and household costs, even though you’re not working, meaning you can concentrate on getting better.

Whereas critical illness insurance pays out a one-off lump sum, income protection ensures you continue to receive a regular income until the policy ends or you are able to return to work.

Conclusion

Certain insurances work well alongside each other to give you that full protection and make sure you’re able to repay your mortgage should anything happen to you.

As specialist mortgage advisers we also receive special services included in some of these policies, which you might not get if you go direct. These can include gym discounts, free health checkups, physiotherapy, counselling and access to BUPA helplines.

Although you don’t need every single insurance policy, we’re able to recommend the right policies that best suit your needs. You don’t have to accept our recommendations. However, if you’re looking for insurance elsewhere, you won’t have our team of advisers to check through the small print for you and advise on whether the policy is suitable for your needs.