Home Insurance Guide

The ins and outs of protecting your home

Young family of four having fun with the baking flour whilst baking cakes in their new kitchen on a summers day

A safe and secure home is one of the most important things in life. We can take every possible step to make sure things run smoothly in our homes, but sometimes bad things happen, whether that’s a fire, flood, burst pipe, or a burglary. Home insurance is all about being able to get things running again after damage to your house or your property from insured events, and helping to cover the costs.

What is home insurance?


Home insurance covers two types of insurance, often bought together but can also be bought separately depending on your circumstances. These are buildings insurance and contents insurance. As you’d expect, one is designed to cover the building itself, while the other is for furniture and possessions within. Home insurance covers you against specific events, which will be set out in your policy documents. Usually home insurance covers things like fire, flood, falling trees, storm damage, or vandalism, but can also include things like burst pipes or subsidence.

What’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?


  • Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home, what you could call its four walls and roof. So a buildings insurance policy would help cover the cost of damage to the structure of your property, including floors, windows, doors, and fitted kitchens.
  • Contents insurance covers the possessions within your home, like furniture, appliances, TVs and games consoles, and your clothes and jewellery. A contents insurance policy would help to cover the cost of replacing or repairing any items damaged, destroyed, or stolen from inside your home. You can often also add specific items to contents insurance, such as bicycles or garden furniture, or an object of high value like artwork or a musical instrument.

Who needs to have home insurance?


There’s no legal requirement for people to have home insurance, but not having it can mean a big risk if something should happen. Some mortgage providers might also insist on you having buildings insurance for the length of your mortgage.

What type of home insurance do I need?


  • Homeowner - As a homeowner, you’re responsible for the structure and contents of your house, so you might want to have both buildings and contents insurance to ensure both are protected.
  • Renting - If you rent your home, you might only want to purchase contents insurance as the building itself is normally the responsibility of the landlord.
  • Landlord - As a landlord, you’re responsible for having buildings insurance on the properties you rent out, but you could also take out a specific landlords policy to protect any contents in a furnished property you rent out.

What you need to get a home insurance quote?


Home insurance quotes are worked out from lots of different factors, all of which affect the price you end up paying. You’ll be asked some straightforward questions when you compare home insurance quotes with Asda Money and there are some key things you should have in front of you to make sure you’re ready to answer.

This doesn’t cover absolutely everything you’ll need, but these are five of the most important details to have with you before you start:


1. Details about your home

Basic details about your home including when it was built, how big it is, if it’s close to a body of water, and when you moved in are all important factors in home insurance, so make sure you have these details ready. You might also need to provide the estimated rebuild value of your home. This doesn’t mean the market value of your home, but rather how much it would cost to rebuild it from scratch.


2. The value of your contents

If you’re looking to compare contents insurance, you’ll need to know roughly the replacement value of all of your contents. You don’t have to be exact with this figure, but since contents insurance pay-outs are based on the value you provide, be as realistic as possible.


3. Details of previous home insurance claims

As with any other type of insurance, you need to disclose any previous home insurance claims you’ve made when you’re looking for a new quote. If this information is not on your most recent home insurance renewal documents, you can contact your previous provider and they should be able to help.


4. Security features of your home

The security of your home is another factor that’s used to come up with policy prices, so we’ll need to know what types of locks your home has and whether there are any other security features like security alarms.


5. Details about your roof

Because the roof of your home is such an important part of the structure, information about what it’s made of is really important. Before you start to compare home insurance, find out what material your roof is made of, whether that’s slate, tiles, timber, or something else. You’ll also be asked about the shape and structure of your roof, as things like a high percentage of flat roofing could change your policy cost.

Top Home Insurance FAQs:

Do I need Home Insurance?

Neither buildings insurance nor contents insurance are actually legally required so, technically, no you don’t need them. However, some mortgage providers will require you to have at least buildings insurance before lending you money to make sure that their loan is protected and, without home insurance, you run the risk of being responsible for the full cost of any repairs your home needs after a serious incident like a fire.

Especially if you own your home, getting home insurance is a sensible decision to make sure you’re not caught out unprotected in the event of a disaster.

Is theft covered by Home Insurance?

This will vary from provider to provider but, generally, theft of your belongings will be covered by contents insurance. Following the general rule that contents insurance is to cover your possessions while buildings insurance insures you for damage to the structure of your home, standalone buildings insurance typically won’t include coverage for theft.

What does accidental damage mean?

Again, the definition of accidental damage varies depending on who you choose to take a home insurance policy with. In most cases, however, accidental damage cover will protect you against damage that’s caused suddenly by non-deliberate actions. This could include knocking over a glass of wine and ruining your carpet, drilling into your wall and hitting a pipe, or even a toddler bumping into your TV and causing it to topple and break.

Will I need a credit check?

If you choose to pay for your home insurance policy in monthly instalments over the course of the year, it’s likely that a credit check will be necessary to make sure you can pay the full sum back. This will usually be a soft credit check, however, which won’t leave a record on your credit history. When you buy annually, credit checks generally aren’t required.