With any property or asset that you own it’s always a good idea to make sure you have insurance in place to protect against any eventuality. There are many providers who offer basic buildings and contents insurance policies. Additional benefits are available to add on to each policy should you wish; our advisor will be able to outline all of these benefits and answer any questions you have.
There are essentially three main types of insurance available:
Buildings insurance covers damage to the structure of your property including but not limited to:
It will also include outdoor structures, garages and fences. In some instances it will also cover fixtures and fittings e.g. kitchen units, bathrooms suits. Building insurance essentially protects the ‘bricks and mortar’ of your residential, buy to let or commercial property, unless it is a purpose built flat or leasehold property where the freeholder is responsible for the cover
It is a requirement of a lender that you have buildings insurance in place at the point of completion on a mortgage.
It is strongly recommended to safeguard your property from any type of structural damage even if no mortgage funding is in place, this will save you time and money should anything ever happen. It’s important to understand the relevance of insurance and to consider the detrimental effects should you choose to not have any cover in place. Insurance requirements can be tailored to the specific ‘rebuild cost’ of the property if necessary, however most residential providers have a set standard levels of cover.
Buildings insurance will cover you from loss or damage against, including but not limited to: fire, smoke, explosion, lightening, malicious acts of vandalism, flooding, subsidence, landslip, theft or attempted theft, escape of water and leakage of oil.
If you are a landlord and have investment properties that you rent out, it is important to have buildings insurance in place to safeguard your investment, unless the property is a leasehold flat/house where the freeholder will be responsible for the insurance.
Commercial buildings insurance is underwritten in a slightly different way to residential insurance by specialised provider. Additional risks are accounted for when considering the businesses trade e.g. a fish and chip shop or a hairdressers where the properties are at risk of fire or flooding. The fundamentals of the insurance are similar however in that they are designed to safeguard your commercial property
Buildings insurance providers offer varying levels of cover, our advisor will assess your circumstances and recommend the best levels of cover that your suit your budget and asset.
Contents insurance is worthwhile considering to protect your household goods and personal belongings that could otherwise get lost or damaged. We recommend contents insurance to homeowners to make sure you are covered in the event of a break in, flood or fire. Additional protection can be offered by providers to increase your cover for high value personal possessions. It can be offered as a standalone product should you already have buildings insurance in place.
Contents insurance can cover items such as:
- Electricals - TV, Computers etc.
- White goods
- Personal possessions
All of the above would be covered in the event of non-malicious fire, flood or burglary.
Contents insurance is also available as a standalone product for tenants wishing to protect their personal items and furnishings within rented accommodation. It is also available to property owners who occupy a leasehold property who may pay their buildings insurance through a service charge.
Landlords are able to put in place an element of ‘contents insurance’ for items within the property that are not classed as ‘fixtures and fittings’ e.g. fridge, freezer or washing machine. Unless the property is fully furnished, landlords would not normally put in place this type of insurance, it is up to the tenant to ensure their personal items are protected.
Commercial contents insurance is underwritten in a slightly different way to residential insurance by specialised provider. Additional risk is accounted for when considering the businesses trade e.g. a fish and chip shop or a hairdressers where the properties are at risk of fire or flooding. The fundamentals of the insurance are similar however in that they are designed safeguard your commercial property
Combined Buildings & Contents Insurance:
Combined buildings and contents insurance allows you the option to take out both insurances under one policy. This option could potentially be more cost effective when considering your budget and give you the same level of cover that single polices can offer.
Buildings and contents insurance may also include an added benefit of Accidental Damage cover – for example ‘a football through the window’, ‘red wine spilt on the carpet’ as these are deemed as ‘accidental’ the provider will assess and repair, replace or have the item professionally cleaned.
Similar to many insurance products, an excess will be charged in the event of a claim and can potentially cost a minimum of £100. Our advisor will highlight any additional benefits and costs with your policy and recommend the most beneficial product for you based on your budget and circumstances.
How much could your cover could cost you?
Your monthly premiums will be calculated on the age of the property, post code area, number of bedrooms, what the property is used for and the contents you wish to cover. They will also be reliant on the amount of excess you choose to pay in the event of a claim, the higher your excess amount the lower your potential monthly premiums could be.
Insurance providers have exclusions and areas of insurance that they will not look to cover; each provider will highlight what their specific exclusions are but some may include:
- Wear and tear to items
- Empty properties
- High risk areas
- Areas to prone to flooding
- Money stolen from your home unless it was enter by force or violence
These are only some examples of potential exclusions that may apply with certain providers. Our advisor will be able to answer any questions you may have to ensure you are getting the right level of protection and offer you a detailed quote outlining all costs and any additional benefits available.