Why doesn’t one size fits all home insurance work?

How much attention do you pay to the nitty gritty of your home insurance? Not much? Then now might be the perfect time to make a change. The fact is that one-size-fits-all home insurance doesn’t really work for anyone – we’ve all got different needs and different things that need covering.

The first thing to think about is the buildings and contents portions of your cover and the reasons why you need both. If you’re a homeowner, buildings cover is essential and is often a requirement of your mortgage provider. If your house falls down, it’s this cover you’ll need to build it back up again. Add on buildings accidental damage cover and you’ll be looked after if the problem was caused by your own negligence, such as knocking through a wall during an errant piece of weekend DIY.

However, buildings insurance won’t cover you if your belongings are stolen or damaged – which is where home contents insurance comes in. Once again, this type of cover comes in many different shapes and sizes. For example, not all basic contents policies will cover certain expensive items, such as top-of-the-range technology or personal items such as jewellery.

Then there are other aspects of the insurance to think about. Are your garden, shed, garage and outbuildings covered? What about accidental damage. Some comprehensive policies even cover legal expenses – something you never know when you’ll need.

Considering all of the above, it’s pretty clear why one-size-fits-all home insurance is not suitable for everyone. It’s certainly not the best way to get good value out of your policy – for example, there’s no point getting extra cover for technology and entertainment if your home doesn’t contain these types of items.

The best way forward is often to take stock of what you’ve got and come up with a reasonably accurate valuation for your possessions. Accidental damage cover will be an entirely person choice – it depends on how much you want to risk the unexpected happening and breaking your stuff.

Just as all situations are different in terms of what you want to cover, so the type of house insurance will depend on the individual. Ultimately, it comes down to your attitude to risk and your valuation skills – but with tens or even hundreds of pounds resting on getting a good value policy, it makes sense to give it some serious thought before signing on the dotted line for your annual renewal.

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