Are all home insurance policies the same?
As soon as you start shopping online, the sheer number of companies offering home insurance can be bewildering. You may be asking if all home insurance policies are created equal, or if there are big differences between them.
Are all home insurance policies the same?
The short answer is no, they aren’t, and even similar policies may have some slight differences when you read into them. While it may be a bit of a minefield, it is more straightforward than it may first seem.
While there is exceptions to every rule, a standard buildings and contents policy from one company is not going to be worlds apart from a standard home insurance policy from another. As it is a product meant to suit most UK home owners and tenants, the aim is to make sure they are all pretty consistent so that a customer can make an easier decision for one, and so that the insurer isn’t losing out on business for another. For example – How many people would want to buy a home insurance policy that doesn’t cover for fire damage, even if it is a bit cheaper?
Here are a few things to keep in mind that help simplify the process of choosing a policy:
You can expect that every policy is going to cover you for Fire, Flood, Subsidence, Storm Damage, Earthquake, Theft, Malicious Damage/Vandalism, Impact (by tree, vehicle or animal), Escape of Water, Escape of Oil, Property Owners Liability, Employers Liability to domestic staff, and on all but the most budget policies, at least a basic level of accidental damage.
This means you don’t have to check every policy to make sure these things are covered. Once you have a few prices that you’re interested in, you can start checking the individual limits and restrictions to make sure they work for you.
Know your requirements
Having a good idea of the cover that you need from your home insurance is a great starting point, so you know what to look for.
It is worth checking your sums insured, maybe with a free online calculator to confirm your rebuild cost, or go around your property and tally up the cost of your contents, keeping in mind that areas in outbuildings can be subject to restricted cover.
With so many insurance products available, finding the right one can be challenging. Defaqto rating is one way to get a very brief snapshot of how comprehensive the policy is.
It is a rating from 1-5 stars, with 1 being the lowest. It is determined by experts at Defaqto analysing the terms and conditions of the policy, then comparing them against other similar policies on the market. The rating is based on the quality and comprehensiveness of the features and benefits, but doesn’t reflect customer service or claims handling.
A 1 Star Rating indicates a basic product, with a low level of features and benefits, while a 5 Star product provides one of the highest quality offerings in the market.
It is worth noting that a product in the 1-2 star range could well meet the needs of a customer, especially if the features and benefits are of little to no use to that particular client. Defaqto have not rated every product in the market, so if a product does not have a rating, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad. Also a product in the 4-5 star range may not necessarily give you everything that you require, so it shouldn’t take the place of reading through documentation carefully.
Contact the insurance company
One of the easiest ways to work out if a company is offering a product that is worthwhile, give them a call and ask them to check if the policy covers for everything you need. We at GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. have a wealth of household schemes available, and if you have a specific set of boxes to tick, we probably know the product that will be best for you. Give us a call on 0800 612 9376 or click “Get a Quote” to complete our online form.
Need some more information?
Why not read one of our other buildings and contents insurance guides?
- Buildings and Contents Insurance
- How can I buy home insurance?
- Do I need specialist home insurance?
- What does home insurance come with as standard?
- Home emergency and legal protection
- Will I need to let my insurance company know about renovations?
- Will working from home affect my insurance?
- Why you should shop around for home insurance
- How important is buildings and contents insurance?
- Home Insurance Guide
- Home Insurance FAQs