Buildings insurance is an essential piece of cover, but the price you pay can vary significantly depending on where you live.

That’s because insurers have to take into account a range of factors when calculating your premium, looking beyond simply the size of your house and how secure the locks are.

But could how close you live to a supermarket be one of those factors?

The supermarket effect on house prices

There does appear to be a correlation between living near to a supermarket and an increase in the value of your home.

Indeed, some studies have suggested that there is even a difference depending on which supermarket it is.

For example, a study by Lloyds Bank found that homes located near a supermarket command a house price premium of an average of more than £21,000. However, this ranged from a premium of more than £36,000 when living near a Waitrose to a smaller premium of £4,117 if located near an Asda.

Clearly, many homebuyers are willing to pay for the convenience of having a supermarket close by. And that figure only increases if the store is a premium supermarket.

Does it really affect your home insurance costs?

There are some reasons why there might be an indirect correlation. Wealthy areas are most likely to have a top end supermarket, and they are also most likely to have more expensive houses with potentially more valuable contents. As a result, their cover is likely to cost more.

What’s more, as research from MoneySuperMarket found last year, a number of wealthy areas - including Guildford, Cambridge and Richmond - have become burglary hotspots. As a result, homeowners in these areas may face higher premiums if insurers consider they present a higher risk.

It all depends on your insurer and precisely what they take into account when calculating risk and therefore the price of a home insurance policy.

As Malcolm Tarling, chief media relations officer at the Association of British Insurers, explains there is no standard list of factors which is common throughout the industry. Different insurers will look at different aspects of a property and its location when pricing up a policy.

He adds: “Our advice is for consumers to take advantage of the competitive insurance market and shop around for the policy that best meets their needs at the best price.”

What definitely affects the cost of your home insurance?

There are other factors which you can much more definitively recognise will affect the price of your home insurance.

For example, if the area has a history of flooding, then your premiums will almost certainly be higher.

Similarly, specific details about your home will play a part. If a large part of the roof is flat, then your premiums will likely rise as there is increased risk of weather damage, while they may also be more attractive to thieves.

Your claims history makes a difference too - if you have made a claim on a policy in the recent past, you are generally more likely to make another claim, and so may face higher premiums.

Go to our Solved hub to find out more about what affects the price of your home insurance.