Have a question about your finances? You are likely to either seek the advice of friends or family, or turn to the web.
So we’ve scoured internet message boards and forums to identify some of the most common – and sometimes quirky – questions you are asking about home insurance.
Are mobile phones covered by home contents insurance?
Your mobile might be covered by your home contents insurance policy in the event it is stolen from your home.
You may also be able to add on accidental damage cover for your phone in the home. Or if you want cover outside the home, check if your policy includes personal possessions cover.
Am I covered if an aircraft engine or satellite drops on my house?
Things do sometimes drop out of planes. Back in 2016 there were news reports that a teacher in Canada had claimed a frozen lump of excrement had dropped from a plane passing overhead and made a hole in the roof of her mother's house. Worse still, what if a jet engine, satellite or meteor were to fall on your house? Thankfully, falling objects are covered under standard home insurance policies.
Does home insurance offer a no claims bonus?
Like with car insurance, home insurance providers may offer a discount in the price of your premium as a reward for not having made a claim against your policy.
The longer you go without claiming, the bigger the discount you will get, typically up to a maximum of four or five consecutive years.
Food insurance - will my policy cover spoiled freezer food?
If the power goes off for long enough when you aren’t at home, then all of the food in your freezer could be ruined. Just think how much all that food would cost to replace, especially if you’re set to cater for a special occasion, such as Christmas. Most insurance policies cover freezer damage to some extent, but check your terms and conditions for any exclusions.
Will my policy cover damage or vandalism to a headstone?
Some policies will cover the cost of repairing or replacing headstones on the graves on a family plot in the event of damage or vandalism.
Will security cameras lower home insurance costs?
Your home insurance provider will expect a minimum level of security.
In general, the higher your level of security, the lower you can expect your home insurance premium to be. However, it depends on your individual insurer and what security measures you have in place. Before splashing out on CCTV, you might consider whether you have the right locks and burglar alarm. Check with your provider what security systems they prefer to see and whether having CCTV can reduce your premiums.
How do you get the best home insurance rate?
Shop around, using several different comparison websites or speak to a broker. Be honest when providing your details and fill in the form carefully, being as accurate as possible when valuing your contents.
Carefully check what you are signing up to. In particular, look for the size of the excess – the amount you have to pay yourself on making a claim – and any exclusions. Be aware that features that come as standard in some policies, such as home emergency cover, may be listed as additional extras in others.
What if lightning strikes?
Research published in the US in 2014 concluded that global warming will significantly increase the frequency of lightning strikes. Thankfully, your building insurance usually covers lightning – and earthquakes – but as always every policy is different, so check your policy documents.
What does home insurance cover?
‘Home insurance’ can refer to two main types of cover, which are often combined:
Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to permanent fixtures and fittings in your home and outbuildings. So, walls, windows, the roof, and permanent fixtures and fittings such as your bath, toilets and fitted kitchens.
Contents insurance covers the belongings in your home which are not part of the structure of the building, if they are stolen, damaged or destroyed. This includes things like clothing, furniture, jewellery, electrical goods, toys, kitchenware and soft furnishings. It can all add up – according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average value of contents in a three-bedroom family home is about £55,000.
Why is my home insurance quote so high?
The cost of home insurance is based on your own personal circumstances, such as where you live, the building materials used in your house and your claims history.
Prices can also be pushed higher by broader trends, such as an increase in claims relating to water leak damage as more households install en-suite bathrooms and wet rooms. In the first three months of 2018, the average premium for a combined buildings and contents policy was £295, down from £305 in the previous three months, according to the ABI.
Am I covered if my dog bites someone?
You may need extended accidental cover for your home insurance to cover damage caused by pets – or worse – if your pooch bites someone. But you are likely to already have separate insurance for your pet, to cover vets fees, and this will often include third party liability cover which will pay out if your dog attacks someone.
Who will insure my house in a flood risk zone?
Even homes with a history of flooding should be able to arrange cover now. That’s thanks to a new scheme called Flood Re, which was set up to help households who live in a flood risk area find affordable home insurance.
The fund spreads the cost and risk across the entire home insurance industry. You buy your cover from a regular insurer rather than dealing directly with Flood Re.
According to figures from Flood Re, around four out of five householders who have previously made a claim on their insurance due to a flood have seen a 50% drop in the cost of their current cover.
Does home insurance increase if you rent out the house?
The rise of Airbnb has made this a popular question. The answer depends on your insurer. Call and tell your insurer what you're planning to do - otherwise you may risk invalidating your policy.
Specifically, tell your insurer whether you plan to rent a spare room or the whole property, and for how long. You may need a top-up policy.
If you are planning to use Airbnb, be aware that its ‘host guarantee’ only provides limited cover.