There are two types of household insurance – buildings and contents.
They are separate entities but can normally be bought together, usually with a discount.
Buildings Insurance covers the actual structure of your home; it will always include the main building and can be extended to cover sheds, garages, fences, swimming pools etc. Buildings insurance is only a consideration if you own the property.
A good buildings insurance policy should cover you for fire, flood, subsidence, storms, lightning, theft or vandalism, escape of water and oil, and damage caused by falling trees, branches or other objects. If you are a homeowner, having buildings insurance is normally a mandatory requirement of having a mortgage.
Contents Insurance meanwhile covers practically everything within your home including furniture, household goods, food and drink, TVs, computers, clothing and valuables, usually up to a stated limit. This policy pays out if any of your home contents are lost or damaged, following a burglary or fire, an explosion, leaks or vandalism, and also for accidental damage (although this is often an optional extra).
Many insurers cover the cost of replacing locks if your keys are stolen. Most policies may be extended to cover accidental damage or loss of valuable items you frequently take out of your home, such as jewellery, cameras and sports equipment. This is known as an ‘all risks extension’.