February may have been a short month, but it certainly left its mark from a weather point of view. The UK was hit by three separate storms – Dudley, Eunice and Franklin. And flooding!
Which got us thinking about Buildings and Contents insurance. Especially when we established that up to a quarter of UK homes may not have any home insurance.
There is actually no legal requirement to have either Buildings or Contents insurance for your home. But if you have a mortgage on the property then your mortgage conditions will state that your Buildings Insurance should be at least enough to rebuild or reinstate the property. This is usually based on a ‘rebuild cost’ provided on the mortgage valuation.
And, when you are getting a mortgage, your lender will require buildings insurance to be in place from completion. Although, at Mortgage Confidence, we advise you to have it from exchange. This is the point at which you are legally obliged to complete on the purchase of your new property and you can’t be certain it’s currently insured by the seller. So better safe than sorry!
So, what’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?
Buildings Insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure and permanent fixtures and fittings of your home. Whereas Contents Insurance is designed to protect your possessions should you ever fall victim to theft, fire or flood damage.
As Jo Jingree at Mortgage Confidence always says: “Imagine if you turned your property upside down and shook it. Everything that falls out needs to be covered by your contents insurance.”
Why is it a good idea to use an advisor when it comes to home insurance?
Back over to Jo: “It’s very easy to pop online and compare insurance prices via meerkats or opera singers. But whilst I totally recognise the need to manage outgoings, it’s really important to compare like with like when it comes to insurance. And it can sometimes be tricky to do that if you’re not used to looking at policies.
“Your advisor will be able to make sure that the cover you are getting is appropriate to your circumstances. They can explain your options so you can make an informed decision on which policy to buy. After all, there is little point in paying out for insurance if it doesn’t actually provide the cover you need.”
How can Mortgage Confidence help?
At Mortgage Confidence, we provide all our Buildings and Contents Insurance policies through PaymentShield. This is one of the UK’s leading insurance administrators and distributors. Plus, any insurances you buy will be 5-star defaqto-rated.
Lee Thompson is in charge of our Buildings and Contents Insurance at Mortgage Confidence. She’s very efficient and if we provide Buildings Insurance as part of the mortgage application process then we can email the certificate direct to the solicitor. It’s just a little something but clients appreciate knowing that it has all been dealt with and it’s one less job for them at a busy time.
In addition, Lee will contact you when your policy is due for renewal to reassess your insurance needs and make sure that your policy continues to provide the most appropriate cover for your circumstances.
Back to the storms
Analysis of storm damage claims data has revealed that the average claim cost rose from £588 in 2017 to £1,011 in 2021 as the UK has been battered with increasingly extreme weather, with four rare red weather warnings in that period alone.
And with recent warnings about climate change, it makes even more sense to protect your property by having the right insurance in place. Paymentshield’s Building and Contents policies cover storm damage. With a storm defined as a period of violent weather with:
- Wind speeds with gusts of at least 48 knots (55mph), equivalent to storm force 10 of the Beaufort Scale, or
- Torrential rainfall at a rate of at least 25mm per hour, or
- Snow to a depth of at least one foot (30cms) in 24 hours, or
- Hail of such intensity that it causes damage to hard surfaces or breaks glass
What isn’t covered is loss or damage to gates, fences, hedges, damage caused by a rise in the water table and contents that are in the open grounds of your property. So, you might want to secure that garden furniture before storm Gladys arrives!
If you’d like to discuss your Buildings, Contents or Landlords insurance then please do get in touch. We do not charge for insurance advice.
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