Types of home insurance

A terrace of colourful houses.

A house is more than just four walls and a roof. It's a home for you, your family and all your belongings. That's why taking out quality home insurance is a must.

Home insurance protects the actual structure of your home, along with the contents inside it, against things like fire, flood, theft and extreme weather. So, whether you've just bought your first home or are simply in need of a recap, here's all you need to know about this type of cover.

What are the different types of home insurance?

We offer three types of home insurance: buildings only cover, contents only, and combined buildings and contents – sometimes known as 'home insurance.' Here's a rundown of what each level of insurance covers:

Buildings insurance

Buildings insurance protects the actual bricks and mortar of your home. While each policy varies, it generally covers the costs of repairing or rebuilding your house if it's damaged or destroyed by:

  • Flood and escape of water
  • Fire, smoke and explosions
  • Storms and lightning
  • Natural disasters like earthquakes
  • Subsidence (not all policies cover this)
  • Malicious persons and rioting
  • Collision by vehicles or animals
  • Falling trees
  • Collapse of aerials or satellite dishes.

Permanent structures (like fitted kitchens and bath suites), as well as outbuildings (such as sheds and garages) are also covered under most buildings policies.

Contents insurance

Contents insurance essentially protects all the items in your home which aren't part of the structure – the sofas in your living room, beds in the bedroom, mirror in the hallways, for instance. Even the contents of your freezer can be covered. The policy offers protection against loss and damage caused by:

  • Flood
  • Fire, smoke and explosions
  • Theft and attempted theft
  • Vandalism
  • Storms and lightning
  • Natural disasters
  • Falling trees
  • Leaks from heating or water fixtures.

With contents insurance, it's worth noting that you're not covered against general wear and tear. It only protects you if your belongings are damaged or destroyed due to the factors listed above.

In most cases, you'll have to take out additional ‘accidental damage cover' to protect against breakages and spillages inside the home. It's also your choice whether to protect any high value items with extra cover – for instance, laptops, jewellery or cameras.

Things that aren't covered by contents insurance include any items insured under another policy, pets, lottery tickets, caravans and trailers.

Buildings and contents insurance

Buildings and contents insurance is exactly what it says on the tin: buildings and contents cover, combined. Bringing both types of insurance under one policy can save you time on admin. Plus, there'll be just one renewal date to remember.

What type of home insurance do I need?

If you have a mortgage, you're required by law to have buildings insurance in place. Your mortgage provider or broker will often recommend a certain insurer, but that's not to say they offer the best cover for the best price. Our top tip? Always shop around and explore your options.

If you live in a rented property, buildings insurance is usually the landlord's responsibility. But it's down to you to arrange additional contents cover for your belongings. The same goes if you're a student living away from home.

What's important to remember is that every policy is different. Make sure you spend time looking through cover details and the terms and conditions to know exactly what you're covered for. Doing this will save you from ever being left out of pocket.

What type of home insurance should I get?

If you need to insure your house and your belongings, then it makes sense to take out a combined policy. Not only are they easier to manage, but you could save some money on your annual premium. Choose a Hastings Direct policy, for example, and you could save up to 20%.

A Hastings Direct home insurance policy comes with a great range of benefits as standard, such as:

  • £1,000,000 of buildings insurance
  • £75,000 of contents insurance (can be increased up to £150,000)
  • New for old cover (excluding linens)
  • £100,000 alternative accommodation cover
  • 24-hour claims helpline.

When it comes to insurance, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. That's why we allow our customers to tailor their policies with our optional extras. These include:

Family legal protection

Family legal protection covers you and all family members living with you against costs of pursuing civil legal proceedings due to things like personal injury claims, motoring prosecutions, personal tax issues and probate. We provide 24-hour access to legal advice as well as a counselling service.

Home emergency cover

This type of cover protects you in the event of a home emergency – mainly problems with things like your boiler, central heating, plumbing or electrics. Depending on the emergency, we'll send out a trusted contractor for immediate repairs, covering costs of up to £500 per claim for callout charges, parts, materials, labour and VAT.

High value items cover

If you have any items in your home worth over £1,500, you'll need to protect them with this additional cover.

Portable property protection

Contents insurance only protects your belongings when they're in the house. This policy covers items like jewellery and bikes when they're taken away from the home.

Key protection

Key protection provides up to £1,500 worth of cover if your home, office or car keys are lost, stolen or damaged, to pay for replacement keys or locksmith charges.

Home insurance

At Hastings Direct, we know how important your home and its contents are to you. That's why we offer home insurance that covers you for the unexpected expense that theft, loss and damage can bring. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.