Protect yourself and your home: shopping for insurance

Money Advice Service

When you buy a property, there are several kinds of insurance you can get. However, you don’t have to take all the insurance deals offered to you. Whatever you decide, it’s important to shop around first.

Buildings and contents insurance

Buildings and contents insurance are separate types of insurance that are often bundled together and sold alongside a mortgage.

Buildings insurance covers the building itself should it be destroyed or damaged by events like fire or bad weather.

Do you need buildings insurance?

  • If you are a freeholder with a mortgage your lender will insist you have buildings insurance.
  • If you’re buying a leasehold property, it’s most likely that the freehold owner will be responsible for arranging buildings insurance cover.

Don’t just accept the buildings insurance offered by your mortgage broker or lender – shop around to get a good deal.

You will need to have the insurance in place when you exchange contracts to confirm the purchase of the property.

This is because you will be the legal owner and, should there be a fire, or a problem with the structure of the property, you are responsible.

Contents insurance covers you for loss or damage to the items in your home.

It might also provide some cover for items used outside the home, such as laptops, cameras and phones.

Do you need contents insurance?

  • It’s important to have contents insurance in case of a fire, flood or burglary
  • You do not need to take out the contents insurance offered by your mortgage broker or lender – shop around to get a good deal

Life insurance

  • Don’t feel pressured to buy life insurance from your lender or mortgage broker – shop around.
  • Life insurance is important if you have children, as they will probably need the pay-out after you die to help with the mortgage repayments.

Mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI)

MPPI covers your monthly mortgage payments should you be unable to meet them due to an accident, sickness or unemployment.

Critical illness insurance

Critical illness insurance offers cover in case you are diagnosed with one of the illnesses specified in the policy.

If you make a successful claim, you will be paid a tax-free lump sum.

Other insurance/protection

Income protection insurance will pay out if you are unable to work due to illness or an accident.

Wills

Having a will is a good idea, as it means you can decide what happens to your home and your money when you die.

You can save some time by asking your solicitor if they can draw you up a will as part of the home buying process.

Read our guide on Why you should have a will.

Your next step

Follow the links below for more information and guidance:

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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