How to buy home insurance

Looking round the market there are lots of options for buying home insurance with brokers, comparison sites, insurers and banks lining up to offer the best deals.

Separate cover

Buildings and contents insurance can be bought together, from the same company, or separately.

Experts advise you to shop around for the best deals – so if you find it's cheaper to get each type of cover separately from different insurers, this is clearly the best option.

However, the advantage of the one-stop-shop route is that using the same company can help make claims-handling easier if you suffered damage to both the building and contents.

As with all insurance, check your provider is authorised by the FSA and compare the deals with the rest of the market. If going via a broker, who will search the market for the best deal for you, make sure you do your research on them and check out the broker's credentials.

Via mortgage lender

Having home insurance is normally a condition of your mortgage. Therefore, many lenders will provide buildings insurance policies for you.

The advantage of this is obviously ease and simplicity. However, as you don't get the opportunity to search the market for deals it is very likely you could be paying over the odds for your policy.

Via broker

Insurance brokers are the best option for people who want to take out home insurance without the hassle of trawling websites and comparing deals. Brokers do all the work for you. As well as having specialist knowledge of the market, if they are properly regulated, they will be trained to assess your needs and provide the best policy based on your personal circumstances.

Price Comparison Websites

Price comparison websites are becoming an increasingly popular way of searching for and taking out home insurance policies.

They search much of the market for the best deals and list all the cheapest prices allowing you to pick, in theory, the cheapest deal.

While they are convenient and useful some caution should be applied before jumping in and buying a policy. Many sites are not authorised to provide financial advice – only to provide prices. While a website might find you the cheapest deal, it might not be a product that is suitable for you.

Check the policy covers your needs, read the small print and, if necessary, go direct to the relevant insurer to get more details and execute the deal.

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