Property Insurance UK
Can cover a variety scenarios, could be buildings or contents or personal possessions or could also relate to commercial building insurance. However, most people mean the insurance of home buildings and contents and personal possessions. Literally the word “property” designates those things that are commonly recognized as being the possessions of a person or group. Important types of property include buildings, whether they be private dwelling houses or commercial property, personal property such as the contents of a dwelling house, business contents associated with a business or trade. or other personal possessions such as watches or jewellery. Property insurance UK can also relate to slightly less tangible objects such as intellectual property rights over creations, inventions and discoveries etc. However statistics show that the vast majority of peoples interpretation of the term property insurance UK, relates to the insurance of private dwelling insurance either the building or contents or both.
Private property insurance in the UK is a very easy type of policy to place, the bulk of homeowners use their private dwelling houses for nothing other than a place to live and thus there are a seemingly endless number of providers willing to provide insurance quotations, either online or on the telephone or as was traditionally done, face to face in a broker or intermediaries office.
If you property, is used for any kind of business use (other than clerical), you may find it a little harder but certainly not impossible. There are a growing band of homeowners that have decided to work from home and often an office can be found at the property. If you work from your home and require to insure the buildings and contents , most of the online comparison websites will be unable to help you and you have have to phone around for quotations. In the quote terms and conditions on many of these sites, it states that it is assumed that the property is used for domestic purposes only. A property insurance policy with a fairly similar wording will be supplied.
Another variant on the standard home property insurance policy is the Landlords property insurance, this type of contract is very similar to a norma lhome insurance except that the insurance company are aware that the property has been purchased for rental purposes and will be occupied by a tenant. The number of insurance companies offering to insure rented property has increased quite dramatically in recent years and finding suitable cover should not present any problems
Standard home property insurance policies in the UK are divided in to a number of sections all offering different types of cover. A typical domestic property insurance contract will have the following sections.
- All Risks
- Accidents to Domestic Staff
- Public Liability
- Freezer Contents
- Pedal Cycles
- Money & Credit Cards
- Legal Expenses
In some cases a policy will have an extra section which can be used to cover small craft or even static caravans. Buildings and Contents are usually the only two sections of the property insurance policy that are compulsory, however, they can be both taken on their own, except that it is not normally possible to add some of the voluntary sections when you have buildings cover on its own.
The most important sections of a domestic property insurance UK policy are the first two sections, these relate to the insurance of buildings and contents. A question that always arises is how do you separate buildings from contents when requesting your insurance quote? it’s quite simple, buildings are defined as the structure of the property and it’s decorations and it’s fixtures & fittings. The term fixtures and fittings gives an important clue to defining items that fall under the buildings section of a property insurance policy. Anything that is affixed to a building is deemed to have become part of it and thus should be insured as part of the building. This would relate to bathroom fixtures and fittings and fully fitted kitchens. looking at in another way, anything you would leave behind if you sold the property, should be insured as the building. Buildings premiums are calculated on the rebuilding cost of the property and the contract is normally index linked, this means that the sum insured will increase each year in line with inflation. This is to help guard against under insurance.
Contents is basically furniture and personal possessions and includes any items you would take with you if the property were sold. Carpets are always a bit of a grey area when it comes to whether they are buildings or contents as many people tend to leave them in the property when they move home. However, most insurers would rather you insured carpets as contents as leaving them behind on the sale of a property is very much a matter of personal choice, they are more portable than say a fully fitted kitchen or bathroom and thus the contents section of a home property insurance policy is the best place to have them insured.
The All Risks section of a UK property insurance policy extends the normal contents section to cover items when they’re away from the home,. Usually cover is provided for valuable items such as watches or jewellery, sometimes cameras and sports equipment are also included. The term All Risks is slightly ambiguous as no insurance policy is going to cover every eventuality but under the All Risks section, cover is very wide and the list of exclusions is not usually too extensive.
Modern contents insurance policies are usually written on a new for old basis, this basically means that in the event of a claim, your old contents will be replaced with new items. Usually the insurance company will have the option to repair or to replace the damaged or lost item. Cash settlements are not always offered as the insurance company may have a deal with a supplier who can provide the product at a much reduced price. This helps to keep the cost of claims down and will of course help keep everybody’s premium at a reasonable level.
Property insured under a contents insurance is almost always index linked, this means that each year the sum insured is increased inline with inflation, to help guard against under insurance. However, no amount of index linking can help to keep your sum insured up to date if you are constantly buying new property. If you have just set up home or are in the process of replacing all of your contents, it’s a good idea to sit down and work out exactly how much it would cost to replace all of your property as new. Most people are surprised when they calculate the value of the property in their home and whilst it may mean an increase in you property insurance premium, at least you will be confident you have the cover to protect your possessions.