What Are The Differences Between Home Insurance And Contents Insurance?

May 29

Knowing what insurance you need to buy in order to fully protect your home can be confusing. With so much jargon surrounding the insurance industry its unsurprising that many people fail to understand the difference between home and contents insurance. Often homeowners mistakenly take out only one kind of insurance, inadvertently leaving their home at risk. Taking time to understand the facts surrounding home and contents insurance could ensure you home is properly protected, allowing you to rest safe in the knowledge that if the worst does happen you’ll be taken care of.

Home Insurance

Home insurance provides cover for the fabric of the building itself, and will reimburse you for any structural damage. This doesn’t just include bricks and mortar, all the permanent fixtures and fitting such as your bathroom and kitchen will be protected under your home insurance policy.

Your home insurance policy will protect you from any damage to your home caused by water or fire damage. If your home is inhabitable after a flood or a fire your policy will cover for the costs of alternative accommodation until your home is fit to live in.

Contents Insurance

Contents insurance is used to cover any part of your property that’s not attached to the structure of your building. So things like your furniture, clothes and even the contents of your freezer will be protected under your policy. If your property is stolen during a break in, or destroyed by fire you can use your contents policy to recoup any losses. Usually you’ll be given brand new replacements for your old items, although you’ll need to declare any valuable items such as jewellery or antiques when you take out your cover

When choosing your contents insurance be sure to shop around, some policies include accidental damage cover as standard while others don’t.

Buying or renting?

If you own your property in order to protect the structure of your home and your possessions you’ll need to purchase both home and contents insurance. However for those renting a property, contents insurance is enough. Your landlord is responsible for providing insurance for the fabric of the building, meaning that’s one less thing to worry about.

Compulsory or not?

Although there’s no law which requires each property to have home and contents insurance, home insurance may be included as a condition of your mortgage. If you shop around and use the comparison sites you can get some great deals, so the question shouldn’t be whether you can afford home and contents insurance, but whether you can afford to live without it.

Home and contents insurance can work together

Often a single incident can give rise to a claim on both your home and contents policy. Take for example a fire which damages the structure of your home and destroys your possessions. Your home insurance would pay for the structural damage to be restored and provide alternate accommodation, while the contents cover would replace your damaged items.

What won’t be covered?

Although some policies cover for accidental damage, insurers won’t cover you for your own negligence. So if you’ve had a DIY disaster you’ll be responsible for repairing any damage yourself.


Your home insurance protects the fabric of your property, while contents covers your possessions. You can buy these policies separately or together. Usually insurers will give you a discount for purchasing both, but this doesn’t necessarily give you the best deal. By being a savvy shopper and knowing where to look you can make considerable savings, so if possible try to shop around.