Home insurance tips for first-time buyers

It’s one of the biggest landmarks in your lifetime – owning your very own home for the first time.

view of a home with home insurance

by Jack White |
Updated on

But, before you pick out your new wallpaper, measure up for sofas and get the house-warming organised, there’s one important thing to consider – do you have the right home insurance to suit you? While it’s not the most fun part of buying a house, it will protect your property and possessions should the unexpected happen.

Mark Hallam from Swinton Insurance shares his top tips for first-time buyers choosing their home insurance policy:

1. Cover the bricks and mortar

Buildings insurance can cover the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home if it is damaged. It also covers fittings and fixtures, such as a fitted kitchen or bathroom suite.

Get everything covered
Get everything covered

Most mortgage lenders will insist you have buildings insurance in place before exchanging contracts so it’s a crucial part of the home-buying process.

2. Protect your possessions

The contents of your home - that’s your TV, ornaments, furniture, clothes and more - aren’t covered by a standard buildings insurance policy. For those, you need a contents policy. A good way of thinking about what is covered by your contents insurance is to imagine turning your house upside down – anything that would fall out is usually classed as contents.

home insurance for things inside
Ensure you get all of your possessions covered

To cover your belongings, you’ll need to look for either a combined buildings and contents home insurance policy or a separate contents only policy. Do plenty of research to figure out what works best for you and make sure you’re clear on what your policy covers before you take it out. .

3. Get the maths right

It may not have been your favourite subject at school, but getting the numbers right is key when it comes to home contents insurance. Make sure you value your belongings as accurately as possible, and consider everything from curtains and cushions to clothes and kitchen gadgets – you’ll be surprised at how much it all adds up to.

count your cash
Add up everything correctly

Don’t forget – there’s usually a single-item value limit in place on contents policies of around £1,500. If you have anything that’s worth more than this then speak to your insurer about the options.

4. Be safe and secure

You can take some practical steps to lower premiums by setting up some basic security measures.

These steps are as simple as fitting a professionally maintained burglar alarm and having approved locks on all windows and doors. It’s also worth knowing if there’s a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area as you may be able to reduce your premiums by becoming a member.

home alarm system
Get a burglar alarm!

Don’t forget to declare the extra security measures on your policy, and make sure you always use them or your insurance could be invalid should you need to make a claim.

5. Shop around

As with most things these days, it’s wise to shop around for the best deal. What’s right for your best friend or what the mortgage lender recommends, may not be the best value option for you. Look online, speak to insurance companies and be sure you know what’s included. After all, although it’s essential to have comprehensive cover, every pound you save could be put towards furniture for your new home!

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us