Home Insurance What Is Covered


A home insurance policy is designed to keep you financially protected from damage and loss to your belongings. According to the Consumer Council Northern Ireland, 87% of eligible people in Northern Ireland have some form of contents insurance, however many still have inadequate preparations for unexpected costs and setbacks. In fact there are concerns over the high number of NI adults that have low savings and would be ill-prepared if any unexpected costs arose.

Why having a home insurance policy is a good idea

Getting a good home insurance plan can offer you protection against a lot of things. For example the most common reasons for making a claim on your home

include the following:

  • Escape of water: This includes damage due to burst pipes, leaking roofs, and flooding.
  • Storm damage: Usually a result of high winds, hail, and snow.
  • Fire: This can cover damage from accidental fires, electrical faults as well as natural disasters.
  • Theft: This will cover you for stolen contents from your home or garden.
  • Burglary: This includes damages caused to your home as a result of a break-in.

A contents insurance plan is different to a building insurance plan and can either be purchased as a combined policy or as a stand-alone. Which option you decide to go with will depend on your own individual needs.

Aside from the obvious financial cover that home insurance can offer you, it also can provide you with peace of mind. Being left with outstanding bills and repair costs can be very stressful, especially if you do not have adequate savings or high expenses. With 72% of respondents saying that they are in a worse position now financially than they were prior to the pandemic, home insurance coverage can be more important now than ever.

What is covered by a home insurance policy?

Depending on if you decide to go for a building insurance plan only, a contents plan, or a home and contents insurance plan, the nature of your cover will change depending on what specifically you are insuring.

  • Building only insurance – This is sometimes simply referred to as home or house insurance and will require you to first have a rough idea of the rebuild value of your home. This is different to its market or sale value, insuring your property for that amount will cause you to over-insure your home and result in higher premium costs. It is recommended that you get an assessment done of your property every 5 years to keep your coverage properly updated.
  • Content only insurance – For a content-only insurance plan, you’ll want to take time to decide on what items you want to insure in your home. Typically values included in a contents policy include TVs, jewellery, appliances, furniture, tools and essentially anything found in your home of value. You’ll want to be sure that the item you insure is valuable enough to justify the premiums and potential claims.
  • Home and content insurance – This policy essentially combines the two into one. This can make managing your policy easier and may also be your best option. If the biggest threat to your property is burglary, then it’s likely your contents will be stolen in addition to the damage caused by breaking and entering should the worst-case scenario occur.

What these policies specifically cover you against includes the following:

  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Fire damage and loss
  • Flood damage
  • Natural disasters
  • Accidental damage (included in some policies)

Essentially, a good home insurance policy will provide you coverage against unexpected events which result in damages to your property.

“With home insurance it’s always best to be honest with your provider, use the online flood map tool if you’re unsure of the exact distance to nearby rivers and double check your home for any potential issues, especially in relation to the colder weather, such as added insulation for pipes.”  

What is not covered by your home insurance?

Home insurance and contents policies are designed to offer you financial protection against unexpected events leading to damages or loss such as fires, theft and natural disasters. However they are not a form of cover against damage to your home as a result of wear and tear or other age-related issues. For example, damage to your property as a result of rust, condensation, mould or rot is not insured under these policies as it would mean that, eventually, every policy would result in a claim.

How does home insurance work?

Home insurance essentially works by offering you cover against the costs of damage and loss to your property due to some of the reasons mentioned earlier. The total coverage offered usually goes up to the value of £1000,000, however insurers understand that some properties may cost more to rebuild or repair. If your home will cost more than a million to repair, some policies will let you set the limit of your policy, this will impact your premiums however with a higher limit incurring a higher premium.

Simply put, you insure your property by paying the insurer of your choosing either annually or monthly a certain amount. This amount will be based on your risk profile such as the area you live, the crime rate, the chances of natural disaster and so on. In return for this payment, you will be covered against the value of your home, or contents if this is included, and so if you suffer loss due to an insurable event, your policy will pay you out to have the repairs or replacements made. It is important to note however that as with most financial products, making a claim will very likely result in you paying higher premiums in future so be discerning over when to make a claim and when to just pay out of your own pocket.

How much does home insurance cost in Northern Ireland?

The average cost of home insurance in Northern Ireland is £270 per year. The reason for this is largely down to the following factors:

  • Burglary rate
  • Repair replacement costs
  • Smaller insurance market
  • Whether events

Different regions will have different statistics for these factors and so this will change the average cost of the home insurance plans in that region. Even if you live in a place where the average cost of insurance is higher than that of other areas, it is still important to make sure you have adequate coverage in place in case of emergency.

How to keep your property safe and avoid claims all together

Avoiding a claim is always better than making one. There are a few ways in which you can effectively reduce your chances of an event happening to your home which causes damage. Here are some practical things you can start doing to your home today to reduce the risk of damage to your property.

  • Keep windows and doors locked when you’re away – This will greatly reduce the risk of break-ins.
  • Install fire alarms and if possible a fire extinguisher – Stopping a fire early is the best way to avoid major damages
  • If you have the means, flood barriers can be useful for covering certain points.
  • To prevent water damage, ensure you have all leaks and pipes repaired and maintained.

Unfortunately there are some things that you just can’t control, and that is where a home insurance policy can come into play to give you peace of mind from the uncertainty of the unexpected.

How to find the right home insurance policy for you

Getting the right home insurance policy for your needs is simple, it really boils down to just comparing as many providers as possible on the market and seeing which one can make you the best offer. At CompareNI we can help you find the best insurer for you with our large panel of providers. It’s simple and easy and lets you start comparing quotes in a matter of minutes.

Compare cheap home insurance quotes