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Do you need home insurance?

Home insurance isn’t a legal requirement but it can give you peace of mind knowing you can financially protect your property and belongings.

Buildings insurance (a type of home insurance) protects you against the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home from scratch, should it get damaged. This could be due to fire, flood or subsidence. 

Most lenders require you to have buildings insurance when you get a mortgage

If you buy a leasehold flat, the building might be insured by the landlord who owns the freehold. Your solicitor will advise if you need to take out buildings insurance as part of your lease.

You should also consider contents insurance to protect your belongings. These can be purchased separately or together under the same policy.

What does buildings insurance cover?

Buildings insurance typically covers: 

  • the structure of the building (bricks and mortar)
  • permanent fixtures and fittings such as kitchens, baths and built-in cupboards
  • outside buildings such as garages, greenhouses and garden sheds

Buildings insurance may not cover:

  • boundary walls, fences, gates and paths
  • damage caused by general wear and tear
  • legal expenses for property-related disputes (unless you’ve taken out additional cover)

As an optional extra, you may want to consider home emergency cover. You may be able to buy this as an add-on to your buildings insurance or as a separate policy.

Do you need home insurance when renting?

If you’re renting, you don’t need to worry about buildings insurance, as this is your landlord’s responsibility. But you should consider contents insurance to help cover the costs of replacing possessions if something happens to them.

What does contents insurance cover?

Contents insurance, sometimes known as renter’s insurance, typically covers:

  • items in your home that you’d take with you if you moved, such as furniture and white goods
  • carpets and curtains
  • garden equipment

Contents insurance may not cover: 

  • wear and tear
  • accidental damage

You can usually get additions to your policy to cover items you take outside your home, such as laptops, jewellery, and mobile phones.

HSBC Home Insurance is provided by Aviva Insurance Limited. Exclusions and terms and conditions apply.