Last updated: 02/11/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes
Home insurance can provide you with a great deal of comfort, knowing that your property is protected should the worst come to pass. But if you’ve forgotten whether you have a home insurance policy in place, think it may have expired, or can’t remember who your provider is, it may be difficult to feel completely at peace.
Fortunately, there are ways to figure out whether you have an existing home insurance policy and exactly what it covers. This blog will steer you in the right direction, helping you to find a forgotten home insurance policy and decide what you should do next.
In This Guide:
- Is My Home Insured?
- Can I Check if My Home is Insured?
- Who is My Home Insurance With?
- I’m Renting, How Can I Find Out if My Home is Insured?
- Do I Need Home Insurance?
- How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?
- Can I Change or Cancel My Home Insurance?
- Can I Keep a Home Insurance Policy That’s Not in My Name?
- How Can I Find Insurance for My Home?
Is My Home Insured?
If you’ve never taken out home insurance and you own your home, there’s a good chance that your home is not insured. Even if the previous homeowners had insurance, this policy won’t extend to you, so if you know you’ve never taken out home insurance then your home won’t be insured.
The only time this may not apply is if you’re living in a leasehold property. It’s common practice for the freeholder of a building to take out home insurance instead of the residents, but it’s not always the case, so you’ll need to check this before making any assumptions.
If you remember taking out home insurance but can’t remember when it expires, there’s a chance your home may still be insured. Many home insurance policies will renew automatically even if your initial contract has elapsed. However, it’s important to check this if you have any doubts, as you won’t be able to make a claim if your policy is no longer active.
Can I Check if My Home is Insured?
There are a few different ways you can check whether you have a home insurance policy. If you’re fairly sure you took one out when you bought your home but can’t remember any details about it, here are the steps you should take:
Look for a paper trail: If you’ve taken out home insurance, chances are you received some type of documentation confirming your purchase. If you don’t think you have any letters or physical contracts tucked away, check your bank statements and credit card transactions for any one-off or recurring payments that could be for a home insurance policy. It can also be a good idea to search your e-mails for any mentions of home insurance.
Speak to your mortgage lender or financial advisor: Some mortgage providers require you to take out home insurance before they’ll approve you as a borrower. If this is the case for you, your mortgage provider should have details of your home insurance policy, as they will have used this to validate your lending application. And if you worked with a financial adviser to buy your home, they may also have details of your home insurance if it exists.
Who is My Home Insurance With?
If you know you have home insurance but can’t remember who your provider is, you should start by looking for details of your policy in your paperwork, bank statements and e-mails.
However, if you can’t find a clear-cut answer, maybe because you took out your home insurance a long time ago or have had policies with several different providers, it can be worth ringing around the potential possibilities.
Even if you don’t have a policy number, an insurance provider can check if you’re in their system with a few personal details. This can help you to narrow down your list of possible insurers, especially if you can find out where you had policies in the past and when they expired.
It can also be worth checking if your home insurance is bundled with another type of insurance you have. Some providers offer multiple types of insurance and may offer discounted rates to customers who take out a few different packages, so you may have home insurance with them without realising.
I’m Renting, How Can I Find Out if My Home is Insured?
If you’re renting a house or a flat, taking out home insurance to protect the property is your landlord’s responsibility. This is because they are responsible for repairing your home should it become damaged in a storm or after a flood. Even if they don’t have home insurance, it won’t cause any problems for you, as you won’t be responsible for costs – they will.
You can, however, take out contents insurance to protect your personal possessions, as this likely won’t be included in your tenancy unless otherwise stated. Your landlord only has to take out buildings insurance, which covers the cost of the structure of your home as well as fixtures and fittings. This means that if a leak damages the walls and floors in your home, your landlord’s insurance should pay out. However, if this same leak damages your own furniture or your clothes, you will need a contents insurance policy to get any money for these.
Do I Need Home Insurance?
Having home insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but it can be a very good idea to take out a policy. Damage to your home can be devastating, as well as very expensive to repair, especially after natural disasters like floods. Home insurance helps you to rebuild your life and get back to normal as quickly as you can. However, not all types of home insurance are right for everyone and not all of them cover the same things. Make sure you think carefully about your needs and compare policies before making a final decision.
How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?
Home insurance premiums can vary depending on a wide range of factors, such as how much your home is worth and the type of cover you need. Policies that cover a wider range of situations may be more expensive, while more limited types of home insurance or those with a higher excess may be more affordable.
The best way to find out how much your home insurance would cost is by getting a quote based on your current needs. Once you have this baseline, you can shop around and compare policies to figure out which policy you prefer. Remember, cheaper isn’t always better – it’s important to spend some time finding a policy that’s not only within budget, but actually does what you need it to.
However, you may be able to save money by bundling policies together. For example, buying buildings and contents insurance as a single policy is typically cheaper than getting each one separately. However, if you only need one or the other, it will usually be cheaper to narrow your focus and only buy the type of insurance you need.
Can I Change or Cancel My Home Insurance?
If you’ve found your home insurance policy and decided it’s no longer quite right for you, it is possible to change or cancel it. However, the way you do this will depend on the terms laid out in your policy documents.
For example, if your policy was taken out for a set period of time, you may have to pay an early cancellation fee to be released from your contract. If this is the case, you may find it easier to adjust your current policy to better suit your needs. Speak to your insurance provider and find out whether there are any add-ons that may help you to get the kind of cover you’re looking for.
Can I Keep a Home Insurance Policy That’s Not in My Name?
Home insurance policies usually need to be in the name of the homeowner, but if you’ve inherited a property from a relative or are staying in your home after separating from a spouse, your policy may be under someone else’s name. In this situation, it’s important to contact your home insurance company and explain to them what’s happened.
Depending on the circumstances, they may allow you to keep your existing policy, but they will need to take your details and transfer the account to you. This is most common when a relative has inherited a property, but you will likely need to provide your insurer with a death certificate, some details about your loved one and proof that the property now belongs to you.
If your home doesn’t belong to you, or the person named on the policy is still alive but simply no longer living at your address, it’s likely that your home insurance will need to be cancelled. You will then be able to either apply for a new policy with the same provider, or find a new one entirely.
How Can I Find Insurance for My Home?
Whether you’re unhappy with your home insurance policy or you don’t have one at all, finding the right cover can be challenging. Start by identifying your needs, learning about the types of home insurance available and getting quotes for policies you might be interested in. Here at Money Expert, we aim to make the home insurance comparison process easier – get in touch to learn more or begin your home insurance journey.