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Carpets are covered as a fitting under both our buildings and contents insurance policies. A fitting is a removable item that is attached to the interior or exterior of your home and outbuildings. If you require carpets to be covered for accidental damage, you need to opt in for it at an additional cost to our core home insurance policies.

Suitable locks (see below) must be fitted and fully operational when you’re away from your home.

  • External doors: BS3621/BS8621 or TS621:2018 level locks 
  • Sealed double-glazed doors: multi-point locking system.
  • Patio doors: patent door locks to prevent lifting.
  • French doors: bolts at the top and bottom of each.

Yes. All domestic garages, outbuildings, sheds, extensions and conservatories fall under the definition of outbuildings and are covered by your Buildings insurance. Please check that the level of cover included in the policy is enough to rebuild all your outbuildings.

One possible way to do this is to opt for a higher voluntary excess. You will have more deducted off your claims settlement if you need to claim, however your premium will be cheaper. Another way is to consider your home insurance needs and whether the optional cover, such as accidental damage, is necessary for you. A third way is to ensure you have secure locks and an alarm system at your property.

Insurance companies price policies based on the risk that a claim will be made on a certain policy. The higher the risk and potential cost of the claim, the higher the insurance premium. Postcode can be a factor in pricing insurance policies, for example a property in an area that regularly has floods typically will have a higher premium. An area with a precedent for a low level of claims could potentially have lower average premiums. There are other things in your control that you can do to reduce your premiums, for example. by having secure locks and having an alarm system at your property.

We can cover your possessions away from home like jewellery and phones as an add on to our core home insurance policy. To ensure you are covered specify high-risk items, electronic gadgets and bikes on your policy when getting a quote.

For Landlord Home Emergency cover, if your let property remains uninhabitable overnight following an insured incident, DAS will pay up to £300 for hotel accommodation for your tenants. The decision on whether your home is uninhabitable will take into account whether it would be fair and reasonable for your tenants to remain in your property.

Our home emergency insurance is provided by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited. You can find out more about DAS at https://www.das.co.uk/ 

If you’re running a business from home you’ll need specialist home insurance, however if you are simply doing office work from home there is no need for specialist cover.

As long as your home has fixed foundations, we can provide cover for a range of properties such as:  

No, Homeprotect only covers properties within the United Kingdom, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

No, Homeprotect can only provide holiday let insurance to customers who live in the UK.

The cost of holiday let insurance will vary depending on factors such as location, rebuild value, property security, property maintenance, and the level of cover you choose. 

You can get a quote for holiday let insurance today.  

The cost of holiday let insurance will vary depending on factors such as location, rebuild value, property security, property maintenance, and the level of cover you choose. 

You can get a quote for holiday let insurance today.

Public liability insurance would be included as standard in your holiday let insurance.  

Cover of up to £5,000,000 per period of insurance can be provided to pay damages and claimants’ costs and expenses (agreed by us in writing) for your legal liability in the event of incidents such as death, bodily injury, or illness to a third party (e.g. someone other than you, anybody permanently residing with you) or domestic staff (e.g. cleaners or gardeners). 

Please read our policy booklet to find out more about what is and isn’t covered.  

When insuring your holiday home, there are add-ons or optional cover available to enhance your protection and tailor your policy to your specific needs. Some common holiday home add-ons you might consider include: 

  1. Accidental Damage Cover: This add-on provides protection against accidental damage to your holiday home’s contents or structure, such as spills, breakages, or mishaps. (Excluded if you have paying guests).  
  1. Personal Possessions Cover: If you keep personal belongings or valuable items at your holiday home, personal possessions cover can provide coverage for these items. (Excluded if you have paying guests).   
  1. Gadgets, bikes and valuables away from the home: Cover for electronic gadgets (e.g. mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc), bikes (including electrically assisted bikes) and valuables (e.g. watches and jewellery) that you take out of your home. (Excluded if you have paying guests).  

If you don’t let your home insurer know that your home is unoccupied for a longer period than your policy allows it could invalidate your home insurance policy. It’s also key to let your insurer know so you can check what you will and won’t be covered for while the property is unoccupied.  

Yes, at Homeprotect we cover any length of unoccupancy but there are restrictions on the cover that you need to be aware of, see the full details in the main body of this page

No, an HMO license cannot be transferred to either another person or another property. Each license is granted to the applying landlord for the applying property only.  

If the property changes hands, the new owner must apply for a new HMO license. Similarly, if the landlord sells the property and buys another HMO, they must also apply for a new license.  

The exact cost of an HMO license varies by local authority – however, they typically cost anywhere from hundreds to over one thousand pounds for a new license. However, this cost is relatively minor compared with the potential fine for failing to present a valid license.    

It’s important to remember that HMO licenses expire after a maximum of five years, and landlords will need to reapply to extend this license – paying an additional fee for the license each time. However, this cost is often reduced for previous license holders.  

Yes, landlords can live in their HMOs. For landlords living with up to two other tenant households, they may actually be exempt from HMO licensing regulations – as they are typically discounted as a ‘tenant’ counting towards the limit.   

However, living with three or more unrelated tenants will typically require landlords to comply with HMO regulations and apply for a license.  

An HMO is defined as a rented property with at least three tenants from more than one household – with this being the minimum number to be classed as an HMO. However, there is no upper limit on how many people can live in an HMO.   

The exact number of people that can live in an HMO depends on the size of the property and its facilities, as well as the landlord’s HMO license and any specific local authority regulations.  

No, mobile homes – such as caravans and houseboats – are not counted as second homes when it comes to tax. Therefore, homeowners will not be subject to the additional Stamp Duty rates applied to second homes.  

However, homeowners will still need to pay income tax if these are used to generate a rental income.  

Homeprotect does not cover caravans or houseboats.  

When it comes to Stamp Duty taxes, a second home is simply defined as any additional property owned alongside a primary residence.  

Stamp Duty is also charged at a higher rate for additional properties, compared with a first home or primary residence. For second homes valued up to £250,000, Stamp Duty is charged at 3% of the house price – rising to 8% for properties valued between £250,001 and £925,000.  

While it is possible for a second home to be used as a holiday home, this is not the only definition. A second home is simply an additional property purchased by a homeowner already living in a ‘primary residence’.  

Therefore, second homeowners can use the property as a holiday home enjoyed seasonally – however, they may also use the property as a buy-to-let home, a holiday rental or even a combination of these uses.  

While Council Tax is charged at a standard rate depending on the property and its location, some local councils to charge more for a second home than a primary residence.  

Local council authorities may apply a second home surcharge to the property, as well as potentially adding an empty home surcharge on properties left empty for over two years.  

However, the exact Council Tax charge applied depends on the local council, so homeowners are encouraged to contact them to find out how much they will be charged.  

There are various taxes applied to second homes – some of which are applied to all properties and others that are unique or increased for second homes.  

Some of the taxes you will be required to pay on a second property include Stamp Duty, Capital Gains Tax (if you decide to sell the home), Council Tax, Income Tax (if the property is rented out either short- or long-term) and Inheritance Tax (if the homeowner passes away).  

Yes, it is possible for a landlord to legally end a tenancy due to abandonment, however, it is by no means a quick or simple process. To do so legally, landlords must first follow – and clearly document – a set of steps for investigating the abandonment and contacting the tenant.  

They must also provide appropriate notice before reclaiming the property or terminating the lease.  

If rent payments continue to be made by the tenant during this process, it can be even more difficult for landlords.  

 If planning to end tenancy due to abandonment, we suggest you seek legal advice. The NRLA talks more about this process here.  

Do you have more questions about your rights and insurance considerations as a landlord? Check out our comprehensive Landlord FAQ hub for more information!  

An abandonment notice is a letter sent by landlords to tenants, stating their belief that a property has been left empty without notice and in violation of their tenancy agreement.   

It typically acts as a first step by landlords to find out if the property really is abandoned and announce their intention to take legal steps to reclaim the property. It will also include details of any consequences if the tenant does not respond or return to the property by a specified deadline.  

Even if a landlord believes their property has been abandoned, the tenant still has legal possession until otherwise agreed by the tenant or legal authorities. So, landlords cannot simply enter the property on suspicion.  

However, it is possible for landlords to eventually gain legal access to the property by following the appropriate channels, for example, issuing an abandonment notice or obtaining a court order.  

Our Landlord Legal Expenses Insurance is provided by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited. You can find out more about DAS at https://www.das.co.uk/  

The DAS legal helpline can give you confidential legal advice on a range of personal legal issues. You can call the helpline as often as you need; there are no limits on how many times you can call. 

No, you can’t claim for legal disputes that started before the date your cover began.  

No; it’s important that you speak to DAS as soon as possible after a dispute arises so they can discuss the best way to proceed. They will not cover any costs you incur before they have agreed to cover your claim, such as the cost of consulting your own lawyer. 

DAS will usually appoint a lawyer from one of their preferred law firms on the basis of their expertise to deal with your claim. However, there are instances where you have the right to choose your own lawyer – such as if court proceedings are issued or there’s a conflict of interest. It’s important to know that if you do choose your own lawyer DAS will only pay them the same amount as they would pay their preferred lawyers – currently £100 per hour. 

For insured incident Rent Guarantee, you will be covered in the United Kingdom. For all other insured incidents, you will be covered in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

Landlord legal expenses will cover up to £150 per day to cover the cost of your accommodation for a maximum of 30 days while you are seeking possession of your property. 

If legal action is required to obtain possession of your property, and you have given the tenant the correct notices, Landlord legal expenses will cover the associated legal costs and expenses.  

In addition, if you opt for the rent guarantee version, you will be covered for your rent arrears while your tenant (or ex-tenant) still occupies the property, up to a maximum of 12 months for any one claim. 

If after vacant possession your property needs damage repaired to enable you to re-let it, the Landlord legal expenses with rent guarantee policy will pay 50% of your rent arrears for a maximum of three months or until your property is re-let, whichever happens first. 

If your tenant falls into arrears your policy can start to help once the arrears reach 30 days or more in age.  

Note though that doesn’t apply for issues that started before the date your cover begins (or in the event of a dispute with your tenant within 90 days of taking out cover, if the tenancy started before you took out this policy). 

Because there’s a 24/7 legal advice helpline included within the policy, you can call for expert legal advice without any time restrictions to gain advice and guidance. 

Our Landlord legal expenses cover includes access to DAS Businesslaw, an online document drafting service which contains a range of how-to business and legal step-by-step tools, guides, document templates, interactive checklists and infographics to help you manage your let property.  

Developed by solicitors and tailored by you using DAS’ smart document builders you can create ready-to-sign contracts, agreements and letters in minutes. 

No, family legal expenses insurance will not cover any motor-related matters, such as contract disputes related to motor vehicles or motor prosecutions.

You will be covered in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

DAS will usually appoint a lawyer from one of their preferred law firms on the basis of their expertise to deal with your claim. However, there are instances where you have the right to choose your own lawyer – such as if court proceedings are issued or there’s a conflict of interest. It’s important to know that if you do choose your own lawyer DAS will only pay them the same amount as they would pay their preferred lawyers – currently £100 per hour. 

No; it’s important that you speak to DAS as soon as possible after a dispute arises so they can discuss the best way to proceed. They will not cover any costs you incur before they have agreed to cover your claim, such as the cost of consulting your own lawyer. 

No, you can’t claim for legal disputes that started before the date your cover began.  

The DAS legal helpline can give you confidential legal advice on a range of personal legal issues. You can call the helpline as often as you need; there are no limits on how many times you can call.

Our Legal Expenses Insurance is provided by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited. You can find out more about DAS at https://www.das.co.uk/ 

Accidental damage cover does not have a fixed price. Rather we calculate the cost of accidental damage cover based on the value of the buildings and/or contents, together with the perceived risk we take on as an insurer for provision of accidental damage cover. This varies from person to person.

Accidental loss is the loss of any item of your contents, inside or away from the home. Accidental loss is not covered by a Homeprotect policy.

Accidental damage is the most common type of claim we receive for buildings and contents (closely followed by escape of water).

A house fire may be caused on accident, but we would classify it as fire damage. So it wouldn’t matter if you did not have accidental damage cover, we would cover a fire under the fire event.

No accidental damage does not cover wear and tear.Wear and tear is a standard exclusion in home insurance policies. 

Landlords who opt for both our buildings and contents cover (if they are providing a furnished property) can claim for accidental damage if a tenant causes accidental damage to the landlord’s property.

Tenants would need their own contents insurance policy – including accidental damage cover – to be able to claim for accidental damage to their own possessions.

The answer to this question very much depends on your risk tolerance. Are you the sort of person who is very careful when it comes to your home and possessions? If so, you may find the chances of you needing accidental damage are slim, therefore it may not be worth the additional cost.

Specifically in terms of contents insurance, you should consider whether it’s worth paying for accidental damage cover (either basic or full cover) if in reality you’re only concerned about one or two valuable items (e.g. an expensive laptop). In which case you should consider whether it’s more appropriate to specify these items (which provide cover against theft and physical damage), rather than buy accidental damage cover.

Another consideration is your excess. You will have a compulsory excess for both buildings and contents (typically £99) and the option of choosing an additional voluntary excess (up to £900). So if you had an overall £999 contents excess, for example, then you’d only be able to claim for accidental damage incidents which exceeded £999 in value.

Basic buildings accidental damage

  • Customer slipped whilst getting into the bath has cracked the tub
  • Customer returned from holiday to find the window on patio door at the rear of property was smashed as a result of being struck by a pigeon

Full buildings accidental damage

  • Sewage pipe has collapsed. Part of the driveway needs to be dug up in order to access and replace the collapsed pipe
  • Customer knocked radiator off the wall, damaging both radiator and wall

Basic contents accidental damage

  • Customer went into the lounge to collect his phone charger and managed to swing the plug end into the TV which has cracked the screen.
  • Customer was moving things around and dropped his Xbox down the stairs, resulting in it no longer working

Full contents accidental damage

  • Customer has dropped her mobile phone on the kitchen floor, shattering it
  • Customer tripped on the living room rug, whilst carrying a tin of paint. Paint damage to the rug, sofa, carpet and TV

Malicious damage is damage caused on purpose to the property of another person. This is different to accidental damage. Malicious damage is covered as standard under both buildings and contents cover (as long as it’s not caused by the property occupants or invited guests).

You can find a summary of what’s covered for both accidental damage for buildings and accidental damage for contents on this page.

For specifics, review the Policy Booklet. Buildings accidental damage is covered under section 1a and 1b, whilst contents accidental damage is covered under section 2b and 2c.

You can read about both accidental damage for buildings and accidental damage for contents on this page.

Please see our definition of accidental damage at the top of this page.

 If you’re handling the affairs of an estate of someone who has passed away, you need to get “grant of probate” before you have the authority as the “executor” to distribute the assets from the estate, as per the deceased’s will.  

  

  When a person passes away and their property is left as an inheritance in their will, it is owned by the beneficiary. The executor of the will’s role is to ensure that the beneficiary is given what they are due as per the will. If there are multiple beneficiaries, then they are co-owners of the property. It is the executor’s responsibility to make sure that the appropriate probate home insurance is in place. For instance, while in probate the building should be protected by unoccupied house insurance.     Executors will often make beneficiaries joint policyholders so that they can also make any changes needed to the policy.

 The cost of probate house insurance will vary depending on factors such as location, rebuild value, property security, property maintenance, and the level of cover you choose.  

You can get a quote for probate house insurance today.   

  You will need to prove you have an ‘insurable interest’ in the property for Homeprotect to   provide cover. Once confirmed, the probate home insurance policy will usually be issued in the name of the executor with any beneficiaries named as additional policyholders.    

  

  Yes, you need a valuation for probate. Check our Valuing Property for Probate page to learn more about the process.    

  Probate courts administer the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. This can include selling their property; this is called liquidating the deceased’s assets. The sale of the house is therefore subject to probate law, and buyers may need to attend court to confirm the sale.  

After a person passes away and their property is in probate, it needs to be valued. This can often mean that the house is left empty for some time, and in this case it should be protected by unoccupied home insurance for probate. The executor is responsible for ensuring that the right level of cover is in place.    

  

Public liability insurance would be included as standard in your Airbnb insurance.  

Cover of up to £5,000,000 per period of insurance can be provided to pay damages and claimants’ costs and expenses (agreed by us in writing) for your legal liability in the event of incidents such as death, bodily injury, or illness to a third party (e.g. someone other than you, anybody permanently residing with you) or domestic staff (e.g. cleaners or gardeners). This cover can be extended for your legal liability in the event of death, bodily injury or illness to a paying guest (including Airbnb guest), as long as you note that your property is used for business purposes and has paying guests.  

Please read our policy booklet to find out more about what is and isn’t covered.  

The cost of Airbnb insurance will vary depending on factors such as location, rebuild value, property security, property maintenance, and the level of cover you choose. 

You can get a quote for Airbnb insurance today.  

No, Homeprotect can only provide Airbnb insurance to customers who live in the UK.  

No, Homeprotect only covers properties within the United Kingdom, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

As long as your home has fixed foundations, our Airbnb insurance can provide cover for properties such as:  

  • Cottages 
  • Mansions 
  • Lodges 
  • Country homes 
  • Barn conversions 

A standard home insurance policy typically won’t cover your property if it’s used as an Airbnb. So you should look either for dedicated host insurance, or a home insurance policy which caters for paying guests from house-sharing platforms like Airbnb.  

A Homeprotect policy is not host insurance, but it will provide cover for most insurance circumstances, such as storm, flood, escape of water and fire. It won’t however cover you for theft from Airbnb guests, or damage (be it deliberate, malicious or accidental) by Airbnb guests. 

Our contents insurance has been given the highest rating by Moneyfacts, but only a 3-star rating by Defaqto. Our exclusion of accidental loss as an insured loss is the reason why Defaqto rate Homeprotect as 3-star.    

Specifically in terms of suitability for high value contents, the standard product, available online, is designed predominantly with the average customer in mind. So, for high value contents you may well need the policy tailored to your needs – particularly in terms of the sums insured and individual claims limits. Read the policy booklet (from the link above) to familiarise yourself with the standard policy cover and terms.  

With a 5 star rating, our buildings insurance has been given the highest rating by independent financial research companies, Defaqto and Moneyfacts. By Defaqto’s standards, this means it is an excellent product with a comprehensive range of features and benefits.  

That said, the standard product, available online, is designed predominantly with the average home in mind. So, for a high value home you may well need the policy tailored to your needs – particularly in terms of the sums insured and individual claims limits. Read the policy booklet (from the link above) to familiarise yourself with the standard policy cover and terms.  

The recommended course of action is to get an online quote, in the first instance. Then call our sales team and they can refer your quote to our in-house underwriters.  

No. A Homeprotect policy is not a High-Net-Worth policy, as standard. That said, our experienced in-house underwriting team can, depending on your circumstances, tailor the policy to suit the needs of High-Net-Worth individuals, predominantly by increasing sums insured and individual claim limits.  

There are a number of ways in which you can take precautions to protect your keys: 

  • Never attach anything to your keys that contains your name, address or any details of where your car may frequently be parked and never leave keys unattended. 
  • Never hide keys under door mats, bins or on top of window frames as an opportunistic thief may be watching, or may guess where keys may be hidden. 
  • Never leave doors or windows open, even by a small amount. 
  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle, even for a moment, especially when you are visiting petrol stations, or whilst loading or unloading your vehicle. Always lock your car when leaving it. 
  • Do not keep duplicate keys on the same key ring as your main keys. 
  • Burglars are increasingly turning to key crime as sophisticated security measures are now fitted as standard to new cars, and have been known to break into homes and offices just to steal car keys. Never leave car keys close to the front door where they can be seen 

The policy will contribute towards the cost of vehicle hire for a period of up to 3 days if your vehicle is unusable as a result of the insured keys being lost, stolen or damaged by accidental means. The policy will pay up to a maximum of £40 per day for a hire vehicle such as a Ford Focus 1.6 or a Peugeot 307 1.6 (ABI class S4).

A security risk can arise from the accidental loss or theft of a key which means it may be possible for someone who found the key to trace it to your vehicle or property. The decision as to whether or not your lost keys presents a security risk will be made by Coplus.

Yes – you as the policyholder and any immediate member of your family are covered.

You will be covered in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Our Key Protection Insurance is provided by Coplus. You can find out more about Coplus at https://www.coplus.co.uk/  

Public liability insurance would be included as standard in your holiday home insurance.  

Cover of up to £5,000,000 per period of insurance can be provided to pay damages and claimants’ costs and expenses (agreed by us in writing) for your legal liability in the event of incidents such as death, bodily injury, or illness to a third party (e.g. someone other than you, anybody permanently residing with you) or domestic staff (e.g. cleaners or gardeners). 

Please read our policy booklet to find out more about what is and isn’t covered.  

The type of insurance you need and your policy terms will depend on how you use your property. The difference between a ‘holiday home’ vs a ‘second home,’ might be, for example, the amount of time you spend in it. Some holiday homes are left unoccupied for extended periods of time. In the case of unoccupancy for more than 30 days, there may be certain restrictions that would come with your cover. However, if you own a second home not used as a holiday destination, but as a second permanent residence you frequently visit, this would likely result in different policy terms.  

Your home insurance cover can be adjusted depending on your situation. The best way to find out more about what cover you need would be to get a quote.  

The cost of holiday home insurance will vary depending on factors such as location, rebuild value, property security, property maintenance, and the level of cover you choose. 

You can get a quote for holiday home insurance today.  

No, Homeprotect can only provide holiday home insurance to customers who live in the UK.  

No, Homeprotect only covers properties within the United Kingdom, England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

As long as your home has fixed foundations, we can provide cover for a range of properties such as:  

  • Cottages 
  • Mansions 
  • Lodges 
  • Country homes 
  • Barn conversions 

To make a claim with unoccupied home insurance, you will need to:

  • Have your Policy Document to hand
  • Have proof of ownership and a valuation (e.g. receipts or bank statements)
  • Provide proof of loss along with a full description of what happened

When you’re ready, log in to submit your claim online or call our claims hotline.

The cost of unoccupied house insurance will vary depending on factors such as location, rebuild value, property security, property maintenance, and the level of cover you choose.

You can get a quote for unoccupied home insurance today. 

If you own a second home which is usually occupied, but will be unoccupied between 31 and 180 days, you typically get our standard policy cover, but with exception of the following exclusions:

Escape of water incidents during the period: 1 October – 1 April (inclusive).

Theft incidents, unless all security features (e.g. locks and alarms) included in your property are maintained in good working order and in full operation.

Claims involving money and high risk items (e.g. jewellery).

Yes, you can insure your property with unoccupied home insurance if it’s left unoccupied for more than 30 days while you’re in the process of selling.

Please get in touch with our team so we can update your policy to reflect the fact that your property is now unoccupied.

The type of home insurance policy you need will depend on how long your property is unoccupied between tenants.

If the property is usually occupied but is left unoccupied for between 31 and 180 days, then you typically get all the cover of our standard policy terms, but with exception of the following exclusions:

  • Escape of water incidents during the period: 1 October – 1 April (inclusive).
  • Theft incidents, unless all security features (e.g. locks and alarms) included in your property are maintained in good working order and in full operation.
  • Claims involving money and high risk items (e.g. jewellery).

Check out our home insurance for landlords.

If your property was unoccupied but now has residents, get in touch with our team so that they can update your policy to reflect this.

Homeprotect defines an ‘unoccupied home’ as a property that is unfurnished or hasn’t been visited for more than 30 consecutive days.

While success rates for businesses can vary depending on industry and location, businesses with at least three to four of the following characteristics are more likely to succeed: low startup and operating costs, strong market demand, scalability and growth potential, leveraging personal skills and expertise, effective marketing strategies and target audience identification and adaptability to changing market conditions and trends.

Most small businesses that fail, do so as a result of multiple factors, including poor market research, lack of planning, insufficient capital, poor financial management, ineffective marketing and too much local competition. It’s important to focus heavily on planning the business before attempting to set it up, as this will help business owners avoid these shortfalls.

5k in most currencies can go a long way in funding a new small business idea. Some of the best businesses to start on 5k include e-commerce stores, home-based bakeries or food businesses, personal training and social media management. These are business ideas with low initial overhead costs that are more likely to quickly draw a pool of clientele.

The cheapest home business to start will mainly depend on an individual’s location, free time and available resources. Generally, some of the cheapest home businesses to start include freelance technology services (cybersecurity, graphic design, web development etc.), online reselling or coaching and consulting. 

Whether or not you drain the water supply to your home before vacating it may depend on the duration of absence and the time of year. While stopping the water supply can prevent risks like burst pipes and flooding, it can also leave your home susceptible to cold temperatures and the negative effects, such as dampness and mould. If you are leaving the property for a short period during the summer, it may be sensible to drain the water supply, while this may not be the best idea when leaving a property for a whole winter.

Whether or not you leave the heating on in an empty home will depend on how long the property is empty and the time of year. During the summer, it may not be necessary to leave home heating on. However, during the winter, heating the home permanently at a low (but above freezing) temperature or on a timer can help prevent pipes from freezing and the property from suffering dampness or mould.

When a home is left empty for years, it means that no one is around to regulate the temperature and act on the early signs of damage. As a result, long-term unoccupied properties are more susceptible to damp, paint peeling, pests and even wear and tear to the building itself. Plus, these visual signs of neglect also make the property an attractive target to potential intruders.

Leaving a home empty for years also has implications for mortgages and home insurance – which may be invalidated or retracted if the property is unoccupied for a certain period.

Probate fees in the UK vary, but as of September 2021, the standard application fee is £273. It’s free if the estate is valued below £5,000. Additional costs may include professional fees, such as a solicitor or probate specialist fees, which can vary depending on the complexity of the estate and the services required. 

The probate court or similar judicial authority will decide whether an estate requires probate. The court examines relevant laws, values and complexity of the estate. They also examine any legal documents – including the will – to make this determination.

The amount of money required to trigger the probate process in the UK is £5,000. Below this amount, funds are generally released without a formal probate process.

When you receive probate – also known as a grant of probate – you gain legal authority to administer the deceased’s assets in line with the instructions laid out in their will. This also includes paying taxes and debts, managing disputes and ensuring the estate is handled by laws and regulations.

Homeprotect will set everything up for you, either after you purchase a new policy or prior to your renewal.

You’ll receive an email with a copy of your credit agreement and additional details about your schedule of payments for the rest of the year. You’ll need to register and sign your credit agreement if your direct debits are being managed by Homeprotect, you can do this here: https://esig.homeprotect.co.uk/registration

 if you’re registering for the first time you’ll need the following details to hand:

  • Agreement reference (you’ll find this on emails connected to your credit agreement)
  • Correspondence postcode;
  • Surname; and,
  • Date of birth

If you’re experiencing any issues with registering or signing your credit agreement contact our customer services team.

There may be exclusions stated in your policy and it’s very important that you read and understand these exclusions. Examples of things that may not be covered are basements and their contents, as well as items such as money, precious metal and important paperwork kept in the house.  

It is worth knowing if you live in a flood risk area in order to make an informed decision about flood risk home insurance and how much cover you need. You can find this information free and instantly online, by entering your property’s postcode into the Government’s flood risk assessment page.  

A full flood risk assessment is only worth paying for if you are thinking of developing your property. If you are entering a planning application for your property and live in a flood risk zone, you need to complete a flood risk assessment as part of your application. These kinds of assessments explore the probability of a flood at a specific location, the possible causes of floods in the area and advice on managing flood risk.  

For homes in England, this can be done instantly and for free simply by entering property’s postcode and house number on the Government’s long term flood risk assessment page which also includes links to flood risk information and maps for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This tells you how likely it is that the specific location is to flood in the future, and the factors that could cause or contribute to flooding there, as well as where to get information on preparing for a flood and how to sign up for flood warnings.  

The Government portal also provides a map where you can enter your postcode to see a map showing the flood risk from rivers or the sea, or the flood risk from surface water. Use it’s ‘detailed view’ option to see depth, flow speed and flow direction estimates. 

Flood Re is a flood risk home insurance scheme, designed to make flood cover more affordable for UK homeowners which has been in place since 4 April 2016.  

The Flood Re scheme enables insurers to take on more customers at risk of flooding because the consequences of large claims are shared between insurers. This happens behind the scenes, so customers can compare and purchase home insurance as they would normally.  

Visit the Flood Re website for further details.  

  • Properties must be located within the UK mainland.  
  • Properties must have a Council Tax band A to H.  
  • Properties must be built before 1st January 2009. Note: If a property has been demolished and rebuilt before this date, then the new building is still eligible for Flood Re.  
  • Properties must be used for residential purposes.  
  • Properties must have an individual premium.  
  • Leasehold flats with three or less fewer units are eligible.  
  • The policy holder or their immediate family must live in the home for some or all of the time, or the property must be unoccupied.  
  • The insurance contract must be in the name of one or more individuals, not companies.  

You can find the full eligibility criteria on the Flood Re website.  

  • Bed and breakfast premises that are paying business rates.  
  • Contingent buildings policies, such as those held by banks.  
  • Farm outbuildings.  
  • Freeholders/leaseholders deriving commercial income by insuring large numbers of properties for a portfolio.  
  • Housing association’s residential properties.  
  • Multi-use properties under commercial or private ownership.  
  • Residential ‘buy to let’ properties that do not meet the criteria specified above.  
  • Static caravan site owners when they are being used for commercial gain.  
  • In the case of blocks of residential flats, company houses/flats, and social housing contents only can be covered.  

The good news is that the actual transfer of the flood risk element of your policy to Flood Re is done in the background by your insurer. When it comes to working out your eligibility for the scheme, Homeprotect will calculate this for you automatically.  

We want to make this process as hassle-free as possible, so we’ll return an individual quote that is specific to your property and we will identify whether you are eligible for Flood Re in a matter of minutes.

There are several online resources which you can visit to get more information on flood risk in your area, namely:  

  • Flood Free Homes wants all UK houses to be free of risk by 2025.  
  • National Flood Forum provides support and advice to communities or individuals that have been flooded.  
  • Know Your Flood Risk works to raise awareness of the risk of flooding from all sources, not just a visible water course such as rivers and seas.  

  

Yes, if you own more than one residence, Homeprotect can help insure both of your properties. Each property will need its own insurance policy, as each home is different, and the type of cover needed for your second home will be different than for your main residence. Depending on your situation, Homeprotect provides second home insurance for rental properties, second home insurance for holiday homes, and second home insurance for homes left unoccupied.   

  

Just like when you research insurance for your main residence, to get a quote for second home insurance you will need to know the rebuild cost of your second property. This is the amount it would take to build from scratch, not your home’s market value. You should also know the year the property was built, the property’s history including subsidence and flooding, and the value of your belongings to be insured.  

Most mortgage lenders insist that homeowners have adequate second home buildings insurance in place. It is also generally recommended that you have contents insurance to protect your belongings. In the event of a loss or damage, contents insurance can help to cover the cost of repair or replacement. This is a worthwhile investment if you are letting your second home to paying guests.  

You’ll need to be able to prove that you have an insurable interest in the property for cover to be provided. Get in touch with our team to discuss your situation and learn what your options are.   

Defining which property is your main residence can sometimes be tricky. Aspects to consider when making the decision are where most of your belongings are kept and where you spend the majority of your time.  

For instance, if one address is predominantly used for legal interests, is where your car is registered and is what you would consider to be the family home then your insurer will use this distinction to provide cover for your main residence. Anything outside of these situations would typically be a second home, including holiday homes and weekday/weekend properties.  

  

The price of second home insurance will vary depending on your situation and what kind of coverage you need.

The following situations cannot be covered by Homeprotect:   

– Where there is ongoing subsidence, heave or landslip claims or issues  

– Where existing damage has not been rectified  

– Where subsidence, heave or landslip has occurred within the last 12 months (although we may be able to offer cover, provided that the issue has been rectified, but excluding subsidence, landslip, heave damage)  

– Where the property is within 200 meters of any cliff face, or in areas where coastal erosion is a concern  

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has an agreement with all its members that if subsidence is identified within eight weeks of switching provider, your previous insurer has responsibility for handling the claim.  

No, settlement and subsidence are not the same thing, and will require different insurance solutions that reflect the unique incidents or risks facing a property. While both terms refer to the downward movement of a building, they are caused by different factors.  

Settlement is the downward movement of a property in the first 10 years of it being built, caused by the weight of the home. Subsidence, however, refers to the downward movement of a property caused by issues with the foundation under the home, such as trees growing under the property or drain leaks moistening the soil.  

Yes, if your home has experienced subsidence, you will always need to declare this on your home insurance, even if it has been over 10 years since the incident. This is because many home insurance providers will refuse policies to homes with a history of subsidence.  

Homeprotect is happy to quote for home insurance, even for properties with a history of subsidence.  

Probate house insurance covers properties that are empty after the owner has passed away. Because properties are usually left unoccupied during probate, they need to be covered by unoccupied property insurance, and it is usually the responsibility of the executors to make sure this is done while probate is carried out.  

 You will need to prove you have an ‘insurable interest’ in the property for Homeprotect to   provide cover. Once confirmed, the probate home insurance policy will usually be issued in  the name of the executor with any beneficiaries named as additional policyholders.  

Coach house cover protects homeowners against insured events such as fire, storm, flood, escape of water, theft, malicious damage, subsidence, landslip or heave.   

While there is no legal obligation to take out any form of house insurance, it can protect your building, contents or both if the worst happens.    

Coach house insurance premiums are calculated considering the perceived risk to the provider – based on the value of the home and its contents and the level of cover required.   

This means there is no standard policy cost and premiums will reflect the value of cover provided.   

However, coach house insurance should not typically be more expensive than standard home insurance (relative to the size and value of the property), despite being a non-standard constructed home.  

  

Coach houses are typically considered a ‘non-standard constructed home’. Homeprotect can quote for coach houses as part of a standard home insurance policy, subject to restrictions.   

  

When requesting a quote for coach house home insurance with Homeprotect, please choose the property category that best describes your home, such as detached house, semi-detached house or terrace.  

For general enquiries, call us on 0330 660 1000. For claims or home emergencies, call us on 0330 660 0660.

You can change your renewal preference on the settings page of your online account. If it’s less than 7 days from your renewal date, you’ll need to get in touch with us to change your auto-renewal preference. The easiest way to do this is to speak with one of our insurance experts on live chat.

If the annual payment for your renewal failed or you opted out of auto-renewal, give us a call to update your payment card or attempt the payment again.

Yes, your correspondence address can be different from your insured address. The easiest way to change your correspondence address is to speak with one of our insurance experts on live chat.

You’ll need to speak to us if you want to make changes to your correspondence address, email address, or telephone number. The easiest way to do this is by speaking with one of our insurance experts on live chat.

If you purchase our Legal Expenses for Landlords cover option, you are covered for legal costs and expenses to recover rent owed by your tenant for the property if it has been overdue for at least one calendar month. You are also covered for legal costs and expenses if a repossession action is required.  

In addition, if you have purchased the Rent Guarantee option, you are covered for:  

  • 100% of your rent arrears – for a limited period – while your tenant or ex-tenant still occupies your property  
  • 50% of your rent arrears – for a limited period – while your property is vacant (following repossession) if you need to repair it before it can be re-let  

Rent arrears are payable 30 days in arrears. Policy terms and conditions apply.  

No, it is not illegal to not have landlord insurance. However, while it isn’t a legal requirement, landlord insurance is popular as it protects those renting to tenants if the worst happens.   

Standard home insurance is unlikely to cover any of the specific risks facing landlords or the building when the homeowner isn’t present, so home insurance policies specially tailored to landlords provide peace of mind against risks like damage, theft and unpaid rent.  

Boiler breakdown is available as an optional upgrade as part of home emergency cover, which is available as an add-on with Homeprotect home insurance policies. With this policy, we aim to have a plumber out to you within four hours.   

Homeprotect can quote for building insurance for landlords, which works in the same way as building cover for traditional homeowners – designed to protect your home against a range of risks including fire, smoke, storm, flood, subsidence, and theft.  

You only need to let us know about renovation or redecoration works valued at £20,000 and over. However, redecoration work at this value must be declared to Homeprotect, so we can adjust your policy accordingly.  

When undergoing home renovation work with a reputable contractor, they should provide public liability insurance. Homeprotect requires contractors to have at least £1 million in liability cover to qualify for our policies.  

Homeprotect renovation insurance then provides cover for the rest of your home, where the renovation works aren’t taking place.  

If your home renovations are valued at £20,000 or above, you will need to let us know, so we can adjust your home insurance policy accordingly. If you don’t you risk invalidating your policy if you attempt to make a claim.  

No, contractors are not covered by Homeprotect home insurance and we require renovation contractors to have at least £1 million public liability cover to qualify for our policies.   

Homeprotect renovation insurance is designed to protect the rest of your property while you are undergoing valuable renovation projects. The projects themselves will be covered by your contractor’s liability insurance.  

Yes, you need to let us know if your home is undergoing renovations valued over £20,000.  

If you don’t, you may find your policy invalid in the event of a claim. This applies whether or not you continue to live in your home while the work is being done. This is because the risk of something unexpected happening to your home and its contents increases considerably during renovations.   

If your home insurance policy includes accidental damage cover, claiming against an unforeseen event or mishap works in the same way as any other policy claim. Contact Homeprotect immediately with your policy number and details about the incident and damage to start the claim-settling process. 

For more information, view our How to Make a Claim page. 

Our Basic Home Emergency product does not cover the cost of repairing the main hot-water or central-heating system in your property.

Our Full Home Emergency product does cover the cost of repairing the main hot-water or central-heating system in your property (upto the £500 claim limit). This cover includes the pipes that connect components of the system.

The product doesn’t provide cover if your heating system is beyond economic repair or cannot be repaired. It won’t cover a replacement system.

Additionally, it won’t cover cold-water supply or drainage pipes, non-domestic heating or non-domestic hot water systems, or any form of solar heating or warm air system (e.g. heat pumps).

A ‘FLEEA’ policy is a home insurance policy that simply covers against Fire, Lighting, Explosions, Earthquakes and Aircraft or flying objects, compared with a more comprehensive range of risks. At Homeprotect, properties that are left unoccupied for 180 days automatically become FLEEA policies.  

  

Yes, you should insure holiday homes. If your holiday homes are left unoccupied for more than 30 days at a time, make sure your property is protected between holidays or lets against risks such theft or damage. If you rent your holiday home, it’s also best to ensure you’re covered while there are paying guests staying at your property.

There are no regulations around how long a homeowner can leave their property unoccupied. However, when it comes to purchasing vacant property insurance with Homeprotect, your home must have been unoccupied for more than 30 days.  

Homeowners and landlords must be aware of the additional expectations on them when leaving a property unoccupied. Most empty home insurance providers will still require certain conditions to be met with the property, even if it’s not being lived in.  

Insurers will not pay for loss or damage caused by your failure to safeguard your property at all times, so you must take precautions to minimise the risks.  

This could include, but is not limited to, locking all external doors and windows, ensuring that someone checks on the property once a week, and turning off all sources of electricity, fuel and water.  

There is no regulation around how often a home must be monitored while the homeowner is away. However, many insurers offering empty property insurance will require regular property checks to maintain the policy.   

Unoccupied properties can be more susceptible to risks such as fire, burglary, and other hazards. Find out more about why an empty home is riskier in our guide. 

There are several ways for you to get in touch with us if you’re hard of hearing:

  • Contact us using text relay services such as Relay UK.
  • Speak with us on webchat (click the ‘Live Chat’ button at the bottom of your screen from Monday to Friday 9am – 8pm and Saturday from 9am – 1pm).

Alternatively, you can find other ways to contact us here.

We’re very sorry to hear about your recent bereavement.

If you’ve lost a loved one who had a Homeprotect policy, get in touch with us and we’ll walk you through the process of cancelling or updating the policy.

You may want to let us know about someone that is not financially responsible for your property but who helps you manage your policy. For example, this might be because English is not your first language, or you are not always available to contact us.

You can add them to your policy as an authorised individual so that they can access your policy information and make the same decisions as you can.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to add an authorised individual to your policy. An authorised individual can only be added to a policy by a current policy holder or an existing authorised individual.

A power of attorney is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions for you.

You may choose to do this if you have existing health conditions, or your circumstances have changed. Get in touch with us if you’d like to add a power of attorney to your policy.

You can also find out more about setting up a power of attorney through Citizens Advice.

There are various reasons why you may need additional support managing your policy due to your mental or physical health, or a change to your personal circumstances. Whatever the reason, our team are here to listen and support you.

If you feel you need additional support with your Homeprotect policy, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

If you’re experiencing difficulties paying for your policy, our team are here to help you.

A range of options are available to you, including changing the date that your monthly payments are collected or changing your cover to better suit your financial situation. It’s important you contact us as soon as possible to make sure your home remains protected.

If you miss a monthly payment, we’ll contact you to let you know how to clear your outstanding balance. You can do this ahead of time by making a payment here.

You may be charged a fee if you miss a monthly direct debit payment, so it’s important to get in touch with us as soon as possible if you’re experiencing difficulties paying for your policy.

Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to offer you a one-month payment holiday if you’re experiencing financial difficulties. Get in touch with us to request this.

If you’re experiencing difficulties paying for your policy, our team are here to help you. A range of options are available including changing the date that your monthly payments are collected or changing your cover to better suit your financial situation. It’s important you contact us as soon as possible to make sure your home remains protected.

We can send your policy documents or booklets in a large print format. Get in touch with us to request this.

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer policy documents or booklets in Braille.

Holiday homes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes across the UK. As long as the building has fixed foundations, we can provide the following holiday home cover under our home insurance:  

  • Cottage insurance
  • Mansion insurance
  • Lodge insurance
  • Country home insurance 
  • Barn conversion insurance

The main difference between a holiday home and a second home is the amount of time the homeowner resides in the property. Second homes are typically seen as secondary permanent residences that the homeowner spends a significant amount of time in – such as part of each week. Holiday homes are sometimes unoccupied for extended periods, with some homeowners only using the property for short stays a few times a year. 

Yes, most UK properties can be let for short-term holiday accommodation. However, various regulations must be met to let your property – including tax considerations, mortgage obligations and additional insurance requirements.  

The term unoccupied does not mean completely empty of all items or furniture – it refers to a property that is not being lived in. Unoccupied often refers to a property that is left in a state in which the homeowner could return to live in at any point. 

If you’re planning to leave your home empty for an extended period, there are a few safety and security considerations. Firstly, after 30 days unoccupied, most home insurance policies are void – so, the homeowner would need an empty home insurance policy to protect against theft or damage. Many empty home insurance policies will also expect the home to be inspected regularly, water and electricity to be switched off and more.  

Additional considerations include installing a home security system and using smart devices such as leak detection technology.   

That depends. If you are renting an unfurnished property then you only need buildings insurance. However, if you are letting a furnished or part-furnished property then you should insure your contents. Your tenants should have their own insurance for personal belongings and furniture that they keep at the property.

Homeprotect buildings insurance will cover lost rent (up to £30,000 per claim) if you or your tenants can’t live in the home due to an insured loss, such as fire, flood or escape of water. Rent is defined as the amount you’re expected to receive as a landlord as detailed within your tenancy agreement. If you’re a leaseholder of your property rent also includes ground rent which you are liable for. Policy terms and conditions apply.

Most tenants leave when asked to, but if they do not then you cannot evict them yourself. You would need to apply through the County Court, though in some cases you can use an accelerated possession procedure which does not entail attendance at a court hearing.

You will be responsible for undertaking repairs and maintaining the premises’ heating, hot water, basins, baths and other sanitary installations. You will also need to ensure that the gas and electrical appliances provided are safe to use and that all furniture/furnishing you provide are fire safe. Your tenant is responsible for paying rent to you at the rate you agreed upon, usually paying for council tax and utilities unless you include them in the rent agreement. They are also responsible for taking proper care of your property.

The difference between a residential and a commercial landlord is to do with the type of property they let out and is not whether their activities as a landlord constitute their full-time occupation or not.

Residential landlords let out homes, which are also known as ‘residential properties’. Commercial landlords let out properties that are used for commercial purposes such as shops or offices.

You can take out landlords buildings insurance and landlord contents insurance for flats that you let out. Landlords need to take out a separate policy for each flat. Note that, in general, the owner of the freehold of a set of flats will probably have buildings insurance for the entire building.

Homeprotect landlord buildings insurance can cover freehold properties that contain up to six leasehold flats provided that at least one freeholder uses one of the flats as their permanent home.

No. Depending on whether you own or rent your home, just take out straightforward homeowner insurance or tenant insurance but let your provider know that you have a lodger living with you.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is necessary whenever a qualifying property is built, sold or let out. A qualifying property are defined as a self-contained property with its own bathroom and kitchen facilities. Landlords are responsible for having an EPC in place for every property that they let out.

In theory, yes. However, it is a recent law that you should check a person’s immigration status before leasing a room. Checking that they have the right to live in the UK is a law which the Government imposed on private landlords in December of 2014. Visit gov.uk for more information on the right to rent.

Buildings Insurance covers the main structure of your home. If it were to subside, burn down or be damaged or destroyed by extreme weather, your policy covers the costs of rebuilding or repair. It also covers any permanent fixtures in your home like built-in wardrobes, fitted carpets, kitchen surfaces, taps, basins, baths and showers.

Homeprotect Buildings Insurance also covers outbuildings, boundary walls, gates and the cost of temporary alternative accommodation should your home be uninhabitable following a claim.

Contents Insurance insures all the belongings in your home that are not attached to the property. Contents are the items that you would take with you when you move home. This includes: your furniture, rugs, laptop, tablet, entertainment equipment, CDs, DVDs, games, valuables, clothing, personal belongings – even the food in your freezer! You may be asked to specify certain items (such as bikes, electronic gadgets and high risk items) on the policy. You may also be asked to make additional security provisions such as locks or a burglar alarm if you live in an area with a high theft rate.

See our policy booklet or login to see your policy documents for full details and exclusions.  

Homeprotect will set everything up for you, either after you purchase a new policy or prior to your renewal.

You’ll receive an email with a copy of your Credit Agreement and additional details about your schedule of payments for the rest of the year. You’ll need to register and sign your Credit Agreement if your Direct Debits are being managed by Homeprotect, you can do this here: Homeprotect Policy Administration

 If you’re registering for the first time you’ll need the following details to hand:

  • Agreement Reference (you’ll find this on emails connected to your Credit Agreement)
  • Correspondence postcode;
  • Surname; and,
  • Date of birth

If you’re experiencing any issues with registering or signing your Credit Agreement please contact our Customer Services team.

Absolutely! We can insure houses that are used as holiday homes, let to tenants, properties under probate, empty homes up for sale and others. You can get your quote online at a time to suit you. 

What does referred mean? If you have just found out that your quote has been “referred” or “sent for referral”, the details shown here should help explain what that is and what to expect.

We appreciate you were probably hoping to obtain a quote quickly, however, in this instance your quote has been sent to our in-house underwriting team to be checked to make sure it provides enough cover for your insurance needs.

Finding out that your quote has been referred means that your quote is being checked by our team of in-house expert underwriters. The accurate insurance risks of your property and/or your circumstances will be taken into account in the calculation of your personalised policy.

Quotes are referred to the underwriters if: your home is undergoing renovation, your property has prior subsidence, has been underpinned or if you have had a high-value claim or a large number of claims previously. Other situations requiring referral include: a very high value of contents or a very high rebuild cost for your building.

Normally we will be able to get back to you with an answer from our underwriting team within 2 working days. However, if you urgently need to sort out your home insurance please do contact our new business team and we will do our best to prioritise your referral accordingly.

Login online to view your saved quote.

Or if you have questions and you would prefer to speak to one of our team, please contact us here then select option 3 to speak to the sales team. We’re here taking calls 9am to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Get a quick and easy quote online, start here

Or you can phone our friendly team on 0330 660 1000. We’re here taking calls 9am to 8pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on saturdays.

Premiums for insurance policies are based on the risk presented and assessing the probability of that risk materialising.

Underwriters use all available tools and data to assist with this complex assessment to arrive at a premium.

The tools used for this risk assessment include government and industry statistics, claims and underwriting experience.

The process of ‘accumulation’ is also utilised by underwriters in the risk assessment. This means that one insurance provider will limit the number of properties it will insure within the same area.

There are certain measures you can take to improve security in your home, such as installing a monitored alarm (choose an NSI, NACOSS, SSAIB or BSIA system), installing window locks, installing 5 lever mortice deadlock (conforming to British Standard BS3621) locks on all external doors. Depending on your circumstances, such as the location of your property, these measures may or may not alter the cost.

However, you can take out a higher voluntary excess (in addition to the compulsory excess), as this will decrease the premium. This means that if you need to claim that you will pay a higher sum towards the cost of the claim.

There won’t be a discount provided for having BSI (British Standard Institution) door locks, however, it may lessen the restrictions on the policy.

Underpinning is the strengthening and stabilising of the foundations of a house.

There won’t be a discount provided for having window locks, however, it may lessen the restrictions on the policy. 

Unfortunately for homeowners faced with the prospect, there is no such thing as a standard cost for underpinning a house because the works involved are unique to the property, the reasons for underpinning, and the underpinning process used. A structural surveyor will be able to give you an approximate idea of the cost. Of course, if the problem is covered by your home buildings insurance, the cost of underpinning a house shouldn’t be something you need to worry about.

The main reasons for underpinning are that the structure of a property has become unstable. In turn, this happens when the foundations can no longer adequately support the building because:

  • Its usage has changed, for example, because an extension has added which puts extra strain on the foundations of the main building.
  • The wrong type of foundation was chosen when the property was designed arising from mis-classification of the soil type.
  • The structure of the soil in which the foundations sit has changed, usually because of too much or too little water in it, causing subsidence.
  • Change of direct debit instruction £5
  • Non-return of loan agreement £10
  • Failed collection fee £27.50

We believe in being clear and transparent with our customers regarding the breakdown of the total amount of their policy. Instead of grouping all costs into one total amount, we itemise each cost component. The arrangement & administration fee represents the costs incurred to arrange or renew your policy under your separate contract with Homeprotect.

Q. Why are you charging this fee? The fee represents costs we incur to arrange or renew a policy. It doesn’t mean you pay more for your cover than you should. We simply believe we should be transparent about our costs which is why this is shown as part of your price breakdown.

Q. What costs are involved in arranging a new policy? Like other insurance providers, we have to pay fees to price comparison sites or search engines which customers use to search for quotes, and we incur costs for running a contact centre to manage customer queries and issuing policies.

Q. What costs are involved in renewing a policy? Like other insurance providers, we incur costs for running a contact centre to manage customer queries, to issue policies, to take payments as well as the costs of printing and distributing renewal packs.

Q. Isn’t the fee just part of the premium then? No. You enter into two contracts when you buy a policy. One with us, one with the insurer who manages your claims. The fee covers our costs, the remaining premium covers the cost of underwriting claims which the insurer bears.

Q. Is the fee refundable? Yes, but only in the cooling off period as we can recoup some of the costs we incur – for example the costs we would have to pay to price comparison sites. If you cancel after this point, you will receive a pro rata refund of premium but we can’t refund the fee as we incur costs we cannot recoup.

If you’re claiming Housing Benefit, this will be reduced if you earn more than £20 a week from a lodger. If you provide your lodger with meals, only 50% of your income over £20 is used as the income sum which affects your housing benefit calculation. Having a lodger occupy your spare room does, however, exempt you from the ‘bedroom tax’.

Taking in a lodger does not affect Universal Credit payments. The Citizens Advice Bureau offers more information on taking on a lodger.

To make this decision, work out both the financial impact (taking into account rental income but setting insurance, Council Tax, loss of benefits, utility bills and maintenance costs against this), and the social impact of adding someone to your household. If you’re unsure give it a try by looking for a short-term lodger to see whether it suits you.

If you own or are legally responsible for solar panels and the panels are fixed to the roof then you need to make sure that you have specified the correct buildings rebuild value to cover them. If not then you will need to let us know what the new buildings rebuild value should be. This could result in an additional premium amount payable and there might be changes in the policy terms and conditions. 

Yes, you can insure your collectibles as part of your home insurance. If any individual item, or a set of items,falls under our definition of high risk item and is worth £1,500 or more it should be individually specified on your policy. Please note that you should store your collectibles in the main home building (rather than a detached garage or outbuilding) to be covered for theft or damage.

The cost of contents insurance depends on a range of factors including the total sum insured, and the location and security of your property.

Yes absolutely. If the phones are each worth less than £1,500 then they are already covered under your Contents insurance (although you’ll need the optional Full Contents Accidental Damage cover for any accidental damage cover). For any phones worth £1,500 or over, simply add each mobile phone individually when you get a quote. You will need to enter each phone make, model and cost to replace new at today’s prices. If you already have a Homeprotect policy, please phone our Customer Services team and ask for a quote to add the additional phones to the policy.

You can claim for the theft of mobile phones (worth less than £1,500 each) inside the home so long as you have Contents insurance (including the optional Full Contents Accidental Damage cover for any accidental damage cover).

For mobile phones worth £1,500 or more or for cover away from the home you need to specify your mobile phones on your policy.

Accidental damage to iPad and other electronic gadget screens is covered under the optional Full Contents Accidental Damage cover if the damage occurred inside the home and the gadget itself is worth less than £1,500. If the gadget is worth £1,500 or more, or the damage occurred away from the home then you need to specify each gadget on your policy. You will need to enter the make, model and cost to replace each gadget for new at today’s prices.

If you specified the item at its new purchase price rather than the discounted price you paid for it second hand, your cover will be on a new for old basis. If you specified the item at its second hand value, or didn’t specify it because it was under the limit for specifying electronic gadgets, your cover would be at the second hand purchase value.

If you have a film camera then it is covered as standard inside the home. If it is worth less than £1,500 then it is covered away from the home under our optional Personal Possessions cover. If the camera is worth £1,500 or more and you want cover away from the home then you should specify it on your policy.

If you have a digital camera then it is covered as standard inside the home as an electronic gadget, as long as it is worth less than £1,500. If the camera is worth £1,500 or more or you want cover away from the home then you should specify it on your policy.

Yes! Digital cameras and camcorders count as electronic gadgets for insurance purposes and must be specified on your policy if they’re worth more than a particular amount in order to be covered. Check the current level in our policy booklet.

Digital cameras are protected against theft anywhere in the world, so long as they’re specified on your policy and you’ve requested cover away from home.

No. Homeprotect insurance policies replace items on a new for old basis, which means that we provide a replacement up to the specifications of the original. Alternatively, we may offer a cash settlement based on what the camera could be bought for now.

For insurance purposes, your camera includes your lenses too. If the total value of your digital camera, lenses and other accessories is above the limit required for specifying electronic gadgets items on your policy, you need to let us know about all of the parts of your camera equipment, even if each of them separately is below the limit. Check the current limit in our policy booklet.

No, Homeprotect specialises in home insurance and related cover options such as legal expenses cover and home emergency cover. At this time, Homeprotect doesn’t offer any other types of insurance.

The policy schedule includes all the particulars relating to your policy, including any specific limits, individually named valuables etc. Once you have purchased the policy, you may view your policy schedule online.

The policy booklets include the maximum levels of cover and any policy-wide exclusions. Policy booklets are available to download and view without logging in.

Your statement of fact contains all the details you have provided about your property, your belongings and the residents. You can access this online

You are advised to read all documents.

If you are still unsure, please contact our customer services team who would be happy to answer your questions.

The policy schedule includes all the particulars relating to your policy, including any specific limits, individually named valuables etc. To view your own policy schedule, just login.

The policy booklets include the maximum levels of cover and any policy-wide exclusions. Policy booklets are available to download and view without logging in.

If you are still unsure, please contact our customer services team who would be happy to answer your questions.

Acts of God, sometimes called force majeure, are unpredictable situations like natural disasters. They are very rare but are usually excluded from an insurance policy. This is because your home insurance is based on measurable risks and an unpreventable Act of God cannot reasonably be quantified.

Whilst we have many existing customers in Northern Ireland, we’re currently unable to insure new customers. We hope to open our doors again for new customers in Northern Ireland towards the end of 2024.

Yes, Homeprotect provides home insurance for properties in the Channel Islands.

The value of your contents cover will increase automatically every year due to index linking. This ensures that the policy has enough value to pay out claims on a new for old basis.

However the rebuild value of your property will not increase automatically.

Under-insurance means that the ‘sum insured’ is less than the cost of rebuilding, replacing or repairing the buildings or contents at the time of the loss or damage. This might meant that any claim that is settled will be reduced in proportion depending on how underinsured you are, regardless of the amount of the claim.

For example, if your amount of cover only covers a proportion of the cost of rebuilding, replacing or repairing the buildings or contents, it is likely that the insurer will only pay that proportion of the claim for repair or replacement and you will have to cover the remaining cost of the loss or damage yourself. Where there’s a severe underestimations, your insurance provider could even refuse to pay out completely.

Being under-insured is different from being uninsured. When you are uninsured you have no policy in place at all. Although this saves you money in the short term, you risk losing far more than you save if the unexpected happens.

Recent research indicated that nearly 7 million households in Britain are underestimating the value of their home contents, and as many as one in five have no contents cover at all. These worrying statistics show that a massive £200 billion worth of our home contents is left exposed.

Problems occur when homeowners overlook items, often missing out entire categories in a given estimate, purely because the scope is so vast. You might look around your room, listing the items you can see and calculating their value, but neglect to include rugs or cookware. Items that are kept stored out of sight are also at particular risk of being forgotten, such as garden tools, luggage, linen, clothes (an average person’s clothing alone could cost over £10,000 to replace), and food and drink. You should make sure you account for absolutely everything when working out how much to insure for.

It’s also important to be aware of any changes to replacement costs that may arise from time to time, for example, if the price of precious metals changes.

The contents cover on your policy is index linked (unless your policy schedule states otherwise), this is to ensure that the policy has enough value to pay out claims on a new for old basis.

However the buildings section of your policy is not. Therefore you need to make sure that you insure your building for the appropriate amount.

No, Homeprotect only covers properties with in the United Kingdom, England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Defaqto has awarded Homeprotect 5 stars for buildings insurance, which means that we offer you a very high quality product, covering your buildings with the best features and high cover limits compared to other insurance providers.

Defaqto is an independent financial research company. They independently rate insurance policies, with ratings ranging from 1 star to 5 stars. The star ratings are designed to help customers identify policies with the best features and optimum levels of cover.

It depends on what type of work you do at the property, for example if it is admin work then you don’t need to tell us about this and you’ll be covered.

However, if you have a registered business at your property, e.g. If you run a child minding business at home or if you have clients visiting the property then you will need to make us aware of this.

Note that this may result in an additional premium amount being payable and conditions being placed on your policy.

Contents insurance insures all the belongings in your home that are not attached to the property. Contents are the items that you would take with you when you move home. This includes:

Your furniture, rugs, computer, entertainment equipment, cds, dvds, videos, valuables, clothing, personal belongings – even the food in your freezer! You may be asked to specify certain items (such as bikes, electronic gadgets and high risk items) on the policy and you may be asked to make additional security provisions such as locks or a burglar alarm if you live in an area with a high theft rate. 

High risk items worth £1,500 or more individually or as part of a collection. Bikes and electronic gadgets (mobile phones, smart watches, laptops, tablets) worth £1500 or more each. To insure any of these items you must list them individually when you take out the policy. You just need to tell us the brand name, model name and cost to replace it new for each item.

Contents insurance does not cover fixtures ( items that are permanently attached to the interior or exterior of your home or outbuildings, such as kitchen or bathroom suites) but it does cover fittings (removable items that are attached to the interior or exterior of your home and outbuilding, such as carpets).

There may be a requirement on your policy stating you will need to prove ownership of your possessions in the event of a claim. You can find out if this is a requirement by looking in your policy schedule in the terms and conditions section. 

You may be covered under your contents insurance policy. Please check your policy schedule for details. 

Your contents insurance policy covers the cost of replacing or repairing contents owned by all members of your family who reside at the property. We treat long term foster children as members of your family.

We provide cover up to £6,000 per claim for a family member living at university or college provided the items were within occupied student accommodation at the time of the loss and so long as your son or daughter comes back to the insured property outside term time. Any laptops, tablets, smartphones, mobile phones or bikes will have to be specified on your policy to be covered for physical damage or theft.

Yes, we offer cover for general personal possessions anywhere in the world. This cover is for theft of and physical damage to items individually worth less than £1,500, that are likely to be worn, carried or used by you away from the home, such as bags, clothes and sports equipment. Electronic gadgets (e.g. Mobile phones, tablets, headphones, laptops), bikes, high risk items and items worth £1,500 or more will need to be specified on your policy. 

There is no maximum amount per valuable item that can be insured under your contents insurance policy. Please note that anything classed as a high risk item that is valued at £1,500 or more needs to be specified on your policy. As a high risk item to be covered under your policy. Electronic gadgets and bikes worth £1500 or more also need to be specified on your policy.

Yes. Your contents insurance policy covers the cost of replacing or repairing contents owned by all members of your family who reside at the property.

Does the policy cover my contents whilst i’m moving home? Yes, the homeprotect policy will cover your belongings whilst moving home for insured losses such as theft and malicious damage.

Visit every room in your home (including the attic, shed and cupboards under the stairs!) And list all your belongings including curtains, kitchen equipment, luggage etc. Research how much it would cost to replace each item as new and then add up the full amount you’d need to replace everything. 

We normally cover the amount you specify, however if you enter a very low amount your policy may include more than this, if this is the case you will be made aware of this before purchasing.

We need to know where your belongings are kept in order to provide the right amount of cover for you. For example, if the property that you live in has a history of flooding, or it is a listed building and therefore has no window locks, then the risk of your belongings being damaged or stolen is higher; therefore we need to know all about the building to properly cover your belongings. Having an accurate level of cover means that, if the worst happens, your claim is more likely to be paid out in full.

Yes, we can insure the contents which you own or are legally responsible for. Find out more about our cover for contents when you’re a tenant.

Your mobility scooter is automatically covered by your contents insurance within the your property if it is worth less than £1,500. Please make sure that you have included its replacement value in the total value of contents to be insured. However if you would like it covered away from the property as well, or if it is valued at £1,500 or more, then make sure you specify it on your policy and choose ‘cover away from the home’ when you purchase the policy if you need that. Find out more about our mobility scooter insurance.

In most cases, they are covered up to a certain maximum per claim if you make sure the value of these items are included in the value of contents to be insured. You can find out more about our garage insurance here, and our shed insurance. Please note that there are some items that we can’t insure such as boats and water skis, please refer to the policy booklets for full details.

Yes, dishwashers are covered against a full range of risks on Homeprotect contents insurance policies. Note that home insurance does not cover breakdown of domestic appliances.

Yes. Loss or damage to plants, bushes and trees in the garden are covered under the contents insurance policy, unless the damage was caused by disease. However, loss or damage to domestic fixed fuel-oil tanks, swimming pools, tennis courts, drives, footpaths, patios and terraces, walls, gates and fences are not covered, unless the building is also affected at the same time by the same event.

Yes, although you must specify any mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and pedal cycles which are worth £1500 or more on your policy for them to be covered. 

Yes, your desktop computer is covered by your contents insurance. Make sure you’ve included the value of your desktop computer in the total value of contents to be insured. Find out more about what our contents insurance covers.

Laptops worth less than £1,500 are automatically covered as standard inside the home. Laptops worth £1,500 or more need to be specified on your policy to be covered for physical damage and theft.

Not unless you have taken out our personal possessions cover. This cover is an optional extra that you can purchase with your policy. Under our Homeprotect policy, the personal possessions option covers your personal belongings against theft or physical damage anywhere in the world.

If you are taking these possessions overseas, cover is included for up to 90 days each year. Any individual items worth £1,500 or more and any bike, electronic gadget or high risk item will need to be specified on the policy.

Where damage occurs to items forming part of a pair, set or suite (e.g. A living-room suite), if the loss or damage occurs to a single item or easily definable area, only the damaged item or area will be repaired or replaced.

We are currently unable to offer personal possessions cover as a standalone product – this can only be purchased as an additional extra option with contents insurance.

We exclude cover from unoccupied vehicles.

Carpet moths are a form of infestation so damage caused by them is not covered.

We consider jewellery to be a high risk item. As standard we have a limit of £5,000 (or 20% of your contents sum insured, whichever is lower) for high risk items which are individually worth less than £1,500. If you have lots of jewellery (or other types of high risk item) which are individually worth less than £1,500 then you can contact us and we can request an increase in cover from our underwriters. Alternatively you can choose to specify items on your policy which means they are covered independent of the high risk item limit.

If an item of jewellery is worth more than £1,500 it will need to be specified on your policy.

Yes. We will cover your contents when they are temporarily stored in a professional storage facility.

We also provide cover whilst the contents are being moved to or from the storage facility.

No, the only items you need to specify on your policy for cover within your home are items worth £1,500 or more each, if they are classed as “high risk” which are:

  • Clocks
  • Coin collections
  • Furs
  • Gold, silver and other precious metals (including plated items)
  • Guns
  • Jewellery and watches
  • Medals
  • Medical equipment (including hearing aids)
  • Ride on or robotic lawnmowers
  • Stamp collections
  • Wheelchairs or mobility scooters
  • Works of art

Please also specify any mobile phones, smart phones, laptops, tablets and pedal cycles worth £1,500 or more.

No, the contents insurance policy does not provide cover for wear and tear.

Yes, musical instrument are protected by our contents insurance cover.

You can insure bicycles as part of your home contents insurance policy. However, you need to tell us about each bicycle to be insured. We need to know the brand name, the model and the cost to purchase that model or equivalent as new. Find out more about the cover options we offer for bicycle insurance.

You may be covered under your contents insurance policy. Please check your policy schedule for details. 

As soon as we have checked that your claim is covered by your policy, we will get the process moving. Straightforward claims are normally settled very quickly, and in all cases our claims team will keep you informed of progress.

Some larger value claims, for example an extensive house fire, can take months for the damage to be fully repaired, or the property rebuilt, and your family moved back into the property.

You can make unlimited claims on your policy. However, this may affect your policy premium and/or the terms, such as your excesses, when you renew. Incident details you provide us with are also shared with other insurers in line with industry practice. This could influence the price or availability of insurance offered to you in the future as insurers often set their prices based on previous incidents you’ve had.

An excess is the amount you need to contribute towards the cost of a claim. It is typically deducted from the final claims settlement, as opposed to an amount you need to pay up front. Typically, the higher the agreed excess, the lower the monthly premiums. A standard excess typically applies and a policyholder can supplement this with an additional voluntary excess, as a way to reduce their premium.

The average compulsory excess for a buildings claims is £149 and £136 for contents claims. There are also separate compulsory excesses for flooding, subsidence/landslip/heave, escape of oil and escape of water claims. The total excess you will pay is the sum of the relevant compulsory excesses and voluntary excesses (if you have any).

You can find the exact excess amounts you’ll pay towards a successful claim in your policy documents.

Example: if you’re looking to make an accidental damage claim for an item of contents worth £1000, you would pay the sum of your compulsory and voluntary contents excesses towards the claim if it’s successful.
If your compulsory contents excess is £150 and you chose a voluntary contents excess of £100, you’ll pay £250 towards your successful claim and receive £750:

Item value = £1000

Excesses payable = £150 (compulsory) + £100 (voluntary) = £250

Claim payout = £1000 – £250 = £750

Yes – Homeprotect contents insurance will cover the loss or damage of your belongings on a new for old basis, meaning that you will receive the value of the item to replace it at today’s prices.

In the event of a claim, you may be asked to provide evidence of value and ownership, such as purchase receipts or valuation certificates. It’s essential to provide this documentation for any high-risk items that you’ve specified on your policy, such as jewellery or watches.

You can choose what voluntary excess you would like to pay, however, you will not be able to choose the compulsory excess.

If you’re making a buildings insurance or contents insurance claim, the quickest way to do this is by logging in here and letting us know more about the incident. We’ll give you guidance on what you’re covered for to help you decide whether to submit the claim. Alternatively, you can call our claims team on 0330 660 0660.

You can also contact us on 0330 660 0660 to make a claim on an additional cover option such as legal expenses or home emergency cover. Check your policy documents for more details on your additional cover options.

Our claims team will request your policy number and details of the loss or damage including: date and time, your description of what happened, what the extent of the loss or damage is, what exactly is lost or damaged, the estimated value of the items lost or damaged (if applicable) and whether the police have been informed (in the case of theft or vandalism).

You can make a claim under a Homeprotect home insurance policy for anything that it covers which occurs after the policy started. Note that the start date for cover is not always the day you pay, that pre-existing damage is excluded, and that this does not necessarily apply to policy upgrades such as full legal expenses cover.

When your claim is approved, we’ll work with specialist suppliers to repair your property and get things back to normal. If you’re making a claim for your belongings, we’ll arrange to repair or replace the affected items.

Depending on what has happened, you may be able to request a cash pay out to replace or repair your building or contents instead of us carrying out the repair or replacement. We’ll let you know about this once your claim has been reviewed and we’ve agreed on the repair or replacement value.

In most cases, it shouldn’t make an immediate difference to your policy.

However, when it’s time to renew your policy, the terms of cover and/or premium may change (for example, the standard excesses may increase). You should also be aware that having a high claims history can make getting insurance in the future difficult.

If you have a break-in, we’ll offer suggestions on home security and may ask you to carry out security improvements, such as burglar alarms and window locks, before your next renewal.

There are several reasons why your claim might be rejected:

Inaccurate or withheld information
the cover we offer you is based on the information you provided when buying or renewing your policy. If this information isn’t accurate, we may reject your claim. That’s why it’s important to take the time to answer our questions as accurately as possible and check your policy details at renewal.

Wear and tear
wear and tear is not covered under homeprotect policies. To avoid your claim being rejected due to wear and tear, it’s important to carry out regular maintenance on your home.

Contents not specified
some items of contents need to be specified on your policy to be covered. If you make a claim for an item that should have been specified on your policy, we’ll likely reject your claim. More guidance on specified items can be found in your policy booklet.

Partial pay out
we might refuse to pay the full amount of your claim if you’ve under-estimated the total value of your buildings or contents cover (known as ‘being under-insured’).

You should first submit a complaint here and give our complaints team eight weeks to respond. If you’re not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you can ask the financial ombudsman to investigate what’s happened.

More details on how to make a complaint to the financial ombudsman can be found here.

Yes you can! You only need to specify items of jewellery worth more than a certain amount on your policy, or if you want them covered outside your home. Check the current level in our policy booklet.

Take your jewellery to a registered valuer, such as one who is a member of the Institute of Registered Valuers. They can provide you with a valuation and also a detailed description of each piece, which also sets out how the value has been determined.

Homeprotect contents insurance does not include accidental loss, so this would not be covered.

Yes, all Homeprotect policies provide liability to the public cover as standard.

Yes. Homeprotect contents insurance covers your mobility scooter against theft outside the home, provided you’ve specified it on your policy and requested cover away from home, but only where the thief causes damage while trying to access the scooter, or they used violence or deception to steal your scooter, or the scooter was under your personal supervision at the time of the theft.

No, sorry, we only offer insurance cover for bicycles as part of a home contents insurance policy.

Yes! If you need to claim, it will be useful if you have a receipt, bank or credit card statement that shows its purchase price.

For handbag insurance purposes, a handbag is a single bag in which you carry your valuables, such as your purse or wallet and keys, including rucksack-style bags and manbags.

Yes. As the owner of the property, you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of it, ensuring it is safe to live in and is not in a state of disrepair. If a tenant is injured, or their property is damaged, either on or in connection with your property, you could be liable to pay compensation. Buy-to-let insurance can help to cover these expenses.

Accidental damage cover is optional.

There is no specific restriction on type of solar panel. The important thing, from a home insurance perspective, is that the panels are fixed to your home, outbuildings or a permanent outdoor structure.

Yes, solar tiles which replace existing roof tiles are covered by Homeprotect buildings insurance policies.

Not with a Homeprotect policy!

All buildings move and settle over the years, sometimes leaving hairline cracks, but these are rarely cause for concern and are only cosmetic. The difference with subsidence is that large cracks appear both inside and outside the property in a very short period of time.

Common symptoms of subsidence include:

  • Doors and windows getting ‘stuck’ and becoming harder to open or close.
  • Wallpaper buckling in the corners of rooms.
  • Cracks appearing in plaster inside the house, often next to doors and windows.
  • Cracks appearing in brickwork outside the house.
  • Sudden cracks appearing after extremely dry weather.
  • Diagonal cracks that are wider than 1mm and wider at the top than the bottom.

Contact your home buildings insurance provider who will guide you through the best course of action to take. Usually, a surveyor or engineer will be dispatched to make an assessment.

Often cases of subsidence can be handled quickly and effectively without requiring foundation repairs, but where foundation work does become necessary it can be costly and disruptive.

To give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding underpinning (or similar repairs) then it is in your interest to contact your insurer as soon as you notice a potential problem. Tree control measures might be taken, or leaky pipes surveyed and repaired, and in some cases little more will need to be done than some cosmetic repair/redecoration.

Assuming that subsidence damage has been properly repaired there shouldn’t be a significant impact on the value of your property, however, many buyers will perceive the risk of subsidence recurring as a deterrent. It can also be harder to insure a property with a history of subsidence, unless you use a specialist insurer.

Most home insurance policies will include subsidence cover as standard (unless stated otherwise which may be an issue with many insurers if you have had subsidence issues in the past).

Typical practice will involve despatching a qualified professional to inspect damage, which you will probably not have to pay for if arranged by your insurer, and the expert will be able to establish whether or not the damage undergone is covered by your policy.

An excess for subsidence claims is usually applicable. This excess will usually be chargeable to you if and when repairs are undertaken.

If your property has had problems with subsidence in the past, you are likely to have trouble getting the cover you need when you look to purchase home insurance, even if the problem has already been fixed for some time.

With Homeprotect, this is not the case. We aim to deliver a competitive online quote for subsidence insurance, based on the risk your property represents now, not on the risk it represented whilst being repaired.

Unlike other insurers, we don’t have an excessive fees structure, we only apply fees where we need to cover a cost.

  • Duplicate document fee £0
  • Amendment, or cancellation of the policy within 14 days “cooling off period” from agreeing cover (either when buying a new policy or renewing) £0
  • Amendment of the policy outside of the cooling off period £25
  • Arrangement & Administration fee to arrange or renew a policy £50
  • Cancelling the policy outside of the cooling off period £50

 For Direct Debits Payments

  • Failed collection fee £20

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT), is a levy charged by the UK Government on most types of insurance policies. 

The standard rate of IPT is currently 12% (increased from 10% on 1 June 2017).

Yes, if it’s worth less than £1,500 individually then it is covered as standard under our contents cover (subject to the claims limit on High Risk Items). If it is worth £1,500 or more then it needs to be specified on your policy. 

There is no limit on how many callouts you can make but there is a limit of £500 for each emergency claim (call-out charges, parts, materials, labour and VAT)

No, we only provide cover for sheds and outbuildings as part of a buildings and contents home insurance policy.

There is a maximum claim limit unless you have specifically asked to increase this. Check the current level in our policy booklet.

This is covered by buildings insurance, subject to policy terms.

Sheds, greenhouses, summer houses, garages, bike stores and other outbuildings within the boundary of your property are all covered in the same way on Homeprotect buildings and contents policies.

Cover against claims for theft is only provided where there are signs of damage caused by the thief to gain entry, and if your shed was not locked this would not be the case. However, if a padlock, door or window had been broken to gain entry, this would be considered. Don’t forget that there is a limit for any one claim for items stored in outbuildings. Check the current level in our policy booklet.

No, we only provide cover for garages and outbuildings as part of a buildings and contents home insurance policy.

Yes, as the garage is an outbuilding, damage caused to the structure itself is covered under buildings insurance. This is separate from your contents insurance.

There is a maximum claim limit unless you have specifically asked to increase this. Check the current level in our policy booklet.

Garages and lock-ups that are situated in a separate block outside the boundary of your property are not covered as standard by Homeprotect buildings or contents insurance policies, but we can usually add them in if you call us.

Bankruptcy is not classed as a criminal conviction, however there is a question when you buy the policy which asks if any of the intended policy holders, or anybody living at the property, has been bankrupt in the last 5 years.

Yes. CCJ and IVA information is readily available via public records. In the event of a claim, especially a large claim or a series of smaller claims; an insurer will look very carefully at financial histories before paying out the claim. If the fact that there is a CCJ or IVA in the household is discovered and you didn’t disclose it if you were asked when you purchased the policy, the claim may not be paid out and it’s likely that your policy will be cancelled at the same time.

Unless you repay the full amount of the CCJ within one month of the CCJ being served against you, it will remain on your credit file for six years.

Your IVA will show on your record in the Individual Insolvency Register until three months after it ends, but will stay on your credit record for six years.

The length of time that information stays on your credit report depends on what type of information it is, but most information is removed after six years.

Not always. Your premium will partly depend on the rebuild costs of the particular design of your home

Rotting wood is a risk that every homeowner of a timber frame home will need to get to grips with as time goes on. You can cut away the affected wood and replace it, or alternatively applying a wood preserve or lead paint can make all the difference.

Yes, you will be covered as long as you have specified the item on your policy and requested ‘away-from-home’ cover, or you have upgraded your policy to include ‘personal possessions’ cover away from the property. 

You will be covered if the item accidentally damaged belongs to you and you have specified it on your policy and requested ‘away from home’ cover or upgraded your policy to include ‘personal possessions’ cover away from the property. If the item does not belong to you or you do not have away from home cover, it will not be covered by your Homeprotect home insurance policy. 

No, accidental damage cover is not included as part of your home insurance policy as standard. Accidental damage cover is optional, and we are happy to quote for cover with our home insurance policies. We have two levels of cover to choose from – Basic and Full.  

Full details of this are available in our Homeprotect policy booklets

Basic Accidental Damage cover is optional with your contents insurance and covers consumer electronics used for entertainment purposes that are not designed to be portable, such as desktop computers and monitors, DVD and Blu-Ray players, gaming consoles, home cinema systems, sound systems and TVs up to £1,500 per claim. 

Basic Accidental Damage cover is optional with your building insurance and covers fixed glass in windows, doors, fanlights and skylights, ceramic or induction hobs, solar panels, fixed sanitary ware and bathroom fixtures and underground pipes and services, up to £1,500 per claim. 

Full Accidental Damage cover for contents provides a comprehensive level of cover and is designed to protect your household possessions from accidental damage within the home caused by you, your guests, third parties (excluding contractors) or wild animals (excluding vermin). 

Electronic gadgets (e.g., smart watches, laptops, tablets, digital cameras, camcorders, gaming devices) worth less than £1,500 each are covered inside the home under Full Contents Accidental Damage. If you want them covered for accidental or any other type of physical damage away from the home, you will need to specify them in your policy. 

Where we require you to have an alarm because you live in a high theft area, there will be an endorsement that states you need to fit one within 30 days of the start of the policy. If this endorsement is included on your policy, you will only be covered for theft after this period if you have had an alarm fitted and it is in use.

Application Forms are available from the Civic Offices. In addition to the completed form you must also submit various additional documents. Please contact the Planning Services Department for advice. There is no fee for applications.

The majority of listed buildings in the UK are grade 2 buildings, and although the cost of insurance varies for every property, listed buildings insurance generally has a high premium. This is because rebuilding an older property often requires specialist tradespeople and materials which are not readily available.

Although you should check the specific terms of your tenancy agreement, common practice is that landlords only take out buildings insurance for properties they let out and tenants are responsible for buying insurance cover for their belongings. This arrangement makes practical sense as you can ensure that the level of content cover you get is appropriate for the things you own including any high risk items, bikes and electronic gadgets.

In most cases, if you make sure the value of these items are included in the value of contents to be insured. Please note that there are some items that we can’t insure such as boats and water skis, please refer to the policy booklet for full details.

Although it’s not essential to have contents insurance when you’re renting your home, having suitable cover in place gives you peace of mind should the unexpected happen – see our policy booklet for details of our cover.

Homeprotect will almost certainly be able to insure an underpinned house – but it’s worth getting a quote beforehand. Before contacting us to get a quote, make sure you know:

  • Facts about the building’s history including the year that the building was underpinned.
  • Details of all claims made, including any relating to subsidence events.
  • What the cause of the subsidence was.
  • If there has been any ground movement since the event.
  • Whether there are any documents confirming that there have been no problems since the previous ground movement event.

The cost of underpinning a house varies considerably depending on the size of the property and the underpinning technique used. A suitably qualified structural engineer will be able to give you an indicative price for the cost of underpinning foundations.

If you don’t disclose major building works that you know have been carried out to your property then you could be taken to court later for misrepresentation.

Some lines of work lead you to storing cash – or other items which are highly attractive to burglars – at home, whether overnight or longer term. This group includes jewellers, taxi drivers, shop workers and book makers.

Police officers can also be targets for malicious damage or arson.

Having a high volume of visitors to your home for business purposes – for example, because you’re a childminder – increases the risk of accidental damage and public liability claims which impacts your insurance premium.

All properties built before 1700 count as heritage homes, as do the majority built between 1700 and 1850. Although many insurers won’t cover properties that were built before 1850 because these homes tend to be of non-standard construction, here at Homeprotect we aim to provide cover for all heritage homes, whatever their age.

Your home buildings insurance premium is affected by a large number of factors including the rebuild cost of your home. This is generally higher for a heritage home or period property, even if it is constructed from the ‘standard’ building materials of brick or stone and roofed with slates or tiles, because the particular types of these tend to be rarer and more expensive to buy. In addition, rebuilding or even repairing a heritage home usually requires craftsmen with very specialist skills which are more costly than standard trades.

A standard home insurance policy is unlikely to be able to cover you adequately as there are a higher number of risks associated with your property. Landlord insurance is designed to take situations involving tenants into account.

We’re pleased to be able to offer cover to all residential landlords. However, our policies are based on the specifics of the individual property as well as your details, and for that reason, we do not provide blanket coverage. As no two buildings are the same, landlords should take out a separate policy for each letting, one which has been specified to meet the needs of the property.  

The only instance in which Homeprotect may offer cover for multiple properties under the same policy is in a block policy (a single building split into multiple addresses). Chat with our team today.   

The cost of a landlord’s insurance policy varies depending on the size, location and type of your property. The cost also varies depending on how much cover you take out, whether you opt to pay a little more to reduce your excess and whether you opt for any of the additional landlord cover options such as loss of rent cover or landlords legal expenses cover.

We are able to provide an online quote in the majority of cases, even for customers with convictions. However, if you are more comfortable speaking with one of our trained agents then they can discuss conviction types and the impact this might have on your home insurance.

The short answer is yes. And they will, but they may not check until you actually come to make a claim. In which case, if they discover that you have unspent convictions (if you have not fully discharged your rehabilitation period), then your insurance policy may become void because you failed to declare them when the policy started.

You cannot avoid declaring unspent criminal convictions, if asked. The questions asked apply to everyone living in the household, not just the policy holder. Whether you are living in someone else’s household, or you have someone with an unspent criminal conviction living in yours, you are still required to provide information when asked for it.

There are a few things that we need to know in order to move your quote along:

  • The name of the criminal offence.
  • The year of conviction.
  • The year of offence (most recent offence related to the conviction).
  • Sentence type.
  • If a prison sentence: how many months?
  • If a fine: how much?
  • If community service: how many hours?
  • If conditional/unconditional discharge: how many months?

A conviction is the final verdict by a court where the defendant has been found guilty of the crime for which they were charged.

Convictions that involve a prison sentence of more than 4 years are unlikely to ever become spent. Apart from those cases, the time it takes for a conviction to become spent varies depending on the sentence and whether the person convicted was tried as an adult or a young person (under 18s).

Use the free online disclosure calculator to work out when a conviction is spent.

No, you are only required to disclose unspent convictions.

The subsidence excess is the amount that you must pay when making a claim for subsidence. This is usually a one-off payment of a set amount. Subsidence is caused by the downward movement of the ground beneath a house.

Your property is covered even if you are away and the property is empty for a period up to 30 consecutive days.

However if you will be leaving the property for more than 30 days you will need to let us know so that we can re-assess the cover included in your policy.

Note that this may result in an additional premium amount being payable and possibly conditions being placed on your policy, such as the property being checked weekly.

You can add these details by calling our customer services team, we will be happy to add these details onto the policy for you.

With additional accidental damage cover you will be covered for incidents like diy mishaps such as putting your foot through the floor to the room below or hammering a nail into a hidden pipe in the wall by mistake.

No, it is not a legal requirement for a landlord to have insurance. However, it is advised that you insure your property before letting it to tenants. In some cases, your mortgage lender will insist that you have buildings insurance in place.

Find out more about our landlord insurance options.

No, there is no legal requirement for a tenant to have contents insurance for their belongings in a rented property, although it is recommended. Landlords are not responsible for their tenant’s belongings but should insure their own contents if it is a furnished let.

Read our contents insurance for tenants for more information.

You should receive your home insurance documents as soon as the policy is purchased. You will receive this via email within a few minutes of purchasing your policy.

If you haven’t received your documents in your inbox, please check your spam folder and then add our email address to your email software’s safe list so that you receive our emails directly into your inbox in the future.

When you first take out home insurance with us, we may require that you have a burglar alarm within 30 days. This would be explained in the specific terms of your policy, which you should check before purchasing. In this situation, yes, you do need an intruder alarm. Otherwise, the choice is up to you. A burglar alarm should never be used as a substitute for effective window and door locks.

You can do this by entering the details of the joint policyholder when buying the policy online, there will be a question asking if you would like to add any joint policy holders.

Or you can call our customer services team. Before calling please ensure that you have the following details for the additional policyholder: full name date of birth relationship to you occupation and type of business details of any bankruptcies, IVAS CCJS claims history (including liability claims) unspent criminal convictions.

Include anyone as a joint policyholder, who has a share in the mortgage on your property, or they own, or have any legal right to any of the property you want to insure under contents or personal possessions.

If there is anyone in this situation you must add them to the policy. This person will be authorised to speak to us and make changes regarding the policy.

General home insurance isn’t adequate as it doesn’t cover all third-party risks that can be encountered in a let property, because people other than your immediate family are living in the property.

Find out more about our landlord insurance.

If you furnish your let property you’ll need insurance to protect the items you supply against fire and theft. Contents include furniture, household utensils, electrical equipment, soft furnishings such as lampshades, and curtains and blinds. You can choose the level of cover you need as appropriate and you only pay for the amount of cover you choose.

Homeprotect landlord buildings cover includes £7,500 per claim for your contents in let property.

If the contents are worth more than this, you need to add landlord contents insurance to your policy.

This cover is often not very expensive, but it’s invaluable to make sure you’re not out of pocket in the event you’d need to claim.

No, buildings insurance is not compulsory but it is strongly advised to protect your property and cover the costs of repairing or rebuilding the house. If you have a mortgage, then having adequate buildings insurance will usually be a condition from your lender.

Having a joint policyholder means that someone else is named on your policy as well as yourself, the policyholder.

They can only be a joint policyholder if they either have a share in the mortgage on your property, or they own, or have any legal right to any of the property you want to insure under contents or personal possessions.

If there is anyone in this situation you must add them to the policy.

This person will be authorised to speak to us and make changes regarding the policy.

You can purchase home insurance from the age of 18.

No, tenants are not required to insure their contents but it is advised. Landlords are responsible for insuring the building.

It covers the main structure of your home. If it were to subside, burn down or be damaged or destroyed by extreme weather, your policy covers the costs of rebuilding or repair. It also covers any permanent fixtures in your home like built-in wardrobes, fitted carpets, kitchen surfaces, taps, basins, baths and showers. 

Homeprotect buildings insurance also covers outbuildings, boundary walls, gates, pools, drives and paths as standard (with only a few exclusions – please see the policy document for full details). It will also cover the cost of suitable temporary alternative accommodation should your home be uninhabitable following a claim.

The buildings insurance policy does not cover damage caused gradually, or by wear and tear, or by failure to fix a known issue. Neither will it cover incidents resulting from faulty design or poor workmanship, pets, or mechanical or electrical faults.

Buildings insurance covers the structure of the home together with its fixtures and fittings: it covers the cost of repair or rebuilding after fire or weather damage for instance. Contents insurance covers the contents of your home, the possessions you would take with you if you moved house.

Front doors locks are considered part of the building so are covered for any claim arising from a risk we cover. Homeprotect policies also protect you against up to £750 of the cost of replacing security features if your keys are stolen. 

The cost of a buildings and contents insurance policy varies depending on the size, location and type of your property. The cost also varies depending on how much cover you take out, whether you opt to pay a little more to reduce your excess and whether you opt to buy any of the additional cover options such as home emergency cover or legal expenses cover. Find out how much your buildings and contents insurance costs by getting a quick and easy quote online from Homeprotect.

Yes, we can cover properties which are divided up into up to six leasehold flats. We will need to know details about each property to be able to provide a quote.

There is no cover under Homeprotect home insurance policies for pet damage caused to buildings or contents. Pets are defined as ‘domestic animals kept for companionship, excluding dangerous dogs defined in the dangerous dogs act (1991)’.

We define accidental damage as a sudden, unexpected, and unforeseen event that results in physical damage. The damage must be caused by you, your guests, domestic staff, a third party (excluding contractors) or wild animals. Accidental damage cover is optional, and there are two levels of cover – basic and full – under both buildings and contents.

Loss and damage to satellite dishes are not covered by the policy. However, if the satellite equipment causes damage to the building, then the building damage will be covered.

Yes, solar panels are covered unless your policy schedule states otherwise as long as they are owned by you, or you are legally responsible for them and attached to the property. Find out more about our cover for cover for solar panels.

There are three main types of barn conversions in the UK: box construction barns, cruck framed barns, post and truss barns. We are able to provide insurance cover for all three. Even if your property does not fall into one of these categories, we can most likely offer you a quote for buildings and/or contents cover. Use the online quote service to get started, or contact our customer services team with any questions.

Yes, you can make a payment using someone else’s credit card however we will need authorisation from the cardholder to take the payment. This is usually either verbally over the phone or via a third party authorisation form.

Please contact our customer services team to request the changes to be made to your contact details for direct debits.

You can settle outstanding amounts due ahead of time by going to our self-service payment page.

Alternatively, you can also contact our customer services team or call us on 0330 660 1000 to make payment and provide us with up to date bank account details if necessary. Please note that if Homeprotect collect the payments from you, there may be fees charged.

Please contact our customer services team to request changes to be made to your bank details.

Please contact our customer services team to request the changes to pay your policy. One of the team will calculate the amount payable.

Yes, absolutely. The online quote & buy website is secured by SSL (secure sockets layer) using a security certificate provided by geotrust.

The presence of SSL means you can rest assured that communications (e.g. Credit card numbers) between your browser and this site web servers are private and secure when the SSL session is activated.

How to check whether a website uses SSL: look at the website address (url) in the address bar and see if it starts with https, instead of http.

Please contact our customer services team so that your credit agreement can be re-instated and pay any missed payments so that the account is up-to-date.

The monthly instalments will be deducted from your bank account at the same time every month, due on the date that the policy started.

Please contact our customer services team to request the changes to be made to your payment date.

If you wish to pay by cheque, you make the cheque payable to Homeprotect and post it to: Homeprotect, CI tower, St George’s square, New Malden, KT3 4HG

If you would like to pay by Direct Debit, please be aware that this means entering into a credit agreement. Homeprotect will set up a credit agreement and will run a credit check initially and if approved they will collect the monthly instalments directly from you. Please note there is a 12% transaction fee applied.

Get in touch with us to request this change to your policy.

The reason you have received an email is so that you can agree to the terms and conditions of the credit agreement. You will need to follow the instructions provided in the email and sign the document online.

If your direct debits are managed by homeprotect premium finance:

If homeprotect are managing your direct debits, you’ll see these payments as “homeprotect”

If your direct debits are managed by premium credit limited:

Your monthly direct debit scheme is administered by premium credit ltd.

When a policy is purchased in this way, premium credit will contact you as you must accept their terms and conditions in order to set up your credit agreement. You must return the signed agreement, or you will be charged £10 if they need to write to remind you. This will appear as PC/Homeprotect on your bank statement.

If your property is going to be empty for more than 30 consecutive days, you need to let us know.

Leaseholders do not normally need buildings cover for flats in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. If you decide that you don’t need buildings insurance cover for a flat you rent out, make sure that you have adequate alternative cover for fixtures and fittings such as carpets and curtains.

No, but if your property is mortgaged, your lender will almost certainly require you to have buildings insurance in place as a condition of the loan.

If the property you let out is mortgaged, your lender will almost certainly require you to have buildings insurance in place as a condition of the loan. As there are extra risks associated with properties which are not owner-occupied, standard home insurance is unlikely to give you adequate cover. Landlord buildings insurance is designed to take situations involving tenants into account.

We use industry tools and sources of data to arrive at a premium, alongside claims and underwriting experience. External data sources include (but are not limited to) the Environment Agency, British Geological Survey Data and Ordnance Survey historical flood mapping to understand if you are situated in a flood risk area. We also use flood modelling data as this data provides flood risk data at an individual property level rather, than postcode level.

This depends on a large number of factors including how widespread the flood was, how severe the damage caused was, and how many properties were affected is the first variable. After a major flood event, insurance companies often take on additional loss adjusters, but even so the time it can take for you to be visited by one can be longer than you’d like.

Cleaning and drying operations can take many weeks or months depending on the availability of services and how greatly your property has been affected, as well as what your home is made of.

Finally, reinstatement works themselves are also time-consuming. The process of choosing replacement furniture, decoration and fitted units (which you may have originally selected over the course of years) takes time, especially if you are working and have little time to shop around, and then you need to wait for delivery and fitting.

It’s important that you tell your home insurance provider that you have a new extension and that the roof is flat as it may affect the cover available under your policy. The Homeprotect policy will cover you for flat roof damage and any resulting damage to the room and belongings housed beneath the flat roof, just as long as you have told us about the flat roof, and that it is regularly checked and maintained.

It is recommended to get your flat roof inspected by a professional every 5 years. You can have the survey carried out by a qualified builder, roofer or surveyor. You will need to provide documented proof of the inspection and any repair works in the event of a claim.

Flat roofs have a tendency to leak. This is particularly the case when flat roofs are not laid correctly or when they have been neglected for some time. Regular maintenance of flat roofs is often a condition of your insurance policy.

When you run a business from home, it’s important to have legal expenses cover in place. The legal expenses cover gives you access to a 24/7 legal advice helpline, and will pay for legal bills relating to nuisance or trespass disputes and breach of contract for the sale or purchase of your property. The Homeprotect policy includes a basic level of legal expenses cover with every policy, providing up to £25,000 cover. You can upgrade to Full legal expenses to increase the cover limit to £50,000. Read more about the differences between Basic cover and Full cover.

If you have recently purchased a property with a flat roof then you should be able to find out how much of it is flat by referring to the home buyer’s survey for specific measurements.

Alternatively, you can have a survey carried out by a qualified builder, roofer or surveyor and ask them to calculate the percentage of the roof that is flat. It’s important to have this information to hand when taking out a quote so as to be able to secure accurate cover for your property. To get a quote, you need to know which bracket your flat roof fits in to: 0-33%, 34-50%, 51-75% or 76-100%.

It is in your best interests to have a written contract between you and any parents that you are providing childminder services to. In relation to home insurance, we provide up to £25,000 of legal expenses as standard within our home insurance. You may choose to upgrade this further when taking out cover.

You may well have noticed that very few insurers are comfortable with providing cover to childminders. In most cases, insurers believe that a home occupied by other people’s children is an unacceptably high risk. We don’t agree. We understand that childminding is your business, so you should be able to get buildings and contents cover in the same way that anyone else working from home does.

Your home insurance provider will need to be informed that you are running a business at home that involves your customers (parents and their children) being in your home on a regular basis. A mainstream home insurance provider generally won’t provide home insurance under these circumstances. You can get cover from Homeprotect, simply enter the details of your business visitors when you get an online quote.

We do, but they are covered as electronic gadgets rather than watches.

Once you take a foster child or the foster children into your care, you should inform your home insurance provider that you are fostering and there are now more children living in your home as this may affect the cover provided. Be sure to include the cost to replace the child’s belongings in your contents insurance.

Due to the nature of foster care, and particularly for short-term cases, you may be uncertain of the number of children that will be in your care during the 12 month period of the policy. In this case, simply complete an online quote using the maximum number of dependent children that you think will be living with you. If your circumstances change, then please contact our Customer Services team to let us know.

Homeprotect views all children as dependents. Simply list them as you would any other member of the family.

As the landlord you are responsible for the building insurance and your own contents insurance. This does not extend to your lodger’s belongings, so they should seek their own contents cover.

Standard home insurance will not provide the same level of cover for a Bed & Breakfast business. You may well find that house insurance can be harder to get hold of than standard types, due to the fact that you now have a steady stream of guests staying in your home. While you are working from home, you are also at risk of accidental damage and may need to look into liability insurance. Start your quote at Homeprotect to find out what can be covered with our B&B house insurance.

At Homeprotect we can cover any type of B&B with six bedrooms or fewer, as long as you never have more than twelve guests at a time. Anything more than that and you’re running a hotel, which we don’t cover!

The cost of B&B home insurance varies depending on the size, location and type of your property, and whether you opt for any of the additional cover options. Find out how much bed and breakfast insurance would cost for your property by clicking the ‘Get a Quote’ button.

Firstly, you will need to think about your T&Cs when handling bookings and cancellations. It’s also important to have rules in place that protect your property, both the building and your personal possessions. Find out more about the legal requirements.

Yes, if you purchased Accidental damage cover for your contents insurance.

Yes. However if the glasses/spectacles are worth £1,500 or more, and you need cover away from the home then you will need to specify them on your policy.

Not as standard no, but you can opt to add accidental damage cover for your contents insurance which will include accidental damage to your spectacles. Note that, in the case of making a claim, as with all insurance policies, there will be an excess to pay. Read about the excesses in the Policy Booklet.

There are a huge number of non-standard materials being used in modern constructions, such as asphalt, concrete, timber, glass and steel. Older properties are also made with non-standard materials like wattle and daub or flint. When in doubt, check with a builder, surveyor or your home insurance provider.

The emergency must be one of the insured events. For Basic Home Emergency that is:

  • Plumbing and drainage
  • Power failure
  • Toilet failure
  • Home security
  • Vermin infestation

For Full Emergency it is each of the insured events covered by Basic, together with:

  • Heating incidents
  • Roofing incidents

The insured event needs to be sudden, unexpected and require immediate corrective action to:

  • Prevent damage or further damage to your property; or
  • make your property secure; or
  • relieve unreasonable discomfort, risk to health or difficulty to the occupants

In the event of a Home Emergency – please call our 24/7 claims line – contact us here

No, you don’t have to pay the tradesperson. DAS will arrange and pay for a contractor to take action to resolve the emergency. The action taken will depend on what would be fair and reasonable in the circumstances and will be either to:

  • Carry out a temporary repair (or a permanent repair if this is no more expensive); or
  • Take other action, such as isolating a leaking component

Home Emergency cover is intended to deal with incidents that are sudden and unexpected. Incidents that result from wear and tear which you should have reasonably known about and resolved as part of home maintenance is not covered, either by Home Emergency or Buildings Insurance.

There is no limit to the number of claims you make per year on either our Basic or Full products. But for a claim to be accepted the incident does need to meet the criteria set out in the policy terms.

For Full Home Emergency cover, if your home remains uninhabitable overnight following an insured incident, DAS will pay up to £300 for hotel accommodation. The decision on whether your home is uninhabitable will take into account whether it would be fair and reasonable to remain in your home.

No. Please do not arrange for a contractor yourself, as this will not be covered. Once DAS have accepted your claim they will arrange for one of their approved contractors to help you as quickly as possible. DAS will tell you what to do next. 

  1. Turn off the stop-cock by rotating it clockwise until it is completely closed.
  2. Switch off your heating systems as soon as possible.
  3. Drain excess water from the system. You do this by turning on all the taps and flushing toilets multiple times, until the water stops coming through.
  4. If anything electrical has been affected by the flood, turn off the mains electricity immediately before approaching the wet area. If the flooding is near the mains switch then seek professional assistance and do not approach it.
  5. Check for bulges in the ceilings of rooms beneath the burst pipe, indicating trapped water. Place a bucket underneath the bulge and puncture it to control the drain.
  6. If the pipes require defrosting you should either thaw the pipes gently with a hair-dryer, or seek professional advice if required. Do not attempt to thaw pipes with the central heating as this can make things worse.
  7. Once the initial crisis is under control, you should contact us if you need to start a claim.

Homeprotect must be made aware if your property will be left empty for more than 30 days. An unoccupied home is susceptible to more risks such as burglary. Get in touch with us to learn more about empty home insurance for your second property.  

Please contact our Customer Services team to request an increased buildings rebuild value to be made to your buildings insurance. Please note that there may be an additional premium amount to be paid.

Please contact our Customer Services team to request changes to be made to your insurance policy.

Please contact our Customer Services team to request the changes to be made to your payment date and your bank details.

Please contact our Customer Services team to request an increase in the value of contents to be insured. Please note that there may be an additional premium amount to be paid.

If you get a lodger this may affect your policy as the level of risk increases, so there may be an increase in premium payable and the terms and conditions may change. Please note that we will be unable to offer accidental damage cover if you share your property with lodgers.

Find out more about our cover for cover for live-in landlords with lodgers.

We will need to confirm all the questions with you which were asked when first taking out your home insurance policy with Homeprotect, such as type of property, number of bedrooms, whether the property has ever flooded etc.

Please contact our Customer Services team to request a joint policy holder to be added to your policy.

Before calling please ensure that you have the following details for the additional policy holder: Full name Date of birth Relationship to you Occupation and type of business Details of any bankruptcies, IVAs CCJs Claims history (including liability claims) Unspent criminal convictions 

You can add more high-risk items, electronic gadgets or bicycles to your existing contents insurance policy and increase your level of cover for other items by contacting our Customer Services team. Please note that there may be an additional premium amount to be paid.

If you already have a Homeprotect contents insurance policy, please contact our Customer Services team to add more high risk items to be insured. Please note that there may be an additional premium amount to be paid.

Renovating your home can increase the risk of damage to the structure of your home, so you must let us know before the work starts.

We need to know: The cost of the project. The extent of renovation, e.g. adding an extension etc. Whether you are using registered builders/tradespeople to undertake the work. Whether your builders/tradespeople have liability insurance. Please also let us know whether you have been advised what the property rebuild cost will be once the renovations have completed. You need to be sure that if your home will increase in size that it’s insured for the correct value, in case you need to make a claim.

Renovations will affect your policy by increasing the amount of premium payable. Also additional terms may be added to the policy and/or the level of cover could be reduced, especially if you intend to move out whilst the work is being completed.

Find out more about our renovations insurance.

If you need to update some information (e.g. change of correspondence address, additional joint policyholder) on your policy part way through the year (after the cooling-off period), there will be an administration fee charged.

If you need to make a change up to 14 days after your policy renews there won’t be an administration fee charged.

In some cases, you may be due a refund or you may be asked to pay an additional premium amount.

Read more about the fees we charge

Yes, Homeprotect can amend the current policy to change the address, so that your new property will be insured, with no break in cover.

However, please be aware that the new property may have different risk information such as how close it is to water, whether the building has suffered subsidence in the past etc. Please make sure you have these details handy when you call our team to discuss the change of address. You may need to pay a £25 administration fee.

Letting your property out to tenants can affect your policy by a possible change in premium and the terms and conditions are likely to change. We will be unable to offer accidental damage cover if the property is let to tenants.

Yes, please phone our Customer Services team so that we can make the change of address on your policy, to insure your contents at the new property.

However, please be aware that the new property may have different risk information such as how close it is to water, whether the building has suffered subsidence in the past etc. Please make sure you have these details handy when you call our team to discuss the change of address.

Please contact our Customer Services team to request your name to be changed on your policy. We will require a scanned or posted copy of the proof of name change, such as your marriage certificate.

The price will need to be re-calculated when moving because it is a completely new property to be insured, there may be different features and details compared to your old property, which we will need to calculate accurately to ensure your policy covers you for the right amount of risk. This is vitally important if you ever need to make a claim.

You will need to call our Customer Services team to tell us about the change in circumstances.

Depending on the circumstances a £25 administration fee may be charged. In some cases, you may be due a refund or you may be asked to pay an additional premium amount.

Please note that some changes can also result in the terms and conditions being changed.

Please call our Renewals team on 0330 660 1000 to request the policy to be paid by monthly payments. One of the team will explain the process involved.

You can change your renewal preference by contacting our Customer Services team or via your online account. You can do this at any point during the year.

You can either pay the annual premium in full, or you can pay by monthly instalments.

Your policy is set to automatically renew each year unless you have informed us not to or we have asked you to get in touch. We will send you a renewal reminder each year to confirm this.

If your payment does not go through at the beginning of the new policy year, we will contact you.

Most policies are set to renew automatically to make sure that you are fully insured without a break. This protects your property and belongings in the event of having to make a claim.

However, please be aware that your policy will not automatically renew if you have received a letter asking you to get in touch with us about renewing. In this case, you must contact us to renew your policy. Please call 0330 660 1000.

Please call our Customer Services team, one of the team will be happy to help sort this out.

Please contact our Renewals team to pay for the premium in a one-off annual payment.

Unless you have been informed otherwise, your policy is set to automatically renew each year. Please call us on 0330 660 1000 if you would prefer to opt out of autorenewal.

There are several reasons why your claim might be rejected:

Inaccurate or withheld information
The cover we offer you is based on the information you provided when buying or renewing your policy. If this information isn’t accurate, we may reject your claim. That’s why it’s important to take the time to answer our questions as accurately as possible and check your policy details at renewal.

Wear and tear
Wear and tear is not covered under Homeprotect policies. To avoid your claim being rejected due to wear and tear, it’s important to carry out regular maintenance on your home.

Contents not specified
Some items of contents need to be specified on your policy to be covered. If you make a claim for an item that should have been specified on your policy, we’ll likely reject your claim. More guidance on specified items can be found in your policy booklet.

Partial pay out
We might refuse to pay the full amount of your claim if you’ve under-estimated the total value of your buildings or contents cover (known as ‘being under-insured’).

You should first submit a complaint here and give our complaints team eight weeks to respond. If you’re not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you can ask the Financial Ombudsman to investigate what’s happened.

More details on how to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman can be found here.

Typically, a large house is defined as a home with 6 bedrooms or more. By their very nature large houses often have more contents and so high value home insurance is designed to cover properties of a higher net worth than the average UK household.

Each property is different. Use the ABI rebuild calculator for free online to work out the rebuild cost of your house (this is not its market value). For a large house you might prefer to use a professional surveyor to provide an estimate of the rebuild cost. When it comes to contents insurance, you should include every item in the home by going from room to room, including electronics, clothing, kitchen appliances, etc.

You must inform your insurance provider of changes to your home such as letting a room to lodgers, making structural renovations, installing a burglar alarm or door locks, leaving the house empty for more than 30 consecutive days.

The landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in a good state of repair. They will either take care of this directly, or if it is fully managed then via a letting agent. If however you damage the property by accident then you will likely have to pay for repairs, or the cost of repairs will be deducted from your deposit.

Public liability insurance can cover damages and claimants’ costs and expenses for your legal liability in the event of accidental death, bodily injury or illness to a third party, or damage to property belonging to a third party that is not in the custody or control of you, your family or domestic staff.

If you are operating a business and have staff then you must take out Employer’s Liability Insurance. This can cover you in the case of claims relating to illness or injury of staff as a direct result of their employment in your company. Up to £2,500 in fines per day can be charged if you do not have this form of insurance in place. Sole traders are exempt from this.

Yes, business equipment is covered as standard under a Homeprotect Contents policy – up to £3,000 per claim. A higher claim limit can potentially arranged following referral to our underwriting team.

We define business equipment as equipment used to run your business, such as desktop computers, keyboards, monitors, office furniture, photocopiers, printers, routers.

Laptops, mobile phones and other electronic gadgets are also covered under a Homeprotect Contents policy, though these are not subject to the £3,000 claims limit.

Business tools (e.g. professional lawnmowers, kilns, power tools) and business stock are not covered as standard under a Homeprotect policy, though they can be potentially covered following referral to our underwriting team.

Ground heave is the opposite of ground subsidence. Heave occurs when the ground swells upwards, usually because a clay soil becomes wetter than usual. 

Landslip is the movement of ground under a building down a slope. This is normally triggered by extended periods of heavy rain which cause the ground to become saturated. 

We can consider cover on your property when it is being renovated but existing customers should let us know before the works start so that we can make a decision on whether we can continue to cover you and whether an additional premium is necessary. In most cases we’re happy to offer cover.

Yes, Homeprotect can provide cover for an empty property if the owner is deceased and the property is, therefore, going through probate. Please note that we may require a copy of the policyholders’ death certificate and evidence of who has a financial interest in the property insured. Find out more about our home insurance for properties in probate.

With a Homeprotect policy, if your mobile phones are worth less than £1500 each then they’re covered as standard inside the home, although you will need to select the optional full accidental damage cover to protect against accidental damage. If any of your mobile phones are worth more than that individually, you will need to specify them on the policy when you get a quote, to have them included in the cover. Find out more about home insurance including mobile phone cover.

Yes, Homeprotect can cover your home and belongings if you have lodgers, however accidental damage cover may be restricted. Find out more about home insurance for live-in landlords with lodgers.

Homeprotect’s buildings insurance will not cover damage to or malfunction of your boiler. However, the optional full home emergency cover optional product, available when you buy your home insurance through Homeprotect, will cover emergency repairs to your boiler as long as it is serviced in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines.

Yes, Homeprotect provides cover for let-to-tenant properties, second homes, holiday homes, weekend/weekday only homes and unoccupied properties.

Most insurance policies exclude property that is used for business. This is why we have developed our policy for people who run a business at home, specifically for you. The policy includes the cover you need for business equipment, public liability cover and in some cases a certain amount of insurance for your business stock. Find out more about our home business insurance.

This means that your property will remain fully insured when left unoccupied for up to 30 consecutive days. If you will be away from the property for longer than 30 days it’s important that you contact us to make sure your property is still covered by unoccupied property insurance.

No, while you retain ownership of the property and are ultimately responsible for its upkeep this is not expressly laid out in your insurance policy. Maintenance of the property is something which should be laid out in the agreement that you make with the tenants and is at your discretion.

Homeprotect buildings insurance typically covers damage caused by lightning strikes and thunderstorms. Lightning can cause a fire to start so it is certainly an important risk to be covered for by your home insurance.

Generally, the UK experiences a very low level of lightning activity by international standards, with only approximately 0.46 lightning strikes per square km each year.

In tropical regions, such as some parts of brazil, the figure is as high as 300 per square km per year. The south east of England does have a slightly higher incidence of lightning than the rest of the UK due to its warmer climate.

Yes, Homeprotect provides cover for an unoccupied property even if it’s up for sale. However, there will be some restrictions on the cover offered.

Homeprotect home insurance policies generally cover a homeowner for damage caused by ground movement and natural earthquakes, and any ground movement caused by fracking would have the same effect on a property as ground movement with a natural cause. There are no exclusions for damage caused by fracking. Find out more about subsidence insurance.

House insurance can include public liability cover in some cases. The Homeprotect home insurance policy includes up to £5 million public liability cover. In the event of someone having an accident and being injured in your home, or if their belongings are damaged in your home this insurance cover includes legal cost cover to defend your claim.

Yes, Homeprotect provides cover for an unoccupied property, however, there are some restrictions on the cover offered.

No, Homeprotect does not provide home insurance for mobile homes or houseboats. Homeprotect can only offer insurance for properties that have fixed foundations.

Homeprotect insures homes with thatch roofs in certain circumstances. This includes both straw- and reed-thatched houses. Please call us for a personalised quote.

As standard our home insurance provides £750 cover for lock and key replacement following the theft of your home keys. Find out more about our optional lost key cover.

The main building within the boundary of the insured address. This includes attached garages and conservatories and excludes outbuildings (e.g. Detached garages, greenhouses, sheds and summerhouses) and outdoor permanent structures (e.g. Driveways, boundary walls, decking and patios).

Landlords insurance will provide the property cover you need if you are letting your house to tenants.

You can also take out a holiday home insurance policy if you are renting your house to paying guests at set times of the year. 

The optional lost key cover provides you with cover up to £1,500 for the year following the loss, theft or damage of keys anywhere in the UK, it also includes:

  • Locksmiths charges.
  • Onwards transport costs if you are stranded as result of the loss
  • Theft or damage of your car keys.

This is the amount you’ll pay towards a successful claim. The average compulsory excess for buildings claims is £149 and £136 for contents claims. There are also separate compulsory excesses for flooding, subsidence/landslip/heave, escape of oil and escape of water claims. The total excess you will pay is the sum of the relevant compulsory excesses and voluntary excesses (if you have any). 

You can find out what excesses you’ll need to pay by logging in to make a claim and selecting your policy in the “Check my cover” section. Your excesses are also listed in your policy documents

Specialist claims teams are standing by to assist you. Submit your claim online or call 0330 660 0660.

If you are making a claim on an additional cover option, such as legal expenses or home emergency cover, please call the appropriate cover provider. Check your policy schedule to find the correct phone number. You can contact our 24/7 home emergency line on 0330 660 0660.

In the event of a claim, you may be asked to provide evidence of value and ownership, such as purchase receipts or valuation certificates. It’s essential to provide this documentation for any high-risk items that you’ve specified on your policy, such as jewellery or watches. 

If you have any questions about direct debits please contact our customer services team.

If you have a question about a one-off payment or about the deposit payment please contact us.

When you make a claim, the incident details you provide are shared with other insurers in line with industry practice. This could influence the price or availability of insurance offered to you in the future as insurers often set their prices based on previous incidents you’ve had. 

That’s why it’s important to understand your cover before submitting a claim. You can check your cover by logging in here and entering the details of an incident. We’ll give you guidance on what you’re covered for to help you decide whether to submit a claim. 

Great news! We’re really glad that we were able to help you. Please post your feedback on our review profile at TrustPilot.

Please enter your contact details into the form here and one of the team will call you back.

The best way to make policy changes is by getting in touch with our insurance experts here.

Homeprotect 
CI tower 
St George Square
New Malden
KT3 4HG

Please contact our team here.

You’ll be asked to choose from the following options to get through to the correct team:

  1. Renewing your policy.
  2. Changes to your existing policy.
  3. Get a quote or buy a new policy.

If you’re unhappy about our product or services, for whatever reason, we’d like to put it right.

Making a complaint is easy, our customer relations manager can be contacted in writing by addressing: Customer Relations Manager, Homeprotect, CI tower, St George square, New Malden, KT3 4HG, by e-mail on [email protected] or by phone at 0330 660 1000. If we can’t resolve the complaint, then you may be able to escalate it to the financial ombudsman service. You can find full details about our complaints procedure within your policy schedule. 

As added protection for you, we’re covered by the financial services compensation scheme (FSCS). If we’re unable to meet our commitments, you may be able to claim compensation from the scheme. For further information about the FSCS, look at the FSCS website: fscs.org.uk

AVANTIA INSURANCE LIMITED (TRADING AS HOMEPROTECT) – FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY HALF YEARLY REPORT 1 JULY 2023 – 31 DECEMBER 2023
Product/service groupingProvision (at reporting period end date)Number of complaints openedNumber of complaints closedPercentage closed within 3 daysPercentage closed after 3 days but within 8 weeksPercentage upheldMain cause of complaints opened
Insurance and pure protection1.16 per 1,000 policies in force33333371%28%67%General admin/ customer service
Premium Finance0.68 per 1,000 policies in force19518973%26%68%General admin/ customer service

When you are refused insurance it means that the provider has decided not to provide cover for your property or belongings. This may be because you do not meet the terms of their underwriters, or it may be because of a change in your circumstances which means you are perceived to be a greater risk to insure.

When applying for insurance, if you do not, when asked, tell your insurer something that is relevant such as having a criminal conviction, then you could be refused house insurance.

If you have been declined insurance in the past then it is best to seek a home insurance quote from a specialist provider. Specialist home insurance providers are likely to better understand your needs and be able to cover your home and contents for a reasonable cost.

You must inform your insurance provider of changes to your home such as letting a room to lodgers, making structural renovations, installing a burglar alarm or door locks, leaving the house empty for more than 30 consecutive days.

If your home doesn’t have brick or stone walls and a tile or slate roof, it may be classed as non-standard by insurance companies.

Non-standard home construction may require specialist home insurance, from an insurance provider who understands the risks involved, because if something does go wrong and you need to make a claim, you will want the policy to cover you to put the property back as it was before.

Every quote is tailored to the value of the individual property, the location, the usage of the property and the value of your belongings and the valuables or itemised personal possessions. Therefore, it is impossible to state that the insurance quote you receive will be less expensive or more expensive than other non-specialist insurance providers.

We do however receive many 5 star reviews from happy customers stating that their Homeprotect specialist insurance quote was much cheaper than their previous insurer

Please click Get a quote to find out how much the insurance cover would cost for your home. The average quote time is less than 10 minutes, so it’s worth a try.

Home insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers losses and damages to an individual’s house building and their belongings which are kept at home.

Some home insurance policies include cover for legal expenses as standard, others offer legal protection as an additional cover option. Legal protection for home insurance will usually give you access to a legal professional for advice, or will cover your legal fees up to a set amount. Amounts vary depending on the insurer. Take a look at the cover levels provided by the Basic Legal Expenses cover and the Full Legal Expenses cover provided by Homeprotect

The most common cause of subsidence is the shrinkage of soils, particularly clay types, as moisture is extracted from them. This often occurs as a result of tree roots growing under the property, which becomes more likely in extended periods of hot and dry weather.  

Another common cause is drain leakage, where water escapes from underground pipes and washes away (or softens) soils so that they are no longer able to support the weight of the foundations. It can also occur as a result of a history of mining excavations beneath or around your home, so it is always worth checking for these before buying a property.  

Underpinning means a solid foundation is laid below ground level to support or strengthen a building. This may be necessary due to subsidence, for instance, when the ground under a property moves and impacts its foundations.  

Consulting a chartered surveyor is the surest way to receive an accurate rebuild cost. In fact, if your home is using non-standard construction materials or you are renovating a listed building then you will need to do this. That said, for standard construction houses, you can use the free online BCIS Rebuild calculator.

For the purposes of the Homeprotect renovations insurance policy, cosmetic changes include non-structural changes to the property such as redecorating, replacing kitchen units, or laying new flooring. However, more significant works such as changing internal plumbing, gas pipes or electrical fixtures are not classed as cosmetic.  

And if cosmetic work is valued over £20,000, you’ll still need to let us know, in the same way as you would any valuable renovation works.  

Yes, it is possible to access Homeprotect renovation insurance once a project has already started. However, you will not be able to claim against any incidents that occurred before the policy was taken out and any attempt to do so would be treated as insurance fraud.  

Buildings insurance is a policy that protects the structural aspects of a property, such as the walls, roof, fixtures and fittings against loss or damage. Buildings insurance will cover the rebuild cost of your home; this is not the same as the property’s market value.

Yes. All domestic garages, outbuildings, sheds, extensions and conservatories fall under the definition of Buildings and are covered by your Buildings insurance. Please check that the level of cover included in the policy is enough to rebuild all your outbuildings.

If you own the freehold of your flat, you should take out buildings insurance. If you live in a leasehold flat, or are a tenant, your landlord has responsibility for sourcing buildings insurance.

Homeprotect home insurance policies are available to homeowners who are Airbnb hosts and this question is one of the more common Airbnb FAQs we receive. Just let us know this by selecting, “Bed & breakfast guests” amongst the answers you give to the question “Who lives at the property?” when you get an online quote.

As Airbnb says, “The Host Guarantee should not be considered a replacement or stand-in for homeowners or renters insurance,” and it does not cover communal areas of your property. Home insurance protects your property against a wide range of risks, giving you peace of mind that you’re covered should the unthinkable happen.

It may well be if you don’t tell your insurer. Your home insurance provider will have taken a number of risk factors into account when calculating your premium such as the location of your property, its rebuild cost, the value of your home’s contents, and how many people live there. Airbnb rentals change these details and introduce different risks, and that’s why you need to let your insurer know that you’ve become an Airbnb host.

Yes, holiday homes require a specialist insurance policy. This is because most standard insurance providers are not prepared to cover holiday homes as they perceive them to be too great a risk.  

This is often because the property can be left unoccupied for more than 30 days at a time between holidays or lets, and because it is not a main residence.  

No, we only insure properties in the UK. We can provide affordable home insurance for all sorts of circumstances. We can return a quote online in 97% of cases, saving you time and money.

Yes, Homeprotect is pleased to offer unoccupied home insurance policies for long periods. If your holiday home will be left vacant during the off-season or between guests for more than 30 days, we can still offer cover. Please read more about our unoccupied home insurance to understand what restrictions apply. 

After a person passes away and their property is in probate, it needs to be valued. This can often mean that the house is left empty for some time, and in this case it should be protected by unoccupied home insurance for probate. The beneficiary is responsible for ensuring that the right level of cover is in place.  

When a person passes away and their property is left as an inheritance, it is owned by the beneficiary. If there are multiple beneficiaries, then they are co-owners of the property. It is the beneficiary’s responsibility to make sure that the appropriate probate home insurance is in place. For instance, while in probate the building should be protected by unoccupied house insurance.  

A house left empty for more than three months at a time, which is often the case when going through probate, is deemed to be more at risk than other homes. For this reason many insurers are reluctant to get involved. Homeprotect aims to give everyone a competitive quote for home insurance online, regardless of how long your property might be empty.

If you’re handling the affairs of an estate of someone who has passed away, you need to get “grant of probate” before you have the authority as the “executor” to distribute the assets from the estate, as per the deceased’s will.

Probate property refers to an empty home due to the owner recently dying. A property is normally included in the assets listed in a person’s will.

Once the executor has been appointed and has been granted probate, the property and other assets owned by the deceased person’s estate can be distributed or sold, as per the instructions left in the will.

Probate courts administer the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. This can include selling their property; this is called liquidating the deceased’s assets. The sale of the house is therefore subject to probate law, and buyers may need to attend court to confirm the sale.

If the property is normally occupied but left empty for 31-180 days in a row a year, you’re typically covered, except between 1 October and 1 April inclusive, where escape of water incidents are excluded.

If the property is completely unoccupied and unfurnished, or it’s furnished but unoccupied for more than 180 consecutive days a year, you’re not covered for water damage.

Always check your policy schedule for any ‘endorsements’ (special terms) as these could restrict or exclude cover.

Yes! There is, however, often a minimum policy duration for unoccupied insurance, so if the sale completes within this period, you may not be eligible for a full refund on the unused portion of an annual premium paid in advance. If you’ve chosen to pay monthly, you would still have to pay for the minimum period.

There is no need to turn off gas or electricity for insurance reasons and, in fact, it can be a good idea to arrange for lights to come on using a timer switch to deter burglars.

You only need to turn off your mains water if we’ve asked you to as part of the terms and conditions of your unoccupied property insurance cover, although it is also a sensible precaution to take.

You only need to visit your property if we’ve asked you to as part of the special terms and conditions of your unoccupied property insurance cover, although it is also a sensible precaution to take.

Not necessarily! Many of the factors that affect insurance premiums for empty properties are the same as those for occupied homes, such as location and rebuild value. The cost of insurance may be higher for a particular property when it is empty than when it is unoccupied because of higher security risks, or it may be similar but with limitations on what is covered; for example, buildings cover may be limited to fire, lightening, explosion, earthquake and aircraft collision, but not include storm, flood or subsidence.

Probably not. Standard insurance policies do not generally provide adequate cover for vacant homes, which are usually classed as being left empty for 30 consecutive days or more.

Homeprotect home insurance covers a wide variety of situations including properties that are let out, as well as properties that are empty for different reasons, such as during voids between tenants.

If your property is usually rented out but will be empty for more than 30 days, you need to let us know.

As with any insurance policy, the cover is based on the information you’ve given your provider, so if it’s incorrect there is a risk that your policy could be cancelled or that any claims could be rejected.

Empty house insurance covers your premises for losses caused by fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake, smoke, aircraft collision and legal liability. Find out more details on our unoccupied home insurance page.

Depending on the type of cover you choose, you may be able to reduce your premium by increasing the voluntary excess that you would pay if you claimed.

Yes, most empty properties will still require the homeowner to pay council tax. However, you may be able to apply for an exemption in a few specific instances. This includes properties that have been unoccupied for two or more years, those undergoing a probate process, instances in which the owner is in the hospital or a care home and if the property cannot be lived in by law.   

See the full list of empty property council tax regulations and exemptions on the government website.   

Properties can be unoccupied for a number of reasons. If it’s your main home, you might be away for an extended period for work or on holiday. A home may also be left empty if an elderly owner has moved into care or during probate. Properties are also often unoccupied if extensive building work is being carried out.

Many unoccupied properties are second homes, which have either been bought as rental properties or inherited. Buy-to-let properties may be empty because of ‘voids’ between tenants, or while undergoing renovation, and holiday homes may be vacant out of season. Inherited properties are frequently left empty while the new owner or owners decides what to do with them, particularly as this type of home may need renovation before it is suitable for rental.

Most insurance providers consider a property to be unoccupied if it’s empty for more than 30 consecutive days. It’s important that you notify your provider if this is going to be the case. After 30 days, different insurers change their cover levels at different cut off points and for different situations: for example, if the property being insured is your main residence, Homeprotect, requires you to arrange for weekly inspection visits to be carried out. Sometimes this is referred to as the 30 day rule by insurers.

Empty properties carry greater risks in terms of burglary, vandalism or even squatting, and also the amount of damage caused by unnoticed issues like burst pipes.  

Homeprotect needs to know if your property is unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days or more so that they can factor these increased risks into your policy terms.  

Many of the factors that affect insurance premiums for empty properties are the same as those for occupied homes, such as location and rebuild value.   

The cost of unoccupied home insurance may be higher for a particular property because of higher security risks, or it may be similar but with limitations on what is covered. For example, buildings cover may be limited to fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake and aircraft collision, but not include storm, flood or subsidence.

You will need to apply for Listed Building Consent prior to any of the following works being undertaken:

  • Alterations, both internally and externally, which affect the character of a listed building.
  • Extensions.
  • Demolitions.
  • Partial demolitions.

To summarise, all works other than minor ‘like for like’ repairs would require Listed Building Consent.

In all cases you should seek advice from the Planning Services Section.

Yes, inclusion on the Statutory List does not necessarily prevent alteration or extension, although Listed Building Consent will also be required, in addition to normal planning permission.

It is generally possible to find satisfactory ways to make additions or alterations, with specialist and/or professional advice and guidance. This work requires great skill and care in order to conserve the historic features, character and setting of the building. If you wish to carry out such works you are strongly recommended to contact one of the regional professional bodies to find a consultant specialising in historic building work.

Yes, but only if the building is decaying very badly. Local authorities have two main powers to halt the deterioration of a listed building and the serving of an urgent works notice or a repairs notice.

Some Grade I or Grade II listed buildings may be eligible for grant aid.

When you purchased the property a homebuyer’s survey is likely to have included the date of construction. 

Alternatively, your local authority may have a record of when planning permission was granted to build the property. Your neighbours may also have an idea of when the property was built.

Note: A rough estimate of the property construction date is enough for the purposes of getting your home insurance quote.

If you have a heritage property, here are some steps to take:

  • Search for your property for free in the 1862 Act register on Land Registry’s digital archives.
  • Look at the architectural style and features of the house, particularly the roof and windows.
  • Check your county record offices, local parish records or ask to view local archives at your library.
  • Look for old copies of Ordnance Survey maps for your area (local library).
  • Google for a local historian or a historical society and contact them to see if they can help you.
  • Look at census data between 1841 and 1911 to find the first year that the address was mentioned.

If your home is a Listed Building or it was built before 1720, you will need to consult a Chartered surveyor or a specialist property valuer to provide you with an accurate rebuild cost.

England: Historic England
Scotland: Historic Scotland
Wales: Cadw
Northern Ireland: NI Direct

Yes, sometimes the special character of a building has been overlooked and it is not included on the list. If this is the case anyone can request that a building be considered for listing.

The Policy Schedule includes all the particulars relating to your policy, including any specific limits, individually named valuables etc. Once you have purchased the policy, you may view your policy schedule online.

The Policy Booklets include the maximum levels of cover and any policy-wide exclusions. Policy booklets are available to download and view without logging in.

Your statement of fact contains all the details you have provided about your property, your belongings and the residents. You can access this online

You are advised to read all documents.

If you are still unsure, please contact our Customer Services team who would be happy to answer your questions.

We make it easy for you to get an online quote, even if you have complex arrangements such as your property is unoccupied, has had previous subsidence, you are taking in a lodger or someone in the property has a Criminal Conviction.

If you purchased the property in the last 5 years your homebuyers survey may include the rebuild cost. However if you purchased the property more than 5 years ago you will need to get an up to date assessment.

If your home is of standard construction (normally brick walls and tile roof), not a listed building and not built before 1720 you can use the free online BCIS Rebuild calculator.

If your home is built with non-standard construction materials, or it’s a Listed Building or it was built before 1720, you will need to consult a Chartered surveyor to provide you with an accurate rebuild cost.

If you have paid for your policy in full then you may receive a pro-rata refund, taking into consideration any administration fees, conditions on your policy and any additional cover options which you have purchased.

If you pay by monthly instalments the Customer Accounts team will calculate the cancellation amount, taking into consideration any administration fees, conditions, any additional cover options which you have purchased, or payments made on the policy. They will then contact you to confirm if there is a refund due, or if there is an administration fee payable.

You will find that most online providers of home insurance charge a cancellation administration fee because we all incur costs in either converting quotes into policies or renewing policies with the documentation, paperwork and accounting process that it incurs, and then further costs in having to reverse the accounting process.

This works to the benefit of customers who do not cancel in that we are able to avoid passing on such costs to them. We have a duty to treat all our customers fairly. We felt it was not fair to our other customers whilst they were having to cover these costs.

Yes, the first 14 days from the date you purchased the policy or received your policy documents (whichever is later) are the cooling off period.

No, there is no administration fee if you cancel within 14 days of the date you purchased the policy or received your policy documents (whichever is later). 

If you cancel your policy after the ‘cooling off’ period there is a £50 administration fee. If you cancel during the ‘cooling off’ period, which is within 14 days of the date you purchased the policy or received your policy documents (whichever is later), there is no administration fee. 

You can cancel your policy by contacting our Customer Services team. You will need to confirm the date you would like your policy cancelled from.

If you’re cancelling your policy after the 14-day ‘cooling off’ period, there is a £50 administration fee. Your refund will not include any arrangement fee paid for the setup of your policy. If you cancel during the ‘cooling off’ period, which is within 14 days of the date you purchased the policy or received your policy documents (whichever is later), there is no administration fee.

You may be entitled to a refund if you cancel your insurance. This depends on the terms of the individual policy purchased.

In most cases, home insurance policies have a 14-day cancellation or ‘cooling off’ period where you are entitled to a refund, if no claims have been made.

If you want to cancel outside of the cooling off period, you will normally receive a pro-rata refund. A cancellation fee or admin fee may apply

You can find your important documents by logging in to your account. If you are not yet a customer but want to look at our policy booklets you can do so on our policy booklets page.