Home Insurance glossary

The following are details of terms which may apply to your home insurance policy. Please refer to your policy booklet for definitions of terms relating to your policy.

  • Insurance Period

    The period during which you have insurance cover which is shown in your policy schedule.


    Cash, currency notes, bank notes, money orders, bankers drafts and current postage stamps, cheques, savings and trading stamps, savings certificates and savings bonds, luncheon vouchers, gift cards, gift vouchers, electronic cash pre-payment cards, travellers cheques, travel tickets and vouchers, season tickets and phone cards, all held for social and domestic purposes.

    Personal belongings

    Personal items worn, used or carried by you or your family in everyday life outside of the boundaries of your home. The item must be owned by or be the legal responsibility of you or your family.

    Policy limits

    The most we will pay for any single event or item. Your policy schedule will provide you with any policy limits that are applicable to you.

    Policy schedule

    The Home Insurance Policy Schedule which tells you the sections of your policy booklet under which you are covered, the insurance period and other important details about the cover provided by your policy.

  • Replacement of sets

    If you have Replacement of Sets cover and have made a successful claim for an item, or part of an item, which forms part of a set or any other article of a uniform nature, colour or design, we will pay for the cost of replacing or changing any associated undamaged item, or part of an item, when a replacement of or reasonable match for the lost or damaged item cannot be obtained.


    Any document or certificate which is proof of an investment, or of money owed to you or your family.


    Underground cables, pipes, drains, tanks and their inspection covers serving your home and for which you are legally responsible.

    Special occasion

    The month of your religious festival and one month before and one month after your birthday, wedding day or civil partnership ceremony and its anniversary or of that of any member of your family.

    Specified items

    Any high risk item or personal belonging that is specified on your policy schedule.

    Student contents away from the home

    Contents in university halls of residence or rented student accommodation in the British Isles belonging to you or your family when in full time further or higher education.

    Sum Insured

    This is the total amount you are insured for and the maximum we can pay out if you make a claim.

    Trace and access

    Removal and replacement of any part of your buildings which is necessary to find the source of the insured event. This includes the reinstatement of any floor, drive, fence or path removed or damaged during the search. Trace and access only applies to damage due to escape of water or oil from any fixed domestic installation or accidental damage to services.

    Unlimited sum insured

    Unlimited sum insured gives you additional peace of mind, as we understand that it can be hard to work out the total amount of cover you need for buildings and contents.

    There are some areas of cover which aren’t unlimited, such as alternative accommodation and for high risk items like jewellery and televisions. So, it’s always worth checking your limits to make sure the cover is right for you. These can be found in your Policy Schedule.

    Don’t worry, having an unlimited sum insured doesn’t mean you pay for an unnecessary level of cover. This is because when deciding how much to charge you, we used the information you provided when you took out the policy. E.g. your address, what type of property you live in, the number of bedrooms etc.


    Jewellery, articles of precious metal, precious stones, clocks, watches, photographic equipment, furs, pictures, works of art, collections of stamps, coins and medals.


    The insurers specified in your policy schedule.


    The person(s) named in the policy schedule as the policyholder.


    Owned or hired by you or for which you or your family are legally responsible.

Accidental damage

An accident that causes physical damage, which is caused suddenly by an outside force and is not expected and not deliberate. So, general wear and tear or damage that occurs gradually is NOT accidental damage.

Alternative accommodation

Similar accommodation for you, your family and your domestic pets while you cannot live in your private residence due to an insured event.


This is the total cost expressed as an annual percentage of the total amount of credit. The APR is there to help you compare different offers.

British Isles

England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.


The structure of your home consisting of the buildings of your private residence and your outbuildings including their permanent fixtures and fittings and services.

Buildings of your Private Residence

The structure of your house, bungalow, flat or maisonette, including its permanent fixtures and fittings and services, walls, gates, fences, hedges, paths, driveways, balconies, decking, gardens, ponds, trees, patios, tennis courts, wind turbines, fixed solar panels, permanent swimming pools, saunas and hot tubs all within the grounds of your home and for which you are legally responsible.

Cancellation fee

A fee that may be applied if you cancel the policy outside of the cooling-off period.

Cash/credit/debit Cards

Cash/ credit/ debit cards which belong to you or your family.

Clerical office equipment

Examples of office equipment are computer equipment, facsimile machines, photocopiers, telephones, books and stationery, which are owned by, or the legal responsibility of, you or your family, and used for the business, trade or professions of you or your family.


Household goods (including garden machinery), high risk items and personal effects (items of a personal nature such as clothing and wheelchairs) all owned by you, your family and resident domestic staff or for which you or your family are legally responsible.

Contents in outbuildings and in the open

Items in structures detached from your private residence such as sheds and detached garages, and items in the open within the boundary of your home, such as in your garden, or on your balcony, patio or driveway.

Contents of your private residence

The contents of your house, bungalow, flat or maisonette, including the contents of any attached or integrated structures such as garages, conservatories and stores all used for domestic purposes, and business purposes we have agreed.

Continuous Payment Authority (CPA)

A method of automatic payment that you can set up when paying by debit or credit card. If you opt into a Continuous Payment Authority, you'll enable us to take payment for your future premiums and any mid-term amendments without needing to contact us with your payment details or giving us any authority to proceed.

Credit charge

A % of your annual premium and any variation or addition of cover to it and on your premium at each renewal. The charge is divided by the number of monthly payments in the insurance period and is paid as part of your monthly payment.

Credit limit

The total amount of credit. This means the amount of credit to be provided under the proposed credit agreement.

Deeds & documents

Deeds, bonds or certificates, or similar private documents, which are evidence of ownership or a sum of money owed to you or any of your family.

Domestic staff

Any domestic staff you or your family employ, under a contract of service, to work in or around your home.

Emergency access

Forced entry by the fire, police or ambulance services to deal with a medical emergency or when preventing damage to property.


The first part of any claim you have to pay.


Your spouse or partner, any children (including adopted and foster children) and any other relatives all of whom normally live with you.

High risk items

High risk items are things that are typically attractive to thieves and would include items such as computer equipment, televisions, jewellery, watches and works of art. Items of this nature will have specific cover limits. These limits will be stated in your policy schedule.


The private dwelling and its garages (including integral garages), outbuildings, sheds and greenhouses, all used for domestic and clerical business purposes only, at the address shown in your policy schedule.

Halifax is a division of Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Bank of Scotland plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.