What you need to know

You can’t stop the unexpected happening, but with the right home insurance, you can protect your home and your belongings if things do go wrong.

  • 1.
    Home insurance. Why do I need it?

    Home insurance can include buildings and contents cover. If bad weather damages your property or you’re the victim of malicious damage, buildings cover may cover the cost of repair. If you experience a leak that ruins your carpets, contents insurance may cover the cost of replacing such furnishings.

    In a nutshell, home insurance gives you peace of mind that your home and contents are protected, should the worst happen.

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  • 2.
    What’s a home insurance policy?

    It’s the industry name for the cover you’re paying for or considering. Each policy you take out will be unique to you. So it’s important that before you apply, you think about how much cover you’ll need and the most expensive items you own, so you can declare them in your application.

    To ensure that you’re covered, you pay an annual or monthly premium. Most home insurance policies cover 12 months so don’t forget to renew when yours runs out.

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  • 3.
    What’s covered in my policy?

    Policies differ by provider so it’s important to think about what you want to insure and then make sure it’s protected.

    Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home and its fixtures and fittings.

    Contents insurance covers your household goods and personal effects, for example, your curtains and carpets.

    Policies can be tailored to suit your needs, allowing you to pay for only the level of cover that you need and some policies give you unlimited values, providing you with complete peace of mind.

    Accidental damage may not be included as a standard element, so if you think this might be something you need make sure it’s included as part of your policy.

    You can also include ‘high risk’ items under your contents insurance such as an expensive piece of jewellery.

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  • 4.
    How much should I insure my home for?

    If you’re a home owner you should insure the buildings of your home for its full rebuilding cost – so how much it would cost to rebuild if it was totally destroyed.

    This is different to the market value of your home, and can be found on the Valuation Report (or Survey) you had done when you took out your mortgage.

    This may need to be increased to take account of inflation, especially if the survey was completed a while ago.

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  • 5.
    What if I can’t find my survey?

    If you don’t know your rebuild cost, don’t worry. You can use the ABI rebuilding cost calculator to give you a good indication of what your rebuilding cost is. If you get a home insurance quote with the Halifax, we can work this out for you.

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  • 6.
    Do I need contents insurance?

    Contents insurance covers the belongings of you and other family members who permanently live with you. You should consider contents insurance whether you’re a home owner or renting.

    It’s important to make sure that the value of contents insurance that you’re taking out covers what you need so it’s a good idea to work out the total value of your contents to make sure you’re covered.

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  • 7.
    What if I’m renting out my home?

    If your home is being rented out to tenants or shared with lodgers, or you’re planning to rent it out, you’ll need to contact your home insurance provider to let them know.

    Many insurers offer landlord insurance which can protect you against loss of rent should your property become unliveable.

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  • 8.
    What if I make a mistake or things change?

    Before you take out a policy, you must take reasonable care to give your provider accurate information and read all the policy documents provided.

    Most home insurance providers have a ‘cooling off’ period so if you realise you’ve made a mistake contact your provider straightaway to let them know.

    Once your policy has been issued, you must tell your provider if your circumstances change.

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  • 9.
    When would I not be insured?

    If you fail to keep up with your payments, your policy might be cancelled. Also, if you don't answer questions accurately and completely when setting up your policy or fail to advise your insurer of any changes, your insurance could become invalid or affect future claims.

    Always read your policy terms and conditions and contact your provider if you’re unsure about anything.

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  • 10.
    Need some extra insurance help? We’re here.

    We have advisers in branch and in our call centre who can give you advice on finding the home insurance to meet your needs.

    We offer a Customer Review, it’s free and available to anyone, so to find out more call 0800 500 3973.

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  • 11.
    What do I do if I am struggling to pay for my home insurance?

    Many people experience money problems at some stage of their lives. We may be able to help.

    If you are having trouble paying for your Bank of Scotland home insurance, please don't ignore the problem. There are a variety of options available that may ease your situation and ultimately help to resolve the issue.

    This section explains the things that you should consider and the actions that we'll take to help you.

    Call us on the phone number below as soon as possible:

    0345 300 5178

    (Lines are open 8am - 6pm Mon-Fri, 9am - 1pm Sat)

    Where we can help

    We may be able to help in a number of different ways:

    • Offer to change the method by which you make your payments or the date on which you make them
    • Arrange an affordable payment plan for repayment of any unpaid premiums and credit charges, taking both your interests and our responsibilities as the lender into account. If we contact you, please reply so we can try and help.
    • Give you a reasonable, additional period of time to pay for your home insurance premiums and credit charges
    • See if a change to the level of your insurance cover would be better suited to meet your needs

    Additional things to consider

    • Pay all your essential bills first, such as your mortgage, utility bills (electricity, gas, water), insurance, council tax and food.
    • Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help to increase your income.
    • Seek independent debt advice, such as from Citizens Advice, Step Change Debt Charity or National Debtline if you'd like help with managing your finances.
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