Whether you’re moving into sheltered accommodation, a retirement home or a retirement community, you’ll want to make sure that your belongings are protected. Home insurance can do just that, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that, if there’s a fire, flood or burglary, you won’t be left out of pocket.
Home insurance – Buildings and contents
If you’ve owned your own home before, you may be well aware that buildings insurance protects the structure of your property, the bricks and mortar, fixtures and fittings, roof, flooring, windows and doors, from flood, fire, storm, subsidence, escape of water and vandalism.
Contents insurance protects your personal belongings; basically, all the things you’d take with you if you moved house.
Do I need buildings insurance?
Usually, buildings insurance is included in your service charge when you live in sheltered accommodation, a retirement home or a care home, as this is the homeowner’s responsibility.
To be on the safe side, it’s best to check your contract. If in doubt, speak to your warden or another representative for confirmation.
Do I need contents insurance?
Although contents insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it is strongly advised that you get a policy to protect your possessions.
The number of recorded burglaries occurring each year is rising, as are other kinds of theft, so having a contents insurance policy can help put your mind at rest that, if anything was stolen, you’d be able to replace your belongings at today’s prices.
It’s worth bearing in mind that contents insurance is usually only available to those living in a self-contained flat or house within a retirement community, and not to those living in a care home. The insurer may offer this option if you are an existing customer, but, even then, restrictions to your cover are likely to apply.
Buying contents cover can cost less than you think, especially if you shop around. It’s important you read the policy documents, comparing what is and isn’t included, as well as the price, as you need to make sure that the protection you’re given is adequate.
Some types of cover, such as accidental damage or legal expenses cover, may not be included as standard, depending on your insurer, but most insurers will allow you to add them to your policy as optional extras.
You’ll have to make sure that you declare any items that are valued higher than the single item limit set by your insurer, which will typically be between £1,500 and £2,500. Let your insurer know straight away, don’t wait until you need to claim, or you won’t receive the full value back.
It’s a good idea to take photographs of your expensive items, and keep receipts, if you can, as these can be given to your insurer and the police in case of burglary. Security marking your valuables can help deter thieves and increase your chances of getting your items back, if they’re stolen.