Guide to buying home insurance

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Home insurance not only covers you for theft, but also protects against damage caused by a number of unforeseen events including flooding, fire and burst pipes.

From the different types available to the things that can affect your prices, we’ve tried to answer all your home insurance questions in this guide.

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Things to do before you get home insurance 

There are a few things you can do before you buy home insurance to help get the right cover at the right price. 

Make your home more secure

The more secure your home, the lower the risk. Whether it’s something big like fitting a burglar alarm or something relatively simple like adding deadlocks to external doors and windows, extra levels of security can help

Do your sums

Make sure your calculations are accurate when working out the value of your buildings and contents. The value of the building is the rebuild value and not the higher market value. Use the Association of British Insurers’ calculator to work this out

Underestimating doesn’t pay

 In the long run it’s always better to have estimated your contents’ value as accurately as possible. Under insuring your contents could leave you out of pocket when you come to claim. Consider all the items that you have and what it might cost to replace them. Use our Contents Calculator for help with this

Set the correct excesses

Adjusting your excess can affect your premium, a higher excess may help reduce your premium. However, as the excess is the amount you’d be expected to pay in the event of a claim, you should always make sure it’s affordable

The right type of home insurance for you

There are three main types of home insurance: buildings, contents and combined buildings and content insurance.

Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home, including the walls, windows and roof as well as any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as baths, toilets and fitted kitchens.

Central heating storage tanks and drains, permanently connected pipes and cables, service tank and solar panels permanently fixed to the buildings or the ground are covered.

If you own your own home you may need buildings insurance. Some mortgage providers usually include this as a condition, so not having a policy in place could put your mortgage and your home at risk. If you’re a tenant, it’s usually your landlord’s responsibility to arrange buildings insurance.

Contents insurance covers household goods, high risk items and personal belongings owned by you or your family living with you. It covers items in your home if they’re damaged, lost or stolen up to £150,000 depending on the level of cover you choose. Just like with buildings cover you will need to estimate the value of the items you'd like covered in your home. You will need to tell us about any high risk items you or your family own which are worth more than £21,000 or higher. For example, this includes computers, laptops, audio visual equipment and jewellery.

Combined buildings and contents cover speaks for itself - it covers both.

What’s excluded from my home insurance policy?

It’s always important to read the exclusions section of your home insurance policy as this can differ from insurer to insurer. With most insurers, loss or damage caused by gradual wear and tear or as a result of existing damage before the policy commenced and any loss or damage due to mechanical breakdown or due to the process of repair or restoration are excluded.

Business use and your home

A standard home contents insurance policy may not cover you working from home. If you do conduct business from home you need to let your insurer know as you may need additional cover with your policy.

If you’re already insured with Admiral, or looking for home insurance, we cover:

  • Businesses that have a low number of visitors to the property
  • Mobile hairdressers, dog groomers and beauticians
  • Registered childminders
  • Office equipment used for business is covered on our Gold and Platinum Home Insurance, subject to limits

It’s important to remember that if you need Professional Indemnity insurance or Public Liability insurance, you’ll need to ensure that you have this sourced separately as Admiral doesn’t provide cover for either of these.

Want to know more about our home insurance for business use? Have a look at our guide.

The levels of cover

Admiral offers three levels of home insurance cover:

  • Admiral – home insurance that covers your home essentials 
  • Admiral Gold – home insurance that covers your home essentials plus some useful extras
  • Admiral Platinum – full-featured insurance, providing you with extra peace of mind to your home

You can use our interactive house image to visually compare Admiral, Gold and Platinum levels of cover.

Are students covered?

With your Admiral Platinum policy we’ll pay up to the amount shown on your home policy schedule for loss or damage of your family’s contents while temporarily removed from your home. They need to be kept in a locked room while at college/university halls of residence, student accommodation or boarding school.

The excess

An excess is the amount you have to pay towards any claim or incident of loss or damage.

Please check your policy documents for details of the excess that applies for the cause of the loss or damage you are claiming for. More than one excess may apply and total excess may vary depending on the cause of the loss or damage.


Even homes at high risk of flood can now get covered for flooding thanks to the Flood Re scheme. This is an agreement with the government and insurers, including Admiral, which allows us to offer more affordable insurance for areas most at risk of flooding. So if your home is at risk, we may be able to save you some money.

Read our flood Re guide for find out more information about the scheme.

Useful information

Host insurance

To find out more about our host insurance if you're renting your home on home sharing sites, our helpful guide is here to help.


To find out more about subsidence, check out our guide that explains everything you need to know.

Unoccupied properties

Find out everything you need to know about keeping your house insured if it's left empty for any length of time.

If you have another type of property that you want to insure, give our customer services a call on: 0800 600 870.

And remember...

1. Read the small print of your home insurance policy carefully so you know exactly what you are covered for.

2. It’s very important to tell us if you are having/intend to have any building work or renovation done to your home (other than routine maintenance or decoration) before your policy begins.

3. A high risk item, whether single or part of a collection, that exceeds the `unspecified item limit’ must be shown on your policy documents.

4. Am I covered if I leave my home unoccupied? – We allow a time limit which is stated in the 'days unoccupied limit’ on your policy documents. You must tell us if you are likely to exceed this limit, as it could mean you would be left without cover while your home is unoccupied or seasonally unoccupied.

Flexible home insurance from Admiral