When it comes time to purchase a home insurance policy, you'll notice the plethora of "extra, add-on" features you can buy, like legal, bike, home emergency, accidental damage and away-from-home cover. What do these features really cover, and how much should you expect to pay for each one above and beyond the average cost of home insurance? We've research dozens of quotes from popular UK insurers to find out.
How Much do Home Insurance Extras Cost?
The data included in this article can be used for informational purposes when making decisions between different levels of cover. For instance, those wanting only some of the extras mentioned here may be better off buying a cheaper, basic policy and adding on any additional cover as needed than paying up for a premium policy. The average costs can give you an idea of how much you might expect to pay for each extra, when deciding which policy is best for you.
What are Common Home Insurance Extras?
Before you decide which is the best home insurance company for you, it's important to understand what is typically covered by the various add-on features that are often available for an extra cost (if they aren't already included in your policy). We've outlined how these features generally work, but as each policy is different be sure to read the fine print carefully before deciding which is the best home insurance cover for you. In order to save money on home insurance, don't pay extra for extra features you don't need.
The quotes we found for adding legal cover to a home insurance policy ranged from £14.50 up to £29.
Family Legal protection provides cover for a varying range of events that may include: clinical negligence, property or employment disputes, personal injury, personal identity theft, etc. Legal cover basically covers the legal fees (up to a limit, commonly £100,000), support and advice to get you through these types of difficult situations. Each policy is different so be sure to read the fine print to understand what is covered for your policy.
In our research, we found the additional premium to cover a bicycle worth £1,000 ranged from £19 to £78. This range is quite wide, partly due to the many types of bike cover on offer. For instance, some policies allow for the addition of cover bike by bike, others may offer a set level of cover for many bikes, with a per-bike limit (e.g., cover is £5,000 for all of your family's bikes, with a £1,000 per-bike limit). When looking at pedal cycle cover, be aware of fine print—cover may only apply while your bike is at home and secured in a particular manner, and may not apply to bikes used for racing.
You'll perhaps find the biggest difference between policies when it comes to bike cover. Some policies will include cover for bikes valued up to £350, so long as the bicycle is safely locked and hidden away in a shed at home. Many policies won't include any type of bike cover unless you pay extra for it. In most cases you'll be able to add or increase the bike cover to suit your needs.
Home Emergency Cover
We found that home emergency cover costs in the range of £25 to £76 per year, with an average cost of £48 when added to a home insurance policy.
Home emergency cover is meant to protect against events like burst pipes, broken-down boilers, backed-up drains, home security issues (e.g., broken door) and vermin/wasp infestation. Cover typically provides access to a 24-hour emergency helpline and will cover the cost of the call out, labour and repair materials, up to a limit. Most commonly, the maximum cover amount is £500 or £1,000 per incident. Interestingly, it is typically much cheaper to add home emergency cover onto your buildings cover than to buy home emergency cover separately at an average cost of £150, although coverages vary significantly from plan to plan so be sure to read the fine print before you buy.
Accidental Damage Cover
Accidental cover is typically cheaper for buildings than for contents, with annual costs ranging from £6 to £61.50 for buildings and £12.70 to £40.60 for contents. The average cost of combined buildings & contents accidental damage cover hovered just under £60 per year. Sometimes—but not always—it is cheaper to buy accidental cover for buildings and contents (combined) than to buy the cover separately.
Accidental damage cover provides reimbursement in the event of successful claims due to one-off, unintentional damage or loss of property. For example, accidental damage may cover red wine spilled on your carpet, a smashed window, a dropped TV, etc. Portable electronic equipment (e.g., a laptop) may be excluded, along with clothing. (Laptops may be covered under Personal Belongings cover, mentioned below.)
The cost of personal belongings cover is quite variable, in large part because you can specify different levels of cover. We found the annual cost ranged from £15 (for £2,000 of cover) up to £141 (for £10,000 of personal belongings cover).
Personal belongings (also referred to as "Personal Possessions" or "Away-From-Home") cover protects against the loss or accidental of your things away from home, including items such as your phone, watch, jewellery, etc. In addition a total maximum amount of Personal Belongings cover, your policy may also impose a per-item maximum. For instance, a policy may provide for £5,000 of cover to protect your personal belongings when you're out, with a £1,500 per item maximum. Sometimes, you'll have to declare individual items on your policy, especially if they exceed a certain amount.
Be aware that some policies only cover for incidents that occurred the UK while others offer worldwide coverage. If you are a globetrotter be sure to choose a policy that covers a wide geographical area and that may help you save money on travel insurance.
Expected Cost of Home Insurance Extras
|Type of Cover||Minimum||Maximum||Average|
|Accidental Damage (Buildings)||£7||£61||£24|
|Accidental Damage (Contents)||£13||£41||£28|
|Accidental Damage (Buildings & Contents)||£33||£102||£58|
|Home Emergency Cover||£25||£76||£48|
|Personal Belongings (£2k)||£15||£46||£29|
|Personal Belongings (£5k)||£29||£82||£47|
|Personal Belongings (£10k)||£37||£141||£81|
As always, be sure to read your policy's fine print. The information here is meant to provide a rough guide to home insurance extras.