John Lewis Home Insurance Review 2022

John Lewis Home Insurance Review 2022

Highly rated cover with good features from a household name, but customer reviews are mixed.

Good for

  • Competitive, all around cover
  • Ability to pick and choose cover
  • Covering pairs, sets and carpets
  • Strong Defaqto ratings

Bad for

  • Customer reviews mixed

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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In This Review

John Lewis Home Insurance Review: What You Need to Know

Is John Lewis home insurance any good? John Lewis home insurance is generally considered to be a solid option from a reputable company—highly rated by Which and Dafaqto and quotes are competitive, however their online customer reviews are a bit inconsistent.

With three tiers of cover, you can choose a budget option ("Bronze"), a mid-tier plan ("Silver") or their premium plan ("Gold"). The Gold plan costs more but includes higher coverage limits (unlimited buildings and contents cover, subject to some inner limits) as well as higher limits for alternative accommodation, valuables, business equipment, loss of media downloads and more.

There are a few nuances to John Lewis home insurance that we really like:

  • There's no added charge for paying monthly. That is, if you prefer to pay monthly then the annual payment is simply divided into 12 equal monthly payments, without any interest charges.
  • You can mix and match tiers for buildings and contents. This allows you to customise cover, for instance if you have a valuable home but less valuable possessions, or vice versa.
  • Some accidental damage cover is included as standard. But you'll need to buy the add ons for more comprehensive accidental damage protection.
  • Interesting add ons. To reflect present-day risks, you can now add cyber cover.

John Lewis has recently changed underwriter for the main policies from RSA to Great Lakes Insurance and re-jiggered the coverage. Plans appear to have improved as a result, with higher coverage limits, no charges for paying monthly, new extra like cyber and the ability to mix and match tiers across buildings and contents.

If you want any of the 'extra' coverages, you'll need to add these on top of your policy, regardless of the tier you choose. John Lewis home insurance offers as optional additional cover: family legal, personal cyber, gadget cover, bicycle cover, student cover, extended accidental damage and home emergency cover. Limits and more information for each section can be found below. For more complete details like full exclusions, please see the policy documents.

People often wonder how matching sets and carpets are covered. With John Lewis home insurance, matching sets, suites and carpets are in fact covered. This means John Lewis would pay for accompanying items to be replaced if one individual item of an original set (e.g., bathroom suite, three-piece suite or kitchen unit) is damaged. When it comes to carpets, if they can't repair a damaged section of carpet they'll replace the damaged section plus any attached carpet in the same area (say, up to a room divider or door).

John Lewis Home Insurance Key Facts

Three plans to choose from: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Remember, you can mix and match (e.g. Silver for buildings and Bronze for contents). For more details, see below.

  • Bronze: up to £400,000 for buildings and up to £50,000 for contents
  • Silver: unlimited cover for buildings and up to £100,000 for contents
  • Gold: unlimited cover for buildings and contents

Extra Coverages

To enhance your home insurance cover, you can add optional extras:

Home Emergency & Boiler Servicing Cover: Emergency advice and help with the cost of home emergency assistance, including an annual boiler service.

Legal expenses cover: Up to £100,000 for legal assistance for issues such as personal injury by visitors to your home, consumer protection, poor work by tradesman, and more.

Personal Cyber Cover: Up to £10,000 cover against cyber home systems damage, cyber crime, and cyber online liability.

Bicycle Cover: Up to £5,000 per bike/£15,000 max cover for your bicycles and their accessories at home or anywhere in the world.

Gadget Cover: An additional £10,000 of cover for your gadgets (max £2,500 per item).

Full Buildings Accidental Damage Cover: Cover for things like DIY accidents or putting your foot through a ceiling.

Full Contents Accidental Damage Cover: Cover for events like damage caused by knocking over a vase or unexpected damage to furniture.

Student Cover: Up to £5,000 of contents cover for family members studying and living away from home.

John Lewis Home Insurance Customer Complaints, Reviews and Ratings

According to over 2,500 customers via Trustpilot, John Lewis is rated 4.1 out of 5—an improvement from their rating of 3.6 stars a few years ago. This is a pretty good score, with 56% of reviewers rated John Lewis Finance as "Excellent" but 24% rated their experience as "Bad". These ratings reflect all of John Lewis Finance's products, not just home insurance. To learn more, we've scoured through hundreds of reviews to learn about common complaints regarding their home insurance product specifically. Here is some of what we found:

"Home emergency cover is not an emergency to them clearly!"

"We have insurance with John Lewis. We had a fire in our kitchen which spread to the Orangy lounge, study, dining room and smoke logged everywhere else. The initial telephone call was brilliant, but that's where it stops. Sedwidges were appointed and he said that will clean and that will clean, point to note is that the kitchen was burnt down, the orange totally destroyed etc etc. After he appointed a builder he tried to settle the building costs and contents for £21.1k, my kitchen cost more than that, the orangy another £15k. We appointed out own loss assessor which didn't go down well with Sedwicks. Apparently the house was still habitable which is wasn't no electric not one part of our home escaped damage. Whilst I understand costs have to be kept to a reasonable amount. Our loss assessors valued the claim at £105k. You pay insurance for a reason but like all insurance will try to rip off the policy holder. This is our home and to see this happen and see our children's rooms smoke logged is heart breaking. Seems these glowing reviews are based on price NOT claim based, therefore as far as I am concerned you are abusing this site"

"To save other people the extreme stress and trouble in dealing with a buildings insurance claim please avoid John Lewis insurance. We are three years into a subsidence claim and it still hasn't been resolved. The problem is all the responsibility is devolved to companies such as Crawfords and RSA who are not in any way up to the job. If you want to speak to anyone from John Lewis about it good luck! There is no-one that will have the conversation. It's really important you are aware of this because its so far from what you would expect from John Lewis service but is sold as if that's what you would get. Avoid."

"Shocking service for a simple claim—accidental damage to a computer... 8 weeks on from my initial claim I have got pretty well nowhere."

"We bought home insurance through John Lewis, and when we suffered accidental damage to our mattress and carpet, they sent their assessor out who agreed it would be covered. They sent us an email with the amount they would pay out and there were multiple conversations between us and them. When the moment came to settle, they changed their minds and refused to pay, even though we had already arranged for repairs as per John Lewis' instructions."

"We purchased legal cover through our home insurance with John Lewis... underwritten by RSA. In 6 months after accepting the legal case, we have not even had a letter of advice. In the contract it states this should be received within 5 days... We have complained to the company and they have upheld these complaints, but still we are wrangling to get representation. This is the company that John Lewis have chosen to provide their legal cover!"

"On-line access to home insurance account not working—but no message saying that and I have wasted so much time this morning trying to access. Hasn't worked for weeks, apparently, with no date when it is expected to be up and running again. Ridiculous and quite unacceptable."

John Lewis does earn high praise as well; to be honest most of the rave reviews tend to occur just after purchase so reflect price and sales staff. Here is a sample:

"I use JL for my car and home insurance because they are efficient and friendly. It is a pleasure to speak with them. The price is competitive but it is the quality of service that swayed my choice."

"I was looking for a quotation for home insurance for the new grade II listed property that my husband and I are buying. After having tried a few other companies for quotes and having to wait for ages on hold to speak to anyone I tried John Lewis. I did not have to wait for ages on hold to get through to a consultant and I found the consultant very helpful and informative. I am really happy with the service that I have received so far."

"I visited the site to arrange Home insurance and needed to telephone and speak with a real person as I had a few anomalies to discuss. I was put through to Kate Arnold, who proved to be extremely polite, knowledgeable and extremely efficient. She expertly guided me through the process always checking to make sure I understood what she was telling me. The whole process took about 30 minutes, but we covered everything. I was very impressed with her professionalism, so much so that I accepted the quotation for my buildings and contents insurance."

"We had a claim for a water leak on our John Lewis home insurance. The claim process was straightforward and the loss adjuster attended within a week. He produced a settlement figure within an hour. The process was transparent and very fair with a promise of further discussion if unexpected problems occur."

It's also useful to look at Defaqto ratings, which reflect how a product's features compare to market standards. John Lewis's home insurance ranges from 4 stars to 5 stars, depending on the type and tier of cover:

John Lewis Home Insurance Defaqto Ratings (out of 5 stars)BuildingsContents
Bronze5 stars4 stars
Silver5 stars5 stars
Gold5 stars5 stars

John Lewis Home Insurance Price Comparison

The NimbleFins team generated sample quotes for John Lewis home insurance to get a rough idea of prices, and see how the prices vary across the three tiers. To do this, we quoted sample policies for a 35-year-old policyholder living in a mortgaged, 3-bedroom semi with their spouse and one child and who had made no claims in the past 5 years.

We found that the top-tier John Lewis Gold home insurance plan costs around 45% more than heir bottom-tier Bronze plan. This is not a surprise as Premier plans include multiples of the coverage limits of the Bronze plan.

Sample Cost of John Lewis Home InsuranceBuildingsContentsBuildings + Contents
Bronze£91.62£40.40£132.02
Silver£122.13£53.90£176.03
Gold£131.27£59.24£190.51
chart comparing John Lewis home insurance premiums costs to market averages
Here's how John Lewis home insurance prices compare to market average premiums

John Lewis gives the option to choose a voluntary excess from £0 up to £500—this is in addition to the £100 compulsory excess. A policy with a higher excess will have a lower premium because you're committing to pay more towards any valid claims. While a lower premium is certainly enticing, before signing up for a policy with a higher excess be sure you'd be equipped able to pay the excess in the event of a valid claim. The sample quotes generated for this exercise used a £250 voluntary excess.

Please remember that insurance quotes can vary significantly from day to day and according to your individual details, so please just use this data for educational purposes only; your quotes may reflect a large degree of variation.

John Lewis Home (Buildings and Contents) Insurance Add-On Costs

Here are estimated costs of add-on extras generated for a mortgaged, owner-occupied, 3-bed property in an SN postcode. It can be useful to have an idea of the approximate cost of these optional features when you're deciding what cover to buy, but your quotes might be more or less than the figures here.

Estimated Costs of John Lewis Home Insurance Extras
Bicycles (£15,000 in total, max £500 each)£17.12
Bicycle cover including one worth £2,000£35.65
Gadgets (£10,000 in total, under £200 each)£2.22
Gadgets (including £1,500 laptop)£32.88
Accidental Damage Cover – Contents£20.89
Accidental Damage Cover – Buildings£32.94
Legal Expenses Cover£23.62
Cyber Cover£43.01
Home Emergency and Boiler Servicing Cover£158.29

John Lewis Home Insurance Notable Exclusions

Besides the usual exclusions like wear and tear, John Lewis home insurance exclusions include (but are not limited to) storm damage to fences or gates, frost damage, loss or damage if your home has been unoccupied for 60 days or more, damage by pets, etc.

A few exclusions stood out to us as particularly mentionable. You may want to keep them in mind if you go with John Lewis or as you're comparing different home insurance plans. It's always a good idea to read through the full list of exclusions in the policy documents as we've only mentioned some exclusions here and others may be more relevant to you.

  • Loss or damage by pets
  • Wear and tear
  • Defective construction or design
  • Deliberate loss or damage
  • Illegal activities
  • Rot
  • Pre-exiting damage
  • Homes unoccupied for more than 60 days in any insurance period (contact JL if this may be the case to ask about your options)
  • Fences & gates damaged by storm, flood, subsidence or falling trees or branches

John Lewis Buildings & Contents Insurance: What's Covered?

John Lewis home insurance protects against calamities such as fire, flood, storm, theft, escape of water, subsidence (depending on cause) and other similar causes. Here are the maximum cover limits for different types of claims:

Maximum Cover LimitsBronzeSilverGold
Buildings
Repairing/rebuilding a home £400,000UnlimitedUnlimited
Alternative accommodation £50,000£100,000Unlimited
Trace and access £5,000£5,000Unlimited
Locks and keys £500£750Unlimited
Contents
Replacing contents £50,000£100,000Unlimited
Alternative accommodation £10,000£15,000Unlimited
Valuables in the home£10,000£20,000£40,000
Business equipment£2,000£5,000£10,000
Tenants improvements £10,000£15,000£20,000
Contents in the open£2,000£3,000£5,000
Utility or fuel charges from accidental loss£500£1,000£5,000
Loss of media downloads£500£1,000£5,000

FAQs

John Lewis home insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE (UK branch) and HSB Engineering Insurance Limited (HSB). (They've recently changed underwriters from RSA.)
Your John Lewis home insurance will renew automatically if you pay monthly by direct debit. If you pay annually, you'll need to follow these steps to renew your home insurance.
To cancel your John Lewis home insurance policy call 0330 102 2742 or 01422 501 123.

Other Useful Information

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.

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