John Lewis Home Insurance Review 2020

John Lewis Home Insurance Review 2020

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

Good for

  • Save 20% when you buy online
  • Covering pairs, sets and carpets (Premier and Plus plans)
  • Competitive, all around cover

Bad for

  • Monthly payments cost extra
  • Home Emergency cover doesn't cover replacing a failed/BER boiler
  • NCD protection on combined policies can't be split up (e.g., you have to buy for both Buildings and Contents)

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 ("Essential"), a mid-tier plan ("Plus") or their premium plan (aptly named "Premier"). The Premier plan costs more but in addition to higher coverage limits (unlimited buildings and contents cover, subject to some inner limits) also includes optional features like Accidental Damage, Garden Cover, Legal Expenses, Pedal Cycle, Personal Possessions outside of the home and Home Emergency Cover.

Regardless of the plan you choose, new customers can get a 20% discount when applying for a policy online—a savings of around £50 to £100 or more, depending on the plan, excess and your details.

Those interested in a buildings and contents policy should be aware that you can only buy NCD protection on the combined policy; that is, you can't split up NCD and buy it separately for buildings only or for contents only.

John Lewis home insurance is not ideal for making monthly payments since you'll be charged 21.1% APR to spread your premium payments over the year. Most people who can't pay an annual premium upfront would pay fewer interest charges by charging their insurance premium to a credit card, as the average credit card APR is less than 21.1% but this clearly depends on your individual situation. In fact, the representative APR on the Partnership Credit Card is only 18.9%.

Matching sets, suites and carpets are covered up to £10,000 on Plus and Premium plans, but not Essential. With this cover, 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).

Depending on the tier you choose, John Lewis home insurance may include or offer as optional additional cover features like Personal Possessions (e.g., when they're away from home), Accidental Damage, Home Emergency, Pedal Cycle, Garden and Family Legal. Limits for each section can be found below in the Policies section. For more complete details like full exclusions, please see the policy documents.

John Lewis Home Insurance Key Facts

  • Three plans to choose from: Essential, Plus and Premier
  • Essential: up to £400,000 for buildings and up to £50,000 for contents
  • Plus: up to £1,000,000 for buildings and up to £75,000 for contents
  • Premier: unlimited cover for buildings and contents; includes Accidental Damage, Garden Cover, Legal Expenses, Pedal Cycle, Personal Possessions outside of the home and Home Emergency Cover
  • 20% online discount for new customers

Extra Coverages

To enhance your home insurance cover, you can add Personal Possessions (i.e., cover for belongings away from home), Full Accidental Damage, Home Emergency, Family Legal, Garden Cover, etc. John Lewis's Premier policy includes many of these extra coverages.

Home Emergency Cover: Emergency advice and help with the cost of home emergency assistance. Also includes alternative accommodation if your home is uninhabitable.

Legal expenses cover: Legal assistance (including professional mediation) for issues such as personal injury, consumer protection, residential, employment and tax issues.

Personal Possessions: Cover for loss or damage to belongings you take with you when you leave the house, such as your laptop and credit cards anywhere in the world.

Pedal Cycles: Cover for your bicycles and their accessories at home or anywhere in Europe, Jordan, Madeira, the Canary and Mediterranean islands and those countries bordering the Mediterranean, and for up to 60 days worldwide.

Garden Cover: Protection against loss or damage caused by fire, theft, malicious acts or vandalism to plants, trees and contents such as equipment, furniture and barbeques.

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.

John Lewis Home Insurance Customer Complaints, Reviews and Ratings

According to Trustpilot, John Lewis is rated 3.6 out of 5. This is an average score, and just 43% of reviewers rated John Lewis Finance as "Excellent" and nearly as many (37%) rated their experience as "Bad". These ratings reflect 917 customers and represent 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:

"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 home insurance is very highly rated (4.6 out of 5) by nearly 2,000 customers on their website. These reviews seem to have been written immediately after purchase so reflect the sales team and value for money, but not claims or after-sales care. Here is a sample of customer comments, which are mostly good:

"My plea would be for JLP to look after existing customers price wise: you lost a satisfied customer two years ago due to a price hike."

"Have saved over £100 on my home insurance. Really pleased."

"Details of cover provided were easy to understand and most importantly so were the areas where no cover applied."

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 3 stars to 5 stars, depending on the type and tier of cover:

John Lewis Home Insurance Defaqto Ratings (out of 5 stars)BuildingsContents
Essential3 stars3 stars
Plus4 stars5 stars
Premier5 stars5 stars

John Lewis Home Insurance Price Comparison

We found that the top-tier John Lewis Premier home insurance plan costs nearly 2X as much as their bottom-tier Essential plan. This is not a surprise as Premier plans include a host of features that can cost close to £150 per year if they were added separately.

To see how John Lewis home insurance quotes compare to others in the market, we quoted sample policies for a 35-year-old policyholder living in a mortgaged, 3-bedroom semi who had made no claims in the past 5 years. Insurance quotes can vary significantly from day to day and according to your individual details, so please just use the following data for educational purposes only; your quotes may reflect a large degree of variation.

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 an excess from £100 up to £500. A policy with a higher excess will have a lower premium, as you can see in the table above, 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.

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

Here are estimated costs of add-on extras 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 ExtrasEssentialPlusPremier
Accidental Damage - Buildings£35.02£27.46Included
Accidental Damage - Contents£16.83£15.12Included
Garden Cover£19.77£29.44Included
Legal Expenses£14.47£14.47Included
Pedal Cycle (1 bike worth less than £300 on Essential and £1,000 on Plus)£10.29£16.59Included
Personal Possessions (up to £2,500)£16.40£19.97Included
Student Cover£44.05£43.80£44.60
Home Emergency£29.87£35.47Included
NCD Protection£16.93£20.63£28.98

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, mobile homes, frost damage, loss or damage if your home has been unoccupied for 60 days or more, damage by pets, subsidence (due to coastal or river erosion, settlement of newly made-up ground, faulty workmanship, etc.), 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.

  • 1. Loss or damage by pets.
  • 2. Contents cover doesn't include loss or damage during household removals to personal money, or fragile items like china, glass and pottery unless they were packed by professional packers.
  • 3. Theft of unattended bicycles in a public place is excluded unless locked to an immovable object.
  • 4. For policies including Personal Possessions cover, theft from a vehicle is only included if someone over 16+ years old was in the vehicle or the items were hidden from view in a locked boot or closed compartment and the vehicle was securely locked and force or violence was used to gain entry to the vehicle—note, the policy documents specify a "theft from vehicle" limit of £2k.
  • 5. Those who leave their homes unoccupied for more than 60 days at a time won't have cover for malicious people or vandals, theft or attempted theft or freezing of water, water or oil escaping, accidental damage

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.

Cover benefitsEssentialPlusPremium
Buildings Cover£400,000£1 millionUnlimited
Buildings Accidental DamageOption to include full Accidental Damage Cover including Trace and Access (£5,000)Limited amount as standard; full Accidental Damage is OptionalIncluded
Contents Cover£50,000£75,000Unlimited
Contents Accidental DamageOptionalLimited amount as standard; full Accidental Damage is OptionalIncluded
Valuables£10,000£20,000£40,000
Valuables single article limit (unspecified items)£3,000£3,000£3,000
Locks and keys£500£750Unlimited
Alternative Accommodation£60,000£115,000Unlimited
Personal Possessions (unspecified)Optional (up to £10k)Optional (up to £15k)£2,500 (may increase up to £25k)
Matching Sets Covernone£10,000Unlimited
Pedal Cycle CoverOptional £2,500Optional £5,000Included £5,000
Garden CoverOptional £5,000Optional £5,000Included £5,000
Home Emergency CoverOptional £500Optional £1,000Included £1,500
Legal CoverOptional £100,000Optional £100,000Included £100,000
Student Cover sum insuredOptional £5,000Optional £5,000Optional £5,000

FAQs

John Lewis home insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark’s Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1XL.
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.

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