What is Buildings and Contents Insurance?
You need to insure the building and your possessions.

Your mortgage lender will probably try to get you to take their own policy. Most people used to take these because life was tough enough without having to make dozens of calls to find a cheaper option.

Shop around and save yourself thousands by avoiding tie ins and bundling. This doesn't have to involve you trudging through the phone book.

Buildings and Contents Insurance Buying tips

Rebuilding costs are not the same as the market value of your home. Often they're less than half - for example they don't include the cost of the land.

You'll overpay if you get this wrong. But if you underestimate it you're in big trouble.

Ask your insurer's advice about this. The Association of British Insurers have a useful booklet called "House rebuilding costs". Tel 020 7600 3333.

Don't underinsure your contents and possesions. Even old furntiure etc will be expensive to replace. Too many of us regret having miscalculated when it comes to having to buy new things and finding how much we should have insured for.

Go through each room and list what you have. Be realistic about the replacement costs.

For high value items, antiques etc Get an independent evaluation.

Be wary of "blanket cover" packages which some insurers offer. These are based on the number of rooms. You may end up paying more than necessary.

Shop around for better quotes than your lender's offering and you could save thousands.

Basically as with all types of insurance: don't underinsure, don't overinsure and only get insurance that's relevant to your needs.