Protect This House: The Value of a Building and Contents Policy

HBF home and contents insurance policies are intended to make your return to normalcy easier in the event of a fire, burglary or other adverse event. Building insurance covers damages to your dwelling structure itself, such as the walls or roof, while contents insurance protects all your valuable possessions in case of disaster. Although building insurance and contents insurance are most often separate policies, many insurers offer them jointly.

Your contents insurance covers your physical goods such as computers, gaming systems and other electronics. A standard policy will include a single-item value limit which you should review to ensure it is adequate to replace your most expensive goods. Consider purchasing additional coverage for especially valuable items. Contents policies also include a total property value in case everything you own is destroyed. Some providers also offer “old-to-new” options for their policies to ensure that your new life after the disaster will not have to be built with secondhand items.

Different policies provide different levels of coverage, but you’ll typically be insured against fire, fraud and theft with a standard policy. Accidental damage claims do not qualify for coverage under the majority of standard policies, but additional protection can usually be added on to your policy to protect you from your own incompetence or that of those you love.

Although contents insurance provides comprehensive coverage for items located in your home at the time of damage, it usually becomes invalid if the item is outside your house at the time. Insurers frequently offer an add-on known as a personal possessions cover, which will replace that bracelet that slipped off on the ferry or insure your camera when a stranger decides to go sightseeing with it after you leave it on the table of an open-air restaurant.

There are a few things that your contents insurance does not provide coverage for. The actual structure of the building you inhabit is exempt and should be covered with a buildings insurance policy in case of fire or a particularly ambitious thief endeavoring to steal the foundation of your home. It does not provide protection for damages to your computer caused by a virus or normal wear and tear on your possessions, so don’t try claiming that laptop ravaged by adult website use or that worn-down old couch in hopes of getting a new one.

A building insurance policy covers the actual domicile, but only in conjunction with a contents policy does it truly protect everything your home is. Both are essential elements to a secure home insurance plan, and should be maintained to provide you protection against the unforeseen. After all, everything in your life cost enough the first time without buying it again.