FTBs forgetting buildings insurance

Sarah Davidson

June 15, 2015

As a result, over a quarter of new homeowners who have bought their homes in the past five years don’t have any home insurance in place, leaving more than £1.5bn worth of property and contents currently at risk.

Of those who have taken out insurance and did budget for it, just over a tenth (13%) admitted to underestimating the cost of cover, with over one in ten believing that it would cost less than £100 a year to protect their home and its belongings adequately.

Despite first-time buyers investing in their new home, common insurance mistakes highlighted included not having any contents insurance in place, with two fifths of those questioned not taking out this type of cover.

Of these, more than a quarter said this was because they had run out of money (29%), almost a tenth said they were too busy to sort it out (10%) and more than a fifth didn’t think they needed it (24%).

The findings reveal a lack of understanding when it comes to the home buying process, as a third (34%) didn’t know that having buildings insurance in place when they exchanged contracts was a minimum requirement of a mortgage.

Despite a potential property-owner’s responsibility to have buildings insurance in place from the date of exchange, one in six admitted to buying their buildings insurance too late – at the time of contract completion.

More than half of first-time buyers have guessed information to obtain a home insurance quote yet surprisingly, almost a third of these did not bother to find out the correct answers and update their quote before actually purchasing the policy (31%).

Men were more likely to go back and provide their insurer with accurate information once they had checked their details (45% vs 37% of women.)

Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: “The research highlights not only a widespread confusion among first-time buyers of all ages when it comes to assessing the type of home insurance they require for their property, but it also demonstrates that too many individuals have an inadequate level of cover or are leaving themselves exposed by purchasing insurance too late in the buying process, or worse, not at all.

“As many first-time buyers are likely to have previously rented a property, their landlord will have taken care of their buildings insurance and therefore, they may not be aware of their responsibility to have this in place when becoming a home-owner.

“While buying a house is a stressful time, we would urge people not to overlook their buildings and contents insurance and to make sure they provide the right detail when obtaining a quote, as not doing this can invalidate a policy.”

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