For most people, your home is your most valuable possession - so it’s well worth spending some money protecting it. Home insurance is broken down into two elements - buildings and contents cover, which you can either buy separately or together.

Buildings insurance, which will be mandatory if you’ve got a mortgage on your property, protects you against any damage to the physical structures of your building, whether by fire, flooding or some other unforeseen event.

While contents insurance covers all the belongings inside your house – protecting you in the event anything is damaged or stolen.

If you rent, buildings insurance should be taken care of by your landlord. But you’ll still need to think about getting contents insurance. If you own your property, you’ll need both buildings and contents insurance.

Here are five steps to helping you get the very best value for money from your insurance.


Take a look at Fairer Finance’s rankings

Fairer Finance’s ratings help you understand which companies treat their customers well, and which could be doing more. When you’re buying insurance, you want the reassurance that your policy will pay out when you need it to. Our rankings help you find companies who have the happiest customers, helping you ensure that you get excellent value for money. Take a look at our tables before you head off to buy a policy.


Use a good comparison website

Once you know which companies are rated most highly by Fairer Finance, it’s time to compare prices. Enter your details into a comparison site, and when you get your results, look for insurers who have received a Bronze, Silver or Gold rating from Fairer Finance.


Don’t forget to check direct

Some insurers choose not to be on comparison sites. Ecclesiastical, NFU Mutual and Aviva, for example - all of whom are Fairer Finance ribbon winners - are not available on comparison sites. So if you want to get quotes from these companies as well, you’ll need to go to them directly


Keep your eyes open as you buy

Once you’ve committed to a particular product, make sure you’re clear on exactly what you’re covered for and what you’re not. Some insurers try to add in additional cover as you go through the buying process, so make sure you stop to consider whether you need this extra protection. Also be careful to pay attention to any excess on the policy – this is the amount of any claim that you’ll have to pay yourself. Some insurers will opt you into an expensive excess to lower the headline price of your policy.


Put the renewal date in your diary

Most insurers will try to push through a hefty price rise after you’ve been with them for a year. So it’s important that you make a note in your diary of your renewal date, and start shopping around again in 11 months time.