Bungalow Insurance

Bungalows are an extremely popular type of home, especially among older members of the community as they’re relatively easy to maintain and all on one level. Not only that, but they tend to hold their market value well. Research shows that in the recent property slump, the price of the average UK bungalow fell 9% less than a typical terraced house.

Cheaper to insure

And it gets better; they’re also generally cheaper to insure due to the re-build costs usually being lower than for a ‘normal’ home with the same number of bedrooms.

As with any property, buying the right type of home insurance is extremely important if you want to make sure you’re fully covered if your bungalow suffers damage or your possessions are lost, stolen or broken.

What home insurance is available for bungalows?

The type of insurance someone who owns or rents a bungalow needs is the same as for other homes. But before you compare home insurance quotes, it’s important to understand the cover on offer and what additional elements you might want to ‘add on’ to a policy which don’t come as standard with most.

Two main cover types: Buildings and contents insurance

The term ‘home insurance’ is used to describe a combined insurance policy which has two main elements: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Someone who owns their bungalow will generally need both buildings and contents cover, but they can also be bought individually. However, it’s nearly always the most cost-effective to buy them together in one combined home insurance policy.

Those who rent the bungalow they live in will usually only need contents insurance to cover the items they own and not the building’s structure, which is the landlord’s concern.

The level of cover depends to an extent on how much you want to spend, but there are a number of features which are common to most home insurance policies, and then additional elements can usually be added on depending on your requirements.

Buildings insurance

If you imagine being able to turn your bungalow upside down and gently shake it, everything that doesn’t move or fall out, such as the roof and walls, fitted kitchens and bathroom suites, is financially protected by buildings insurance:

  • If your bungalow is damaged and needs repairing, or completely destroyed and has to be re-built from scratch, buildings insurance should cover the cost.
  • Buildings cover financially protects you against the effects of, among other things, flooding, subsidence, storm and tree damage, fire, burst pipes and malicious damage.
  • The maximum level of cover you need should reflect how much it would cost to completely re-construct your home, including all materials and labour, legal and architectural costs. This isn’t the same as how much your bungalow’s worth if you tried to sell it.
  • Decent buildings insurance covers the main structure of your bungalow and also outbuilding structures such as barns, garages, sheds and garden walls. Cheaper policies may only cover the main building.

Who is, and isn’t, buildings insurance for?

Buildings insurance is for:

Those who own a bungalow, or any home, either outright or via a mortgage; it’s not legally required if you don’t have a mortgage, but it is if you do.

You shouldn’t need buildings insurance if:

  • Your bungalow is a leasehold property, in which case buildings cover is the freeholder’s responsibility, often arranged via a managing agent.
  • You rent the bungalow you live in, in which case cover is the responsibility of your landlord.

Contents insurance

Whether you own the bungalow you live in or rent it, your possessions need insuring against possible theft, loss and damage.

  • The ‘contents’ of your bungalow is essentially everything that you would take with you if you moved home, such as electronic goods, clothing, jewellery and sports gear, as well as fixtures and fittings such as carpets, curtains, cookers and white goods.
  • Contents cover financially protects your possessions from the effects of such events as theft, burst pipes, fire, storm and tree damage and flooding.
  • Transportable possessions including electrical items and gadgets such as tablets, smartphones, televisions, stereo systems, as well as antiques, furniture such as sofas and dining tables, jewellery, musical instruments, bicycles and clothing, are all ‘contents’.
  • ‘Fixtures and fittings’ including carpets, curtains, cookers, fridges, freezers and other white goods are all included under contents cover.

Who is, and isn’t, contents insurance for?

Contents insurance certainly isn’t required by law; it’s up to you if you want to financially protect your possessions. However, as Sainsbury’s Bank recently put the cost of replacing the average home’s entire contents at £55,000, it’s well worth having!

Additional cover you might want to add to your bungalow insurance

The policy elements given above come as standard with most home insurance policies, however depending on your insurance needs, you might want to add on extras so that you’re covered for all eventualities. These might include:

  • Away from home cover
  • Accidental damage cover
  • Legal insurance
  • Home emergency cover
  • Key and lock cover
  • Extra cover for specific, highly valuable items
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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.