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Buying guide

Home Insurance policies vary in how much cover they provide and the price you pay for them.

Our Buying guide will help you find the policy to suit you.

Home insurance covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home, or replacing the contents in it if they’re damaged, lost or stolen. You can insure your building or the contents of your home - or both.

Home insurance is a term used to refer to both contents insurance and buildings insurance.

  • Contents insurance: covers the possessions in your home
  • Buildings insurance: covers the building, including any outbuildings such as sheds

Buildings and contents insurance can be sold separately. However, if you need to make a claim, having buildings and contents insurance from the same insurer helps to make the process easier.

Although home insurance isn’t usually legally required, many mortgage lenders will insist that you have buildings insurance.

What does buildings and contents insurance cover?

Buildings insurance generally covers your home against risks including flood, fire and subsidence.

Contents insurance will cover you against your belongings being stolen and some policies may cover you if something in your home is damaged by accident.

However, the policies vary greatly in detail and before you buy you need to look very carefully at the things the policy won’t cover.

How to value your home and belongings

Home insurance policies differ in the levels of cover they offer. If you choose a "sum insured" policy - which provides a specified level of cover to replace your contents and rebuilding your home – you’ll need to estimate the value of everything in your home as well as the cost of rebuilding it.

However, a number of companies - including John Lewis Insurances' Premier Cover – offer home insurance without this limit so you don't have to work out a particular amount.

Remember that buildings insurance needs to cover the cost of rebuilding your home - which is usually considerably less than its market value. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website has a useful guide with a rebuilding calculator.

Do you have any special items that you want to insure?

Home insurance policies usually include cover for valuable items such as jewellery, watches, works of art and paintings. However, many policies require you to specify items over a certain amount.

With John Lewis Home Insurance, our Premier Cover provides up to £3,000 cover for single items, and up to £40,000 to cover all your valuables. Any valuable worth over £3,000 needs to be individually specified. 

Our Specialist Home Insurance offers unlimited cover for single items with no maximum limit for total valuables. We also offer Specialist Contents Insurance for fine art and antiques.

If your home is unique - for example, if it has a large number of bedrooms or a thatched roof - a standard policy may not give you the amount of insurance you need.

John Lewis Specialist Home Insurance offers cover for non-standard buildings and construction types, including thatched or flat roofs, listed buildings and homes with more than six bedrooms.

Find out more about John Lewis Specialist Home Insurance

Many home insurance policies offer optional extras. These can include things such as:

  • Cover for personal possessions anywhere in the world                                 
  • Accidental damage to both buildings and contents                                                    
  • A 24-hour Home Emergency service that provides cover for labour and parts  

John Lewis Home Insurance policies can include these optional extras and more, as well as providing the service you’d expect from the John Lewis Partnership.

Read more

We have carefully selected Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc to underwrite John Lewis Premier, Plus and Essential Home Insurance.


Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility acceptance criteria apply.

John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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