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Insuring during a house purchase

Insuring during a house purchase

How to make sure your new home is properly insured the day you move in

One of the biggest mistakes home buyers make is to neglect arranging insurance for their new property in time. What many don’t realise is that it’s vital to arrange the cover so that it starts the day you exchange contracts, and NOT simply the day you actually complete and move in.

Exchange is as vital as completion for insurance

Exchanging contracts means that you’re legally bound to buy the home, with stiff financial penalties if it doesn’t go ahead on the agreed completion date. You may think “Well, I simply won’t complete if the house I’m buying burns down”.

However, any damage that occurs between exchange and completion is irrelevant in the eyes of the law: You still have to pay up, or face losing the 10% deposit (of the purchase price) which you hand over on exchange!

Sadly, each year some home buyers find to their cost that they’ve arranged insurance too late.They then have to pay up to correct storm damage which occurred between exchange and completion, for example, such as a roof collapsing, without any financial assistance from an insurer.

When to act

It’s sensible to check how much it would cost to insure a property, before you even agree a sale price, as it can be useful in highlighting potential pitfalls. The insurer might point out that the house is built on a flood plain, or has experienced subsidence, for example, which may or may not affect your decision making.

If you do continue with the purchase, you need to arrange home cover to start first thing on the date of exchange (usually around a couple of weeks in advance is sensible).

Cover for moving

It’s also worth checking if the cover you arrange also allows for any damage to your possessions on the move day itself, while they’re in transit. Many polices do, but some don’t, or at least they only cover a limited number of items as it’s so common for things to be damaged during a move.

Even then, if cover is provided, it will only be if a professional moving company is handling your things.

Call your insurer to discuss options

Call the insurer well in advance to discuss your options and what extra cover they may be able to provide (usually for a small additional cost). If you’re worried about your things while they’re being transported, depending on your insurer the only option may be to take out cover with the company you’re hiring to do the move. If you’re doing it via a man-with-a-van, or yourself and some mates in a hire vehicle, you’re on your own!

Policy Expert

We’re driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 20 December 2017