We've ranked the top home insurance companies in the UK based on the quality of cover and independent reviews that take into account customer satisfaction and complaints handling.
Top home insurance companies 2018
- Direct Line – Home Insurance Plus
- Churchill - Home Insurance Plus
- LV= – Home Insurance
- John Lewis Finance – Plus and Premier
- Saga – Essential, Tailormade and Premier
- M&S Bank – Standard and Premier
- Tesco Bank – Home Insurance
- Age UK – Home Insurance
- RIAS – Home Insurance
- Barclays – Home Insurance
We have negotiated exclusive deals with a number of quality home insurers, find out more.
Hiscox and the best of the rest
Hiscox specialises in high-value properties and contents, and it has not been included in our new list because it did not receive a score in Which's latest ranking of home insurers. Which uses customer surveys and if there are not enough responses for a company they cannot be given a score.
You can get a quote from Hiscox here.
Hiscox has been awarded high scores from other review services, it provides a high level of cover and has received awards for its customer service.
More Than also offers comprehensive policies and only missed out on a place in our top 10 by a few points.
Aviva scores well for the comprehensiveness of its policies but has lower customer scores than the companies in the top 10.
Read on to learn about:
- The best home insurance companies
- Our home insurance offers and deals
- Why these are the best home insurance companies
- Compare three of the best home insurance companies
- What makes a good home insurance policy?
- What does house insurance cost?
- The best contents insurance
- Pros and cons of home insurance comparison sites
- How to get the right level of home insurance cover
- Specialist home insurance companies
- Best home insurance for flood risk areas
- Home insurance reviews
Our home insurance offers and deals
Bought By Many is making insurance fairer by using the group buying power of our members to negotiate exclusive deals with insurers.
Anyone over 50 can get a £60 voucher with our home and contents group for over 50s.
You can get a £45, £65 or £85 Amazon e-voucher with Neos - a new home insurer that provides customers with a smart tech bundle to protect their home. The offer is available when you buy buildings or contents insurance.
Why these are the best home insurance companies
The home insurance companies on our top 10 list all have high levels of buildings and contents insurance cover and many have received recommendations or awards from trusted organisations such as Which and YouGov.
John Lewis's Premier policy has unlimited buildings and contents cover, and includes a total valuables limit of £40,000 - a feature some insurers offer as an add-on.
It has received high scores from Which and Fairer Finance, which take into account factors such as customer happiness and complaints handling.
To come up with our list we used independent research into the quality of the cover and customer service home insurance providers offer.
First, we used an impartial financial services rating service that looks at the level of cover provided by insurers. All of the policies in our list have five out of five stars, which means they offer “an excellent product with a comprehensive range of features and benefits”. Note that John Lewis's Plus policy has 5 stars for its contents cover and 4 for its buildings cover.
Then we consulted ratings from Which, Fairer Finance and any awards the company has won. Fairer Finance rates companies for customer happiness, complaints handling, trust and transparency.
Our top 10 reflects the best-performing companies from each of those sources. It does not include specialist home insurance policies, but there’s information on specialist cover further down this piece.
Compare three of the best home insurance companies
- Direct Line Home Insurance Plus - Unlimited buildings cover and up to £100,000 of contents cover with a £4,000 valuable single item limit. Accidental damage included as standard. It can cover £50,000 for alternative accommodation and rent (under buildings cover), theft from outbuildings (£5,000), contents outside (£2,500) and up to £1,000 per bicycle. Home emergency is included as standard up to £500 for a call out and up to £250 for a replacement boiler. Get a quote or read our full review
- John Lewis Finance Premier - Unlimited buildings, contents and alternative accomodation cover. Accidental damage included as standard. £3,000 valuable single item limit. Theft from outbuildings (£5,000), contents in your garden (£5,000) and up to £1,000 per bicycle. Home emergency is included as standard up to £1,500. Get a quote or read our full review
- M&S Bank Premier - Unlimited buildings, contents and alternative accomodation cover. Accidental damage included as standard. £15,000 valuable single item limit. Unlimited theft from outbuildings or contents in your garden and up to £15,000 for bicycles away from home. Home emergency is an optional extra and can cover up to £1,000 of repairs. Get a quote or read our full review
What makes a good home insurance policy?
There are three main types of home insurance – buildings, contents, and buildings and contents combined.
If you live in a rented house or flat you don’t need to worry about buildings insurance, it is your landlord’s job to sort that out (you might want to make sure they have!). Contents insurance, however, is your responsibility. Owner-occupiers are likely to need both buildings and contents insurance. Click on the link to jump to the section on making sure you’re getting the right level of cover.
You can judge a policy by the amount it pays out for the core features of buildings and contents cover, how quickly companies pay out, how easy the claims process is and how much cover you’re getting for things like valuables, accidental damage or bike cover.
The best home insurance policies also include alternative accommodation for you and the inhabitants of your home if it needs to be rebuilt. But it can vary widely from company to company.
Both Direct Line and John Lewis Finance include pets in their alternative accommodation cover.
With contents insurance, it’s easy to set the level of cover to the value of your possessions, but it’s important to know how the content of your home is defined and what part of the policy covers it.
Some companies limit the value of any single item you insure (for example, items worth over £2,000 might need to be declared separately). These items are classed as valuables and there can be separate limits for individual items and the total amount of valuables you own.
Here are the contents limits for the top company:
John Lewis Finance Premier offers unlimited cover for ontents and up to £40,000 for valuables.
Age UK Home Insurance - Contents: up to £100,000; valuables: up to £50,000.
Hiscox and John Lewis Finance’s Premier policy offer cover for personal possessions, which includes items such as mobile phones and jewellery, away from your home. Other policies, such as M&S’s, offer it as an optional extra.
Bikes are often treated as separate entities in relation to home insurance. In fact, we have looked at the best home insurance for pedal bikes separately because there can be a lot to consider if protecting your bike is a priority.
Comprehensive policies will also provide some level of accidental damage cover for anything you might break or damage in your home. Cover levels vary but the best policies have no limit on claims.
They may also include home emergency policies, where they will send someone out to fix urgent problems such as a leak or broken boiler. This is a valuable part of home insurance and it's worth considering, even if it's an optional extra. Find out how to get one of the best home emergency policies for free.
Other than policy features, some companies aim to attract customers with special offers such as cashback, vouchers and discounts. While it’s not a good idea to choose a policy based on this alone if you’re torn between two insurers with similar products it can help tip the scales.
It is important to know exactly what is covered by your policy and to choose the most suitable cover for your home. That might not be the most expensive cover but it doesn’t mean you should go straight for the cheapest.
What does house insurance cost?
- According to ABI's update in May 2017, the average house insurance premium paid by UK customers for combined buildings and contents insurance is £297 per year, suggesting the cost may be falling as it was £309 in 2016 (source: ABI)
- For buildings insurance only, the average cost is £263 per year
- Contents insurance only costs £135 per year on average
- However, the AA says the aveage cost of combined buildings and contents house insurance was £161.75 in the first quarter of 2018
- You might pay more or less than that depending on a number of factors that influence the cost such as the size of your home and where you live
For more information check out our longer guide to the cost of home insurance.
The best contents insurance
We looked at the providers in our top 10 home insurance list to see which companies offer the best individual contents policies. Find out which came top in our guide to the best contents insurance.
Pros and cons of home insurance comparison sites
With the rise in popularity of comparison sites, many people simply look for the cheapest price when choosing a home insurance company, believing it to be the best deal. However, that is often not the case.
Comparison sites, such as Confused.com and Go Compare have their advantages – they make home insurance reviews much more accessible and transparent and they encourage competition between insurance companies, which in turn pushes premiums down.
However, this competition has led to some insurance companies creating cheap policies that place them at the top of the comparison sites' price-based lists, but these policies may not offer sufficient cover for many customers’ needs.
How to get the right level of home insurance cover
With buildings insurance, you need to insure your house for the amount it will cost to rebuild, which is likely to be different to its market value. It can be less than you expect because the market value of the property is often much higher than the cost of the construction.
You can use the free calculator provided by the independent Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) to work out the rough rebuild cost of your home.
For contents insurance, it is important not to under-insure; that is to buy a policy thats cover is lower than the value of your possessions. Many people simply under-estimate the value of everything they’ve built up over the years while others forget that some items, like inherited jewellery or collections, can increase in value.
To be safe, go through your house room by room, round everything up and don’t forget about smaller items, such as clothes and toiletries. They may not be worth much individually but if the worst happens and you have to replace everything in your house, you will be surprised how quickly it adds up.
It is possible to get separate, dedicated policies for high-risk, high-value items such as gadgets, watches and engagement rings. So it is worth comparing the cost, particularly since your home insurance no claims bonus would be unaffected if you claim on a different policy for a high-value item.
Empty homes – even if only temporarily empty – may not be covered by standard home insurance policies. Typically, if your home is left unoccupied for more than 30 days it may invalidate your policy. You can get a separate policy for unoccupied properties or holiday homes, but either way, be sure to tell your insurance company if no one will be living in your house for more than 30 days.
Specialist home insurance companies
We excluded a number of companies from our top 10 list because their cover is restricted to or targeted at specific sections of the population. For example, NFU Mutual caters almost exclusively to homes in rural areas.
Find out more about home insurance in flood areas and how Flood Re is helping, and what to do if you're refused a home quote because of your home or personal circumstances.
Another specialist insurance company we looked at but did not include in the list of the best home insurance companies is Covea.
Covea offers exceptionally high levels of cover for expensive and non-standard home contents, such as cycling gear, horse-riding tack, golf clubs and equipment, collections, and jewellery.
You can also get a quote from specialist insurers like CoverBuilder.
CoverBuilder has launched a service for people who rent their home on Airbnb. Find out more about home insurance for Airbnb hosts.
Best home insurance for flood risk areas
The government's Flood Re scheme has encouraged companies to offer more competitive premiums for homes in flood-risk locations.
See our article on Flood Re for a guide to the best providers for flood-risk homes.
Home insurance reviews
Learn more about the best home insurance companies and find out what their customers think by reading our expert reviews.
- John Lewis Finance Home Insurance Review
- Hiscox Home Insurance Review
- M&S Home Insurance Review
- More Than Home Insurance Review
- LV= Home Insurance Review
- Aviva Home Insurance Review
- Churchill Home Insurance Review
- Tesco Home Insurance Review
- Saga Home Insurance Review
- Home Protect Insurance Review
- Policy Expert Home Insurance Review
- Direct Line Home Insurance Review
- Endsleigh Home Insurance Review
- Allianz Home Insurance Review
- Debenhams Home Insurance Review
- Age UK Home Insurance Review
- The AA Home Insurance Review
- AXA Home Insurance Review
- Post Office Home Insurance Review
- Swiftcover Home Insurance Review
- Intelligent Insurance Review
- Halifax Home Insurance Review
- Hastings Direct Home Insurance Review
- Co-op Home Insurance Review
- Esure Home Insurance Review
- IGO4 Home Insurance Review
- Legal & General Home Insurance Review
- Covea Home Insurance Review
- Privilege Home Insurance Review
- Prudential Home Insurance Review
- Sainsbury's Bank Home Insurance Review
- Nationwide Home Insurance Review
- Zurich Home Insurance Review
- Admiral Home Insurance Review
- Swinton Home Insurance Review
- NFU Mutual Home Insurance Review
- Neos Home Insurance Review
- CoverBuilder Home Insurance Review
- Fresh Home Insurance Review
- Peacock Home Insurance Review