Are you making this home insurance mistake when moving home? Expert explains why it's important to avoid it

Property expert explains how not to make costly insurance mistakes while moving house

Home insurance is essential when you buy a home, and yet many home buyers don't know much about the correct process of taking out home insurance when moving home. With the property market in the UK at its busiest and most competitive in years, many home movers find themselves in a rush. However, as Max Whiteford, Chief Product Officer of Moveable, explains, not making the necessary home insurance arrangements in advance of moving can leave your home un- or under-protected and create problems with your insurer.

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The home insurance mistake you're probably making when moving

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Whiteford especially emphasises the importance of sorting out your building insurance well in advance. The mistake in not doing so is that home owners end up taking whatever deal they can at the last minute, but under-insuring themselves to keep the costs down. It should actually be the other way round to ensure you are completely covered, but this needn't cost too much: 'Premiums are at an all-time high, so make sure you look for the best deal. You will need to work out how much cover you will require – this is based on the cost of replacing the entirety of your new home. Many people under-insure themselves, so make sure you include everything, from carpets or flooring, to the contents of your new garage, to the kitchen sink.'

The importance of thinking ahead

Another mistake many people are making is only looking into their home insurance after they've moved. Actually, 'insurance for buildings cover needs to start on the date contracts are exchanged, which is often before you move in. You can of course transfer insurance from your current address to your new home, but you’ll need to check with your insurer first. As premiums are based on the postcode and property type, inform your insurer of your new address and details of your home as soon as possible.' Not transferring the insurance ahead of the move could expose you to not being covered if something happens to the new home before you've even moved in.

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If there's an overlap between you taking ownership of your new home and moving out of the old one, both homes will need to be insured during this period: 'A lot of policies will cover your old property until you move into a new one, but again you’ll need to check this with your insurer.'

Related: Martin Lewis reveals the best time to renew your home insurance for big savings

Don't forget about covering the move itself

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(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Finally, don't forget about contents insurance, and you will need to check your insurer's policies ahead of time in this case too. As Whiteford explains, 'Contents that you’re moving to your new home are often covered by your home insurance – but only if you use a professional moving company. Some insurers will not cover contents while they are in transit at all, so you may need to take out additional cover.'

Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.