Your guide to first time home buyer insurance from Jersey Mutual
What insurance do first time home buyers need in Jersey?
Buying a house for the first time is one of life’s most exciting milestones and Jersey is an ideal place to start your journey as a homeowner. Your first property is one of the most significant investments you will ever make, so it is important that it is protected should the unexpected happen. There is a huge choice of home insurance policies and providers, and researching them can be laborious and confusing. First time buyers often come to us for advice on precisely what is required.
Mortgage lenders may insist on buyers taking out buildings insurance. Contents insurance is also strongly recommended.
Once your offer is accepted on your dream home it is important to think about insurance and research the different types of cover available, so that you secure the best protection for your new property. With the right home insurance policy in place, you can rest assured that you are protected if the worst happens, and settle happily into your new home.
Can I buy a house in Jersey?
In order to protect the Jersey housing market for the benefit of long-term residents, there are strict regulations governing who can buy residential properties. As a first time buyer, you must fall into one of the following categories to buy a home in Jersey:
- ‘Entitled’ You have lived in Jersey for ten or more consecutive years. Those with ‘entitled’ status are free to purchase any type of property on the island either to live in or to rent. This includes assisted purchase properties, such as those restricted to first time buyers.
- ‘Licenced’ You are employed or own a business in Jersey. As a ‘licenced’ individual, you can purchase all types of property – with the exception of assisted purchase properties, if you wish to keep your ‘licenced’ status.
- ‘Entitled for work’ You have worked in Jersey for the last five consecutive years, or are married to someone with ‘entitled’, ‘licenced’ or ‘entitled for work’ status. If you fall under this category, you are free to purchase property with a spouse or civil partner.
For more information on residential rights and first time buyer perks in Jersey, visit the States of Jersey website.
What are the different types of home insurance available?
When considering home insurance, it pays to be as discerning as you were in choosing your home itself. Policies and providers differ in cover, cost and quality, so make sure to do your research and find the right policy for you and your property.
Most commonly, a home insurance policy comprises of buildings and contents insurance, either alone or combined. Here is a useful overview of insurance covers that all first time buyers should consider.
In the unfortunate event that your new home suffers structural damage, it is a comfort to know that your insurance policy will cover the cost of repairs. Buildings insurance protects you against damage to the structure of your home, ie. the walls, roof, windows and floors. It also covers repairs to your permanent fixtures and fittings, such as your kitchen and bathroom suite, although contents insurance is required to cover freestanding appliances.
Cover varies depending on the policy, but you can typically expect buildings insurance to cover damage from fire, smoke, storms, malicious damage, escape of water, and subsidence.
If you own a freehold property that you own outright without a mortgage, buildings insurance is not a legal requirement in Jersey. However, considering the financial impact of repairing your home, perhaps from scratch, it is easy to see why the vast majority of property owners invest in buildings insurance.
While buildings insurance is widely considered essential, a home is, of course, so much more than bricks and mortar. It costs a lot to furnish a house and some possessions are worth the equivalent in sentimental value. If you are recently married and have received wedding gifts to furnish your new home, it would be heartbreaking if they were damaged or stolen.
Your treasured possessions, referred to as ‘contents’ in insurance policies, deserve protection. In the context of contents insurance, ‘contents’ include all possessions that are unfixed, for example, furniture, electrical equipment, appliances, soft furnishing, collectibles, and even clothing. It is important when taking out a contents policy that you make an accurate evaluation of your possessions, so if you come to make a claim you can replace them comfortably.
Most contents policies insure against damage or loss from a number of events including fire, smoke, storms, flood, theft, malicious damage, falling trees, escape of water, and subsidence. In the event you need to make a claim, Jersey Mutual will replace your goods on a new for old basis.
Contents insurance is not a legal requirement in Jersey, but you should give careful thought to how you would manage if your furniture or other possessions were stolen or damaged. As buildings insurance alone does not cover your personal belongings, and vice versa, it is generally better to buy a combined home insurance policy to give you the peace of mind you need when starting out on the property ladder. All aspects of this cover are included within Jersey Mutual’s House and Home policy.
High net worth insurance
If you are purchasing a high value property over £1,000,000, coupled with high value contents and personal possessions, then you should seek specialist high net value insurance cover, such as Jersey Mutual’s High Net Worth Sovereign policy.
How much is home insurance?
The cost of your home insurance premium, ie. the amount you pay for your cover, depends on a number of factors:
- Policy type, level of cover and excess If you opt for comprehensive buildings and contents insurance policy, it will naturally be more expensive than a buildings insurance policy alone. The cost will also vary depending on if a voluntary level of excess is available (ie. the amount you are required to contribute towards a claim).
- Property type, age and size Larger homes will naturally attract higher premiums. Older and listed properties will require a higher rebuild sum insured, due to the estimated increase in the cost of repair. There are many useful online tools to help you calculate the level of cover you require based on the characteristics of your property.
- Value of possessions If you opt for contents insurance, then your cover will be determined by the value of the things you own, like furniture, electrical goods, and decorations. Like buildings insurance, there are useful contents value calculators to make sure you accurately work out the sum of your possessions.
Home insurance for first time buyers with Jersey Mutual
If you are a first time buyer in Jersey, then Jersey Mutual can offer valuable advice and support when insuring your first home. We have specialised in insuring Jersey residents for over 150 years and have a deep understanding of the local market, so you couldn’t be in better or more trustworthy hands.
We understand that buying a house for the first time can be as daunting as it is exciting, and we can provide you with a level of personal care to guide you through taking out your first home insurance policy. We do not use brokers so you can be assured of the best premiums available. If you need to make a claim, you will not encounter stalling tactics, delays or phone queues, just a genuine desire to handle your claim and to make your house a home once more.