Home insurance glossary of terms

To help you with your home insurance buying decision, we’ve created a dictionary of the most common terms you’ll see on example policy documents.

Standard cover

Alternative accommodation: Temporary accommodation for your family and pets if your home is not safe to live in following an insured event

Boiler and heating system cover: Covers the complete breakdown of your heating or hot water system, leaks or loss of water pressure within the boiler

Boiler emergency cover: Covers call out charges, labour, parts and materials to carry out a temporary repair to your boiler. There is no excess to pay when you claim

Buildings/Contents/Combined cover: For damage or loss caused by events such as fire, storm, flood, theft, escape of water, malicious acts and subsidence

Home emergency cover: Covers a temporary repair in an emergency. Cover for home security and pest infestation. Includes boiler and heating, drainage, electrics, roof, windows, doors and locks, and alternative accommodation.

Legal liability (tenants): Covers tenants for sums they are legally liable for

Occupier’s liability: Covers you for sums you and your family are legally liable for

Personal liability: Covers losses and damages sustained by third parties, along with related legal costs

Personal possessions cover: Covers individual items worth over a specified amount

Accidental damage

Accidental breakage of glass or mirrors: Covers accidental damage to mirrors or glass at home

Family legal protection: Covers legal costs for property, employment disputes, and personal injury claims

Full buildings accidental damage: Covers unintentional and unforeseen incidents such as smashing a window with a football or knocking a tin of paint over on a carpet

Glass and sanitary ware accidental damage: Covers replacing windows, glass in doors, toilets and washbasins if they are broken accidentally

Site clearance and building fees: In the event your home needs to be rebuilt

Plumbing/Water leaks

Access cover: Covers the cost of finding the source of a water, oil or gas leak

Plumbing frost damage: Covers water damage caused by burst or frozen pipes

Plumbing installation: Covers plumbing issues such as leaks, blocked drains, and blockages to sinks and toilets

Underground services cover: Covers accidental damage to underground drains, pipes, cables and tanks

Contents cover

Freezer food: Replaces frozen food if it becomes inedible due to a power failure

Locks/keys: Replacements if keys are lost or stolen

Matching pair/set/suite: If an item in a matching set, such as one unit of a fitted kitchen or part of a bathroom suite, is damaged, the whole set can be replaced

New for Old: Cover to replace damaged, lost or stolen items with brand-new products of the same value

Additional cover

Audiovisual accidental damage: Covers accidental damage to audiovisual equipment, fixtures and fittings at home

Bicycle cover: Covers bikes against accidental damage or theft

Celebration cover: Cover extra items (including food) stored at home during times of celebration, including weddings and religious festivals

Credit card cover: Protects against loss from fraudulent use of your credit cards by unauthorised persons

Digital information: Covers loss or damage of content you have legally downloaded

Garages and outbuildings: Covers garages and outbuildings against fire damage, flooding and most other unforeseen damage

Garden contents cover: Covers items you keep in your garden such as patio furniture

Garden plants: Covers plants, trees and shrubs damaged or lost in certain events, such as fire, lightning or theft

Office equipment: Covers items you would expect to find in a home office

University/student cover: Covers contents kept by you or your family when temporarily residing in student accommodation