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Best and worst home insurance

By Simon Miller

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Finding the best home insurance should involve more than browsing a few price comparison sites for the cheapest premium.

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Video transcript

There are two types of home insurance. Buildings insurance, which covers the structure of your property, and contents insurance which protects everything inside it. How much you'll pay and the service you'll receive can vary significantly. So here are three steps to finding the best.

When buying buildings insurance, you'll be asked for your properties rebuild value not the sale value. The Association of British Insurers has an online calculator to help you work this out. For content insurance, you'll have to calculate the total value of your contents. If you overestimate either of these, you'll end up paying more than you need to. Never risk under-insuring yourself, though, or you'll be left out of pocket if you need to claim. Many policies have an upper limit for individual items. So if you own anything particularly valuable, make sure your policy covers it. If you own contents like bikes, protected while they are outside of the house, let your insurer know as not all policies include these as standard.

If you live in a flood risk zone, a listed building, or a house with a thatched roof, it can be hard to find affordable cover. However, there are specialist insurers who cater for people in these situations. The easiest way to find them is through price comparison websites. Look for fantastic customer service. There's not much that's more stressful than having to deal with the aftermath of a burglary, flood, or fire in your home. So it's a good idea to choose a home insurer with a track record of handling claims quickly and efficiently.

Our home insurance customer satisfaction tables reveal which insurers are best rated for customer service, transparency, and value for money by policy holders. Sign up to a trial with Which? to access all of our expert reviews and see which home insurance companies have awarded recommended provider status.

Our short video explains the three steps you should take in order to find the best policy for you.

Best and worst home insurance companies

Few insurers are good enough to be Which? Recommended Providers – they have to combine good cover with great customer service.

We scrutinised the standard contents insurance and buildings insurance policies of 31 providers, and combined our analysis with feedback from thousands of customers.

Each policy is rated on the key aspects of its cover to produce a Which? policy score, while our customer score is based on how the insurers were rated by customers.

We reviewed some of the biggest insurers in the market including: John Lewis, the AA, LV, Halifax, Direct Line, Aviva, More Than, Churchill, Legal & General and Axa.

To be a Which? Recommended Provider, an insurer must: 

  • be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • be available to the general public
  • have received responses from 30 or more customers in our customer survey
  • have received an average or above policy score (see table for current average score) and a customer score of 70% or above.

This review reveals which insurers came out best for cover and customer service, and which scored the worst. To access this review and thousands of others, sign up for a £1 trial. Or if you're already a member, log in to see our reviews.

Best and worst home insurance
Provider Customer service Handling queries and complaints Value for money Customer score Buildings score Contents score Total

Subscriber only content

- 75% 75% 73% 75%

Subscriber only content

70% 79% 73% 73%

Subscriber only content

72% 74% 72% 73%
Subscriber only content 70% 74% 76% 73%

Subscriber only content

67% 77% 83% 73%

Subscriber only content

- 74% 71% 74% 73%
Subscriber only content 68% 79% 75% 73%
Subscriber only content - 74% 72% 67% 72%

Subscriber only content

73% 71% 71% 72%

Subscriber only content

68% 76% 74% 72%
Subscriber only content - 64% 78% 77% 71%
Subscriber only content 66% 78% 71% 70%
Subscriber only content 59% 83% 79% 70%
Subscriber only content - 73% 68% 66% 70%
Subscriber only content 60% 76% 78% 69%
Subscriber only content 68% 70% 70% 69%
Subscriber only content 66% 71% 71% 69%
Subscriber only content 66% 76% 69% 69%
Subscriber only content 71% 66% 68% 69%
Subscriber only content 66% 72% 70% 68%
Subscriber only content 63% 76% 69% 68%
Subscriber only content 66% 70% 70% 68%
Subscriber only content - 67% 68% 70% 68%
Subscriber only content 65% 71% 66% 67%
Subscriber only content 65% 69% 69% 67%
Subscriber only content - - 61% 72% 73% 66%
Subscriber only content 62% 72% 68% 66%
Subscriber only content 65% 64% 60% 64%
Subscriber only content 61% 62% 67% 63%
Subscriber only content - 57% 70% 68% 63%
Subscriber only content - - 53% 59% 64% 57%
Average - - - 65% 71% 69% 68%

How we calculate the scores

Customer scores

The customer score is based on a survey of 5,115 general public respondents and are worked out using a combination of overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending the provider to a friend. If two or more brands show the same overall score, they are ranked to the next decimal place. Providers must receive a minimum sample size of 30 to be included.

Policy scores

The policy score is our assessment of the quality of standard cover comparing 35 elements of a buildings insurance policy and 49 elements of a contents insurance policy. Providers must receive a minimum sample size of 30 respondents to be included.

Total score

Total score is made up of 50% of the customer score, and 25% each of buildings and contents policy scores.

  • Last updated:  January 2017
  • Updated by: Jo Langenhan

Which? Limited (registered in England and Wales number 00677665) is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited (registered in England and Wales number 07239342). Which? Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Registered office: 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF.