Category: Home Insurance

Burglars use social media to target homes

These days social media platforms such as facebook and twitter have become ever popular and many people now see them as an extension of themselves to chat with friends, share views, sell their unwanted items, advertise events or businesses and make new friends.
This social revolution has not only changed the way we interact with one another but also how we share information about ourselves. There are plenty of positives to be gained by doing this like meeting up with long lost friends, finding out about local events and who is attending or just meeting people that have similar interests.

Burglars use social media to target homes

There are however some dangers to the use of social media and users can be left vulnerable without realising it. Social media has opened the doors for people to tell the world about themselves, who they are, what they like and what they are doing. There are many people who enjoy reading and sharing this information for honest reasons but there are also a few out there who use social media as a resource for gathering personal information with the intentions of criminal acts.
People love to write about what they are doing, where they are going and in particular when they are away on vacations. I often get face book posts from friends on holiday showing off a picture with them and their family enjoying themselves in some resort, somewhere hot and sunny whilst the rain hammers down in England.
Social media has however gained the interest from thieves and now burglars use social media to target homes. They  use the information to target people by following posts to find out where they live, when they are on holiday and how long they are away for. Many users on facebook accept friend requests from people they have never met and allow them to read their non public posts. Options in facebook, twitter and google+ allow users to share their location whenever they post something and because they can be posted in almost real time, thief’s know when and where they are at anyone point in time.
Web mapping services such as google maps can provide additional information to thieves and help provide a blue print on properties to plan ahead.

Take Action

When sharing personal information it is important to be careful on what information you share and with whom. Be careful who you allow as a friend and / or what information you post about yourself online. If you go on holiday and wish to share photos or keep an online diary of your travels it is advisable not to post this real time or even better wait till you return home before you share it. Many mobile devices now carry location services so be sure to switch them off as well and ensure that your children take the same precautions because their online activities are equally attractive to thieves.
Of course thieves aren’t just looking for opportunities when people are away on holiday but rather simply just when they are away from the property, vacations are ideal because the whole household tend to go away but with every member of a household now connecting to facebook and these accounts naturally all being connected through ‘friends’ its possible to build up an idea of the activity for that property through details and posts such as where and when they work or regular day to day activities. The more information about themselves a person posts the clearer the picture about them and those around them becomes, for example dad is a travel rep, mum works as a secretary for a local solicitors (or the other way round) and the kids are at school and then picked up afterwards by gran and then collected by mum or dad after work, Monday to Friday. Comments and posts however small and insignificant over a historical timeline and across connected accounts can be used collectively to determine personal activities of a household the same way a points card used by supermarkets collects details on peoples buying habits.
Platforms like face book have become very popular quickly and revolutionised the way we interact not just with other people but with technology itself. As social media and technology integrates and evolves with new services and opportunities to share information it is important to remain astute and be aware of the potential pitfalls because professional thieves can be savvy and don’t need much to see an opportunity.
There are of course other measures you can do outside of social media to help prevent opportunist thieves from detecting when your house is vacant, here is a brief dos and don’ts for when you are away:

• Don’t broadcast your holiday, as much as you want may want to tell the world of your much needed break the same advice applies just as on social media, the less people know the better.
• Get a house sitter or ask a trusted friend or neighbour to regularly check on the property. If they are able to share their rubbish with your bins and put them in and out on collections days. Turn lights on and off in the evenings and the telly or radio, whilst shutting the curtains. This is of course subjective to what they would be willing to do but if you offer the same service in return then the old saying ‘what are neighbours for’ gains a bit more value!
• Cancel newspapers and redirect mail if possible. If people can visibly see mail and newspapers mounting up then this is a good indication the house hasn’t been vacant for a while. If you have a trusted neighbour or friend who checks on the property while you are away then have them collect the post and move it to a different part of the property, that again isn’t on view- unopened letters and a stack of newspapers on a table is just as evident. Also it is better to cancel newspapers than to put your deliveries on hold.
• Use timers on lamps in the house that switch on and off in the evenings and that are visibly on through windows.
• If you have a drive way then keep a vehicle on there, if not then ask if a trusted neighbour would be willing to park their vehicle there.

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Home Insurance

A house requiring a home insurance quote
Get a home insurance quote from Highhouse

Key Home Insurance Benefits

  • Get a Home Insurance quote with instant no claims discount.
  • Only pay for level of cover needed.
  • Personal possessions, accidental damage and family legal protection optional.
  • Buildings and Contents Values Indexed linked at no extra cost for the first year.
  • Includes public liability cover upto £5,000,000 as standard.
  • Speak directly to UK staff for all sales, services and claim lines – No automated phone service.

Here at Highhouse we offer comprehensive Home Insurance cover that can be tailored to meet your specific needs and can give you a Home Insurance quote (UK) based solely on the information you provide us on a bespoke basis. We can give you an Insurance quotation that is competitive with other online insurers and we aim to keep our rates consistent year-on-year. Home Insurance can be extended to include Accidental Damage and family legal protection. We are also able to extend beyond our standard level of cover for personal possessions and valuables for added peace of mind. 

Below is a brief summary of cover available for standard House Insurance:

Buildings cover also includes:-

  • Loss of rent due to you and temporary accommodation costs up to 20% of the sum insured for buildings
  • Increased domestic metered water charges up to £750 in all following an escape of water
  • Up to £2,500 to find the source of leaks that are damaging the buildings

Contents cover available also includes:-

  • Property in the open up to £2,500
  • Temporary removal to certain other premises in the United Kingdom for up to 20% of the sum insured
  • Accidental damage to televisions, audio and video equipment including radios, DVD players, video recorders, home computers and satellite decoders
  • Rent you have to pay and temporary accommodation costs up to 10% of the sum insured following a claim
  • Replacement of locks following theft or loss of keys up to £250
  • Increased domestic metered water charges up to £750 in all following an Escape of Water
  • Your legal liability for accidents to domestic staff up to £5,000,000
  • Domestic freezer contents up to £250
  • Office equipment in the home up to a maximum of £5,000
  • Up to £2,500 of cover for your family whilst at university/college


Holiday Home Insurance

Key Holiday Home Benefits

  • Tailored Holiday Home Insurance and Second Home policies.
  • We will only cover you for what you need with no gimmicks to push premiums up.
  • Very competitve rates with options to pay monthly by direct debit.
  • Speak directly to staff – No automated phone service.

Second Home Insurance

The nature of holiday homes and second homes means that their insurance requirements are also different and need a tailored insurance package. Risks are naturally greater with a higher chance of theft, vandalism or escape of water. It is important when insuring a property to state that it is used as either a holiday home or second home otherwise this can invalidate your insurance.

Buildings Insurance

Building in UK
Buildings Insurance for the UK

Buildings insurance covers the structure, fixtures and fittings such as the walls, roof, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, bathroom suites and fitted kitchens, generally speaking anything fixed to the property. This may also include outdoor buildings, fixtures and fittings such as garages, sheds, greenhouses, boundary walls. This is not standard to all insurers so please check with them to ensure they offer the level of cover you require.

Assessing the buildings sum insured for house building insurance
When assessing how much your building sum insured should be, this should NOT be based on the market value of the property but rather the rebuild value of the property itself. Market value includes the cost of the land which in proportion to the value of the building can vary greatly and Insurance policies take all types of risk into account.
For building insurance usually the highest risk is a complete property rebuild. The land proportion of this is very rarely affected and it is often far cheaper to completely rebuild the property, therefore it is advisable to make sure you have a sufficient buildings sum insured to cover the rebuild cost of the property. When assessing the rebuild value there are a number of ways this can be obtained:

1. The first is on your home survey/ buyers report when you purchased the house, however if this is a few years old then the rebuild value should be reassessed. If you have just purchased your home then the rebuild value should be on your mortgage valuation.

2. Get a chartered surveyor to produce a report for you.

3. Use an online home insurance buildings calculator. The Association of British Insurers has an online calculator in association with the Building Cost Information Service ( It is also important to remember that whenever you have an extension or work done to your property that increases the building sum insured such as an extension, that you incorporate this into your buildings cover. You should also notify your insurer whenever you have any structural work done so they can advise whether this will affect your policy during or after work being done on your property. If insurers are not made aware of an extension such as an extra room being added then your insurance may cover you should you need to make a claim.

Should you require buildings insurance then Highhouse can provide you with a free quote and we offer discount when you combine your buildings and contents covering all the usual perils as well as accidental damage. Our own property policies are underwritten at Lloyds of London and  we issue our own polices “in house” noting lenders interests if required and we can have you on cover, with the documents over to you, your solicitor or lender, in most cases on the same day.

What is home insurance

Pic of home to help illustrate what is home insurance and what does home insurance cover
What is home insurance

What is Home Insurance

Household Insurance, although not a legal requirement is one of the most important expenses any house owner should incur. So what is home insurance? The range of perils and liabilities a Home Insurance policy covers in proportion to the annual premium paid offers the best ‘value for money insurance policy’  and should never be overlooked.

The ultimate cost of not having Home Insurance in place is that you lose everything! A house fire or flood can destroy a lifetimes worth of saving, security and personal belongings in just a few hours without warning. Household insurance policies often include, as standard, legal liability to protect against damages from an accident at the property resulting in bodily injury to someone or damages to their property that you may become liable for. If you have a mortgage or loan on the property, to protect their financial interest the lender will often require you to have buildings insurance in place for the duration of the loan and with their interest noted on the policy as well.

What does home insurance cover?

A good home insurance policy will cover, permanent structures, land you own and offer the option to add contents and other all risks cover.

Standard benefits should include cover against:

  1.  Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Earthquake
  2.  Aircraft and other flying devices
  3.  Storm, Flood or Weight of snow
  4.  Riots, Strikes and Malicious damage or behaviour
  5.  Subsidence or Heave of the site or Landslip
  6.  Theft or attempted theft
  7.   Collision by vehicles or animals
  8.  Falling trees, Lamp-posts or Telegraph poles
  9.  Escape of water from fixed water tanks, apparatus or pipes

When going through questions with an insurer before taking out a policy you should be open, honest and answer all questions in full. For example, you will be asked whether the property to be covered has ever had subsidence, landslip or heave. If you have experienced any of these you should disclose this to the insurer otherwise the insurance could become invalid.

Within our set of home guides we offer advice on how to reduce your home insurance by highlighting some of the factors that insurers take into account when accessing the risk of a property or tips on how to obtain cheaper house and building insurance by combining buildings and contents or increasing voluntary excess.

If you require a home insurance quote then Highhouse can quote for standard home insurance, listed building, thatched roof or flats (including blocks) and tenement flats in Scotland.

Our  policies offer cover for both buildings and contents against standard perils as well as accidental damage should you require it and you only pay for the level of cover needed. Discounting is also available for no claims, combining both your buildings and contents or if you take out several policies with us. To contact us for a quote call us directly on 01243 606552 or fill in our quote form and we will contact you to discuss your requirements and provide a free quote.

Highhouse Home Insurance Definitions

Insurance definitions used in word cloud
Insurance definitions

Home Insurance Definitions

Wherever the following words appear in this insurance they will have the meanings shown below.

You / your / insured The person or persons named in the schedule and all members of their family who permanently live in the home.

We / us / our Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s.

Schedule The schedule is part of this insurance and contains details of you, the premises, the sums insured, the period of insurance and the sections of this insurance which apply.

Endorsement A change in the terms and conditions of this insurance.

Period of insurance The length of time for which this insurance is in force, as shown in the schedule and for which you have paid and we have accepted a premium.

Standard construction Built of brick, stone or concrete and roofed with slates, tiles, metal or concrete.


  • the home and its decorations
  • fixtures and fittings attached to the home
  • permanently installed swimming pools, tennis courts, drives, patios and terraces, walls, gates and fences and fixed fuel tanks you own or for which you are legally liable within the premises named in the schedule.

Premises The address which is named in the schedule.

Home The private dwelling of standard construction and the garages and outbuildings used for domestic purposes at the premises shown in the schedule.

Bodily injury Bodily injury includes death or disease.

Sanitary ware Washbasins, sinks, bidets, lavatory pans and cisterns, shower trays, shower screens, baths and bath panels.

Occupant you or persons authorised by you to stay in the home overnight.

Contents Household goods and personal property, within the home, which are
your property or which you are legally liable for.
Contents includes:

  • tenant’s fixtures and fittings
  • radio and television aerials, satellite dishes, their fittings and masts which are attached to the home
  • property in the open but within the premises up to £250 in Total (other than radio and television aerials, satellite dishes, their fittings and masts which are attached to the home)
  • money and credit cards up to £300 in total
  • deeds and registered bonds and other personal documents up to £1,500 in total
  • stamps or coins forming part of a collection up to £1,250 in total
  • gold, silver, gold and silver plated articles, jewellery and furs up to 35% of the sum insured for contents (10% of the sum insured for contents for any one item) within the private dwelling
  • domestic oil in fixed fuel oil tanks up to £1,000
  • office equipment up to £5,000 or 20% of the sum insured for contents whichever is the less, within the home

Content does NOT include:

  • motor vehicles (other than garden machinery) caravans, trailers or watercraft or their accessories
  • any living creature
  • any part of the buildings
  • any property held or used for business purposes other than as defined under office equipment
  • any property insured under any other insurance.

Office Equipment Computers and home office equipment belonging to you and used in
conjunction with your business at the home.
Office equipment does NOT include:

  • loss of magnetism or corruption of data
  • compensation for you not being able to use the computer or any equipment following loss or damage
  • equipment more specifically insured by any otherinsurance.
  • the cost of reconstituting any lost or damaged data
  • any business stock or money held for business purposes
  • equipment being confiscated or repossessed
  • loss or damage to computer software, software tapes / discs / CD Roms and any data stored

Valuables Valuables includes

  • jewellery
  • furs
  • gold, silver, gold and silver plated articles
  • pictures.

which are your property or which you are legally responsible for.

Personal possessions Clothing, baggage, sports equipment and other similar items
normally carried about the person and all of which belong to you
Personal possessions does NOT include:

  • money and credit cards
  • pedal cycles.


  • current legal tender, cheques, postal and money orders
  • postage stamps not forming part of a stamp collection
  • savings stamps and savings certificates, travellers’ cheques
  • premium bonds, luncheon vouchers and gift tokens all held for private or domestic purposes.

Credit cards • credit cards, charge cards, debit cards, bankers cards and cash dispenser cards

United Kingdom The ‘United Kingdom’ will include England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, and journeys between these countries.

Europe ‘Europe’ will include:

  • all Mediterranean Islands;
  • all countries with a Mediterranean shoreline;
  • the Canary Islands;
  • Madeira;

and journeys between these countries.

Terrorism any act(s) of any person(s) or organisation(s) involving

  • • the causing, occasioning or threatening of harm of whatever nature and by whatever means
  • • putting the public or any section of the public in fear in circumstances in which it is reasonable to conclude that the purpose(s) of the person(s) or organisation(s) concerned are wholly or partly of a political, religious, ideological or similar nature.

Excess the amount payable by you in the event of a claim.

Highhouse Insurance/Highhouse The insurance intermediary that arranged this insurance on your
behalf and to whom all correspondence should be addressed.

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