It is also typically their most valuable asset and often something they work hard to maintain.
Therefore a good insurance policy which protects both the building and the contents is seen as vital by many, otherwise in theory a person can lose everything they owned thanks to a fire or serious break-in.
House insurance comes in many forms but most policies have similar elements and optional extras can also help somebody to avoid some of the more unusual or difficult situations.
Buildings insurance and contents insurance are two different forms of cover which make up the house insurance market.
The main difference is that buildings insurance covers the actual structure and contents cover is for what's actually in the home, normally meaning someone's personal belongings.
Not everyone will need both types and someone who rents out a home as a landlord will only normally need buildings insurance unless they have contents such as furniture in it, and people renting a property will not normally need buildings insurance.
Someone who lives in a home and owns it will typically need both types.
When contacting an insurance company for a quote somebody will often need to give a number of details about what they keep in the house and about the structure of the home if they are getting both types.
Starting with buildings insurance, someone may be required to tell the insurance company the main materials which were used to build the house and when it was built.
Insurers are also likely to enquire about flood risks and other factors.
All of these things are used to make up the cost of your premium.
Of course the value will also influence it as insurance companies are typically making a judgement as to how much or how likely is that they would have to payout.
Buildings insurance will often typically need to cover the cost of restructuring a house completely if it is damaged completely by fire or flood, for example.
Policies will often normally cover damage to a house caused by vandalism or subsidence, although many insurance companies will need a survey to be completed before covering subsidence.
Homes will also often be covered against earthquakes and third party damage, such as a van crashing into the side of your home from a nearby road.
Even debris falling from an aeroplane and hitting the home will normally be covered for.
However, there are some common exclusions which are normally war and terrorism damage.
Outside of the house a buildings cover policy may also need to be tailored to cover things like garages and greenhouses if appropriate, and some policies may or may not cover damage and vandalism to fences and exterior walls in a garden.
A contents insurance policy covers everything which you might take with you if you are moving house, to summarise.
It covers anything from your book collection to your bed, and guards against theft, fire and smoke damage, damage due to flooding, and may also include accidental damage cover, which would apply if you, for example, dropped a television and broke it while moving it.
The house insurance should cover both aspects adequately and up to a limit you feel comfortable with.
Overestimate how much the contents of your house is worth, for example, and you may end up paying too much.
Underestimate it and you could be left with a big bill for replacements following a burglary or flood.