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Buildings insurance

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*Based on Confused.com data, January - March 2024.

**Single annual policy. New and former Paramount+ subscribers only who sign up at ParamountPlus.com. Subscription required. Auto-renews unless cancelled. 18+. Just Eat website account required, geographical exclusions apply. The year-round reward is provided by Greggs, and consists of one regular hot drink per month for a year, only available via the Confused.com app. T&Cs apply.

1Correct as of July 2024

What is buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance helps pay the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home if it's damaged or destroyed.

It covers your home's structure - the roof, ceilings, walls, and floors - and permanent fixtures like your bathroom, but not your home's contents. You'll need another type of home insurance called contents insurance to cover damage to your furniture, personal possessions, and other valuables.

Do I need buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance isn't a legal requirement like car insurance, but it can still be a good idea to have it in place if:

You have a mortgage

Most lenders will ask you to have buildings insurance in place as one of the conditions of the mortgage. This also applies if you own a freehold flat, or if you share the freehold with other flat owners in your block.

You own your home outright

Whether you buy buildings insurance is entirely up to you, but it can help make expensive essential repairs more affordable.

You're a landlord

Since it's your responsibility to pay for repairs to your property, buildings insurance is a good idea. Specific landlords insurance might be an even better fit, as it can help cover some of the other costs landlords face.

You're the executor of a will

If you’re dealing with a deceased person’s estate, you need to make sure any property is insured. If the property is empty you need unoccupied home insurance.

You probably don't need buildings insurance if: 

You rent

Maintenance and repairs are your landlord's responsibility. That said, it's worth considering tenants insurance to protect your home's contents.

If you own a leasehold flat

The building should be covered by the freeholder. Cover is usually arranged for the building as a whole, not just your flat.

What does buildings insurance cover?

Tick

Most policies cover damage to your home from:

Natural disaster

Your buildings insurance should cover you from disasters such as storms, flooding, fire.

Water damage

Damage from burst pipes or leaks should be covered by your policy

Subsidence

Damage caused by your home sinking into the ground should be covered

Fallen trees

If your home is damaged by a falling tree, building insurance can help cover the cost

Vehicle collisions, break-ins, and vandalism

Damage caused by vehicles, burglary and vandalism should be covered by your insurer

Garages, sheds and fences are usually covered too, though this can differ between policies depending on your garage. If it’s a separate building on your property, it counts as an outbuilding, but if it’s attached to the house it can vary between providers. If the garage is converted into another room of the house, it’s covered like any other room in the house.

As buildings insurance covers the whole property, it should also cover any renovations and extensions. But it’s important to tell your insurer if you’re making major changes to your property, to make sure you have the cover you need.

What our home insurance expert says:

"If you’re buying a house, your mortgage lender will often make buildings insurance a condition of the mortgage, as they want to protect the asset they’re lending against. But don’t assume you have to go with your mortgage lender's recommended insurer – you can often find the cover you need for less by comparing quotes."
Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at Confused.com
Home & lifestyle insurance expert Confused.com logo

What doesn't buildings insurance cover?

Cross

Many policies won't cover damage to your home from:

Wear and tear

General wear and tear to your property is unlikely to be covered by your insurer

Poor maintenance

Poor maintenance can affect future claims. For example, you wouldn't be able to claim if your roof developed a leak because it wasn’t maintained properly

Poor workmanship or negligence

While these aren't covered, you should be protected by your builder's liability insurance if they produce bad work

Renovations

If you didn't tell your insurer about work before you started, you're unlikely to be covered if something goes wrong

Pest infestations

Infestations from things like birds or insects that cause damage are unlikely to be covered

Frost to external pipes and brickwork

This is unlikely to be covered by your insurer

Rising damp

You wont' be covered for things like damp or condensation but you'll still need to tell your insurer if you have rising damp

 

Cross

Building insurance also doesn't cover:

An unoccupied property

Your property won't be covered if you didn't tell your insurer it is unoccupied

Your personal belongings

Your furniture, belongings, floor coverings and gadgets aren't covered by building insurance. You’ll need contents insurance for that.

Some providers exclude storm damage to sheds, greenhouse, fences and gates, so check the details of your policy before buying.

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Rewards from Sainsburys, Paramount+, Just Eat, Halfords and Greggs when you get a quote and buy through Confused.com

**Single annual policy. New and former Paramount+ subscribers only who sign up at ParamountPlus.com. Subscription required. Auto-renews unless cancelled. 18+. Just Eat website account required, geographical exclusions apply. The year-round reward is provided by Greggs, and consists of one regular hot drink per month for a year, only available via the Confused.com app. T&Cs apply.

How much does buildings insurance cost?

The average price of buildings insurance is:

£1872 

 


But the price can vary depending on your home's size, age and location. Larger homes and listed buildings cost more to insure. For example, insuring a Grade 1 listed building costs £5062, on average.

Similarly, homes in areas at higher risk of flooding are more expensive to insure. But the government has a scheme, called Flood Re, that helps make your insurance more affordable.

2Based on Confused.com data, January - March 2024.

How do I get cheaper building insurance?

You can keep the cost of your home insurance down by:

Not over-insuring

Only pay for the cover you need, over-insuring means you're paying over the odds for something you won't need

Explore policy options

Something like combined contents and buildings insurance is a good place to start. This is often cheaper than buying 2 separate policies

Pay annually

If you can afford it, pay annually. Insurers charge interest for paying monthly so you'll end up paying more if you spread the cost over the year

Compare quotes

Switching may be cheaper than renewing your current policy so make sure to compare as many quotes as possible

Make your home safer

Smoke alarms, a burglar alarm, and other security measures can lower your risk, make your home safer and lower premium costs

Build your no-claims bonus (NCB)

The longer you go without claiming and build up your NCB, the more of a no claims discount you usually get

Compare buildings insurance quotes

We compare up to 80 trusted insurance companies1 to get you our cheapest deal in minutes

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What do I need to get a quote?

To compare quotes, we'll need some details from you, including:

Number of rooms

How many bedrooms and other rooms your home has

Roof type

If any part of the roof is flat, and if so, what percentage

Listed building

If the building is classed as being of special national, historical or cultural importance

Flooding

How far the property is from water and if there's been any history of flooding

Subsidence

If your home has a history of subsidence or tree damage

Door locks

What type of locks the external doors have

Home security

If you have a burglar alarm and what type

Unoccupied home

If the property will be unoccupied for 30 days or more, your insurer will need to know

Date of purchase

The date you bought the property

No-claims bonus

How many years of no-claims bonus you have for buildings insurance

Previous claims

Details of any previous insurance claims you've made

Rebuild cost

If you're not sure how much this is, our rebuild guide could help

When your house was built

The year your home was constructed should be available on your title deeds

We'll use your details to compare buildings insurance policies from the 80 insurers we work with, and find a policy and price that suit your needs.

What optional extras can I add to buildings insurance?

Most insurers offer optional extras that you can add onto your policy to tailor it to your needs. These include:

Accidental damage cover

This covers damage caused by accident like mistakenly drilling into a water pipe or putting your foot through the ceiling

Legal expenses cover

Covers your legal costs if you have to go to court, for example because of a boundary dispute

Home emergency cover

Helps cover emergency repairs to your plumbing, gas, and electrics

Boiler breakdown cover

Boiler breakdown helps cover the cost of callouts, labour, repairs and even replacement if your boiler breaks

Alternative accommodation cover

This covers the cost of living somewhere else while you rebuild or repair your home

Some providers may include some or all of these as standard, so check your policy for the details of your cover

Why compare buildings insurance with Confused.com?

We're 100% independent

We're not owned by an insurance company so we'll always show you our best prices that are available at the time. No matter who they’re from.

Rewards

We don't offer freebies or gimmicks you’ll never use, instead Confused.com Rewards lets you choose one of four rewards each time you buy a home insurance policy. The choice really is yours.

FCA regulated

We're FCA regulated, just like the 80 home insurance companies we work with. This means that we have to follow strict guidelines in order to operate. So when you use our site, you know you’re in safe hands.

Our best deals

Our experts and consumer champions are dedicated to helping our customers find the best deal for their needs and budget.

What affects your home’s rebuild value?

There are several factors that influence your home’s rebuild value, including:

The age of your property

It can be more expensive to source materials that fit the style of an older home

The building materials used

Homes made of non-standard materials – something besides brick or stone – can cost more to rebuild

The location of your property

This may affect the cost of labour, or even how expensive it is to source and deliver the building materials needed

Flooding or subsidence

Risk of either means a much higher rebuild cost

If the property is listed

This usually makes the cost of rebuilding it much more expensive

The number of doors, windows and rooms

The bigger your home, the more it costs to rebuild

Types of home insurance

Our customers say:

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based on 46014 reviews as of 08/05/2024

Home insurance guides

Page last reviewed: 08 May 2024

Reviewed by: Matthew Harwood