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Buildings insurance

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*Based on Confused.com data, February 2023 - January 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. One regular hot drink per month for a year, only available via the Confused.com app. T&Cs apply

1Correct as of March, 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?

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Most buildings insurance policies cover damage to your home's structure from:

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 buildings insurance doesn't cover

Buildings insurance generally excludes damage caused by:

  • Wear and tear
  • Poor maintenance – 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
  • Renovations that you didn’t tell your insurer about before work started
  • Birds, insects or other pest infestations
  • Frost to external pipes and brickwork
  • Rising damp or condensation, but you’ll still need to tell your insurer if you have rising damp

Buildings insurance also doesn't cover:

  • An unoccupied property, if you didn’t tell your insurer.
  • Your furniture, personal belongings, floor coverings and gadgets. 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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How to claim

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**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. One regular hot drink per month for a year, only available via the Confused.com app. T&Cs apply

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

How much does buildings insurance cost?

The average price of buildings insurance is:

£1582 

 


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 £1952, 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, November 2023 - January 2024.

How can I get cheaper buildings insurance?

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

  • Not over-insuring. Only pay for the cover you need.
  • Explore policy options like combined contents and buildings insurance, as this is often cheaper than buying 2 separate policies.
  • Pay annually: Insurers charge interest for paying monthly. 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.
  • Make your home safer: Smoke alarms, a burglar alarm, and other security measures can lower your risk and, so, your costs.
  • Build your no-claims bonus (NCB) as the longer you go without claiming, the more of a no claims discount you usually get.

Compare buildings insurance quotes

We compare up to 76 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:

  • How many bedrooms and other rooms your home has
  • If any part of the roof is flat, and if so, what percentage
  • What type of heating system you have
  • If the building is listed
  • How far the property is from water
  • If there’s been any history of flooding, subsidence or tree damage
  • What  type of locks the external doors have
  • If you have a burglar alarm
  • If you have working smoke detectors
  • If the property will be unoccupied for 30 days or more
  • The date you bought the property
  • How many years of no-claims bonus you have for buildings insurance
  • Details of any previous claims
  • The rebuild cost of your home
  • The year your home was built

We'll use your details to compare buildings insurance policies from the 76 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:

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

What affects your home’s rebuild value?

Several 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.
  • The risk of flooding or subsidence
  • 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.

Why compare buildings insurance with Confused.com?

  • We’re 100% independent and not owned by an insurance company. We’ll always show you our best prices that are available at the time, no matter who they’re from.
  • 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.
  • We're FCA regulated, just like the 76 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 experts and consumer champions are dedicated to helping our customers find the best deal for their needs and budget.

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Page last reviewed: 08 February 2024

Reviewed by: Matthew Harwood

After buying home insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 37944 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 24/08/23). Read our reviews