Buildings insurance

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What is buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance offers protection for the permanent fixtures in your home such as the roof, walls, floors, bathroom fittings and ceilings. Garages, sheds and fences also tend to be covered.

Buildings insurance doesn’t cover loss or damage to your contents. However, you can opt to add contents cover to your policy which can often work out cheaper than having two separate policies.

If you have a mortgage, buildings insurance is usually compulsory as the lender will insist you’re covered to protect their investment. If you’re renting your home, your landlord should have a policy in place to protect the building.

A good policy should cover the full repair/rebuild of your home should the worst happen.

What does buildings insurance cover?

Buildings insurance could cover the cost of repairing damage caused by:

  • Flooding, fire and storms.
  • Structural damage caused by subsidence and fallen trees.
  • Water damage to your house caused by burst pipes.
  • Accidental damage (sometimes an optional extra).
house

How much cover do I need?

Start with calculating the rebuild cost of your house – once you know this figure you’ll have a better understanding of how much cover you need.

When you get a quote we work with our friends at RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) to calculate an estimated rebuild cost based on the details you provide. We look at things such as type of property, location and construction type e.g. brick walls and a tiled roof. It’s important you check this estimate against your own to ensure you’re adequately covered should you make a claim.

If your house has a rebuild value of over £500,000 - your home might be classed as 'high value'. This usually happens with listed buildings as repairing any damage may require specific materials, which can increase costs. It's worth talking with your insurer, as some offer high value home insurance as a specific policy.

If you're a landlord, you may need a specialist policy that is designed for rental properties to cover the extra risks involved.

You’ll need to let us know if your property is at risk of or has previously been flooded by an external source e.g. a river, heavy rainfall or the sea.

Roughly one in six properties in the UK is at risk of flood damage, and the number of people at risk is predicted to grow significantly over the next few decades.

What do i need to get a quote?

To get a quote you’ll need details of your property such as:

  • The type of heating system installed in the home
  • The rebuild cost of your home, not the market value 
  • The date you bought the property and the year it was built 
  • Details of any previous claims 

How can I reduce the cost of buildings insurance? The average price of buildings insurance is £108* but premiums can vary considerably depending on the type of home you want to insure. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t over insure
  • Avoid ‘guesstimates’ when it comes to insuring your home. It’s important to give an accurate cost of rebuilding your property, otherwise you’ll end up paying for more cover than you need.

  • No-claims bonus
  • If you’ve not previously made a claim you’ll usually be rewarded with a discount from the insurer. The more years you go without claiming, the bigger the discount applied.

  • Explore policy options
  • If you’re a homeowner it’s typically cheaper if you opt for a combined policy covering both buildings and contents insurance from the same provider.

    * Confused.com data for buildings insurance premiums in June 2018.

  • Pay annually
  • Monthly instalments can be the easier option at times, but this can be the more expensive option as insurers often charge interest and admin fees on top of your premium.

  • Shop around
  • Don’t just accept your renewal quote from your existing provider. It’s not always the best deal.

  • Install smoke alarms
  • Regardless of this saving you money, you should have smoke alarms fitted and regularly maintained in your home.

Home insurance FAQs Got some questions?

What is home emergency cover?

Home emergency cover is an optional extra that covers you for unexpected situations such as boiler breakdown or leaks from a burst pipe. It usually offers homeowners access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. If emergency assistance is required from a tradesperson then the call-out costs, labour and repair costs are covered.

Will buildings insurance cover rising damp?

Typically, insurers don’t cover for gradual damage caused by damp. If you have signs of damp in your home it’s best to get them checked by a professional. Our guide can help you to spot the common signs of damp.

Do I need building insurance if I rent a property?

No, if you rent your property you don’t need to take out buildings insurance. Your landlord should have this covered as the owner of the property.

Can I get buildings insurance in a flood risk area?

Yes, you can protect your home against flooding even in a flood risk area. The government and insurers have an agreement which allows for affordable premiums even in flood risk areas, it’s called Flood Re.

Do I need buildings insurance on my flat?

If you own a freehold flat it’s your responsibility to buy buildings insurance. However, if you own a leasehold flat, the building should be covered by your landlord. Take a look at flat insurance for more information.

Will building insurance cover subsidence?

Most building insurance policies cover for any damage caused by landslip, subsidence or heave to your property. It generally covers repairs and rebuild costs. In the event of a claim you can expect to pay around £1,000 excess.

Home insurance FAQs

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