Flat insurance

Compare home insurance for flats or apartments

Buy home insurance and choose a freebie with Confused.com Rewards*

  • Get a flat insurance quote in just 8 minutes

  • Compare quotes from up to 64 home insurance companies1

  • 96% of our home insurance customers would recommend us on reviews.io

1Correct as of December, 2022

*Single annual policy. Lidl Plus app required 18+, HelloFresh 18+ subscription service, geographical exclusions apply. T&Cs apply

What is flat insurance?

Flat insurance works the same way as a standard home insurance policy. There are 2 key parts to your cover:

Contents insurance protects against the loss, damage or theft of your belongings.

Buildings insurance protects the structure and fittings of the building itself from damage.

You can also combine both Contents and Building insurance into a single policy.

Do I need flat insurance?

Whether you need flat insurance is up to you and your personal circumstances.

If you live in a flat as a tenant, you likely only need flat contents insurance. Your landlord should have a buildings insurance policy to cover the actual building.

But, if you're an owner and freeholder, or joint freeholder, you might need buildings insurance as well. If you have a mortgage, your lender usually require you to have buildings insurance.

Flat contents insurance isn't a legal requirement, but it could come in handy if something happens that means you lose your belongings. Consider the potential cost of replacing everything you own after a fire, for example.

Buy home insurance and choose a freebie with Rewards

*Single annual policy. Lidl Plus app required 18+, HelloFresh 18+ subscription service, geographical exclusions apply. T&Cs apply

Lidl Plus logo £20 to spend
IMO logo 12 free car washes
Halfords logo £20 to spend
HelloFresh Logo Free recipe box

What's covered by buildings insurance for flats?

Buildings insurance covers you against damage and loss to the structure of your flat, including:

  • Private garages
  • Exterior and interior walls
  • Roofs
  • Flooring

It also covers all the permanent fixtures and fittings of your flat against events like fire, flood, theft and vandalism.

If you get buildings insurance on a flat because you own the freehold or a share of the freehold, you should check that the policy covers the costs of rebuilding the property.

Ideally, you should also find a policy that covers you and your household for alternative accommodation should your flat ever become uninhabitable due to events like fire and flood.

Do I need building insurance for a leasehold flat?

No. If you own your flat through a leasehold rather than as a freehold, then you usually don't need to get buildings insurance. This is because responsibility for the flat's structure falls on whoever owns the freehold to the property.

Where a leasehold arrangement for a flat is in place, you often find that you pay toward the cost of insurance for the building as part of your service and management charge. This fee generally includes the cost of general maintenance for communal areas, including cleaning.

When you buy a flat on leasehold, your solicitor or mortgage company should ask for evidence that the freeholder has buildings insurance in place. Most people who own a flat in the UK do so through a leasehold structure rather than owning the freehold themselves.

What's covered by contents insurance for flats?

Flat contents insurance protects your household goods and personal belongings against loss, damage or theft. These are items that aren't part of the fixtures and fittings of your flat such as:

  • Appliances
  • Devices
  • Jewellery
  • Furniture
  • Clothes

It doesn't matter if you own your flat through freehold or leasehold or if you're renting it.

What’s covered varies with each policy, but you should make sure your contents are at least insured for events like fire, flood, escape of water and burglary. Our contents insurance calculator can help give you a better idea of how much cover you need.

With prices rising due to the cost of living crisis, contents for flats could be one area where you might consider cutting back. But while it could save you money in the short term, you may be left with a big bill if something does happen and you don't have cover in place.

Some policies also cover your belongings against accidental damage, or may let you add this type of cover on at an extra cost. Depending on the policy, you may get third-party liability included, covering against claims of injury from someone who's hurt while visiting your property.

Your policy may also include staff liability cover, insuring you against claims of injury from staff you may employ at your property.

Legal expenses cover is among the other benefits sometimes included, which may also be offered as an optional extra. This gives you access to legal advice as well as covering legal fees you may incur that relate to your property.

Home emergency cover is another benefit that sometimes gets included – it can pay the cost of calling out tradesmen in a household emergency.

How much does flat insurance cost?

The cost of flat insurance depends on lots of different factors. These include the age, size, and value of your flat, where you live, your profession and your claims history.

You can expect prices for flat insurance to generally be less than insurance for a house, assuming you're not responsible for paying buildings insurance for your block. This is because contents insurance for flats is usually cheaper than buildings insurance for a house, as the value of replacing your belongings will be lower than the cost of rebuilding a property.

The easiest way to find out how much you might pay for flat insurance is to request a quote.

How can I get cheaper flat insurance?

The cost of flat insurance varies a lot. If you're renting you'll only have to pay contents insurance. But if you own the flat and it's freehold you may need buildings insurance too which will push the cost up.

There are lots of ways to lower the cost of flat insurance, including:

Paying annually so you pay in one lump sum which is always cheaper as it avoids monthly interest fees.

Increasing your excess which can lower your premium. However, always make sure the excess if affordable as you'll have to pay it if you claim.

Getting the right amount of cover for your flat. You'll pay too much if your cover levels are too high. But if you under-estimate the value of your home or contents you might not be able to claim as much as you need if something happens to your flat. Use our contents calculator or find out how to estimate and calculate your rebuild costs to help you get the right level of cover for you.

Shopping around to see if you can find a better deal with another insurer – there's no benefit to being loyal to an insurer.

Student flat insurance

Living in a student flat comes with additional risks. Burglars and thieves could be drawn to these properties since there might be more expensive equipment to grab. Student flats also tend to be in busy cities where the crime rate is higher.

This is why it's important to consider student contents insurance. You might find fewer insurance companies willing to offer you cover due to the increased risks, but you should still find a policy that suits you.

It's worth checking your parents' home insurance policy, too. Some, but not all, home insurance policies cover for possessions taken to halls of residence and student accommodation.

If you're renting a student flat, you don't need buildings cover. The property is the responsibility of your landlord. You may want flat insurance to cover your contents though. You don't have to buy it but it will cover everything you bring to university.

Contents insurance for shared flats

Getting contents insurance for flat shares is a little more complicated.

One concern for insurers is that an old tenant may still have the keys to your flat. Burglars are also known to target shared accommodation. All of this adds to the insurance risks so if you share a flat, contents insurance could be more expensive and not as easy to find. Insurers who do offer cover may only cover theft where there's evidence of forced entry.

By shopping around, you should still find a good choice of insurers who can offer you the cover you need. Make sure you compare policy features as well as the price, though. A less expensive policy might not offer as much cover as one that's a little bit pricier.

You may be able to get a flat contents policy for the entire property with your flatmates. But an individual policy should be easier to manage in terms of making the payments and dealing with changes in personal circumstances. With an individual policy, it’s also more straightforward to work out how much cover you need.

By shopping around, you should still find a good choice of insurers who can offer you the cover you need. Make sure you compare policy features as well as the price, though. A less expensive policy might not offer as much cover as one that's a little bit pricier.

You may be able to get contents insurance for the entire flat with your flatmates. But an individual policy should be easier to manage in terms of making the payments and dealing with changes in personal circumstances. With an individual policy, it’s also more straightforward to work out how much cover you need.

Compare home insurance quotes from up to 64 insurance companies1

If you own or have a share in the building's freehold

If you own the freehold or a share of the freehold for your flat, then you might need to get buildings cover.

Owning the freehold to your flat means you have total, outright ownership of the apartment, with all the responsibility this brings.

Share of freehold means you share the responsibility for the building with other flat owners.

Either way, you need buildings insurance for flats where you own any sort of freehold on the property.

We can also offer a block of flats insurance comparison, if you're a landlord who owns a whole freehold block of converted or new build flats. If you own a block of flats, we can offer this comparison through our landlord insurance panel of insurers, so you can compare quotes for this via our landlord insurance page.

Remember: Mortgage providers usually insist on buildings insurance if you’re buying the freehold to a flat. If you don’t get buildings insurance then the structure of your flat isn't insured against hazards like fire and flood.

What our home insurance expert says:

If you’re looking to save money on your flat insurance, my top tip is to compare quotes. Don’t auto renew or jump at the first option, check the policy details to make sure you have the cover you need for your flat. That way if you need to make claim you won’t be left out of pocket.
Jessica Willock home insurance expert signature

Jessica Willock

Home insurance product manager

Need more help?

What does building insurance cover in flats?

Flat buildings insurance covers the structure of the property against certain types of damage. This is things like the roof, walls, and floors if there is a flood or fire. You'll need to check your policy to see exactly what is covered.

You will usually need buildings insurance if you own the property and often you will need to show your mortgage provider you have taken it out before your loan is approved.

Will I need buildings insurance if I rent a flat?

Buildings insurance is the responsibility of whoever owns the freehold to the property. So if you’re renting a flat you definitely don’t need to take out buildings insurance. Contents insurance for flats, however, is worth getting to protect your belongings.

Do I need flat insurance if I'm a landlord?

If you’re a landlord and rent out a flat, you will need specific landlord insurance which covers against the risks linked to your rental property. Aside from covering buildings (where relevant and freehold) landlord insurance also covers fixtures and fittings such as carpets, kitchens and bathrooms that could be damaged during the tenancy.

There's also the option to cover any unexpected costs or disputes that arise between you and your tenants. You'll also usually need to show your solicitor and mortgage lender the building has at least buildings insurance if you're purchasing.

If you own and rent out a flat which is leasehold, then you don’t normally need to get buildings insurance, as this is the responsibility of whoever owns the freehold to the building.

As mentioned earlier, if you own multiple flats in a freehold block, we can offer block of flats insurance comparison.

Does flat insurance cover voids or missed rent if I’m a landlord?

Yes, this is otherwise known as rent guarantee insurance, however you will need specific landlord insurance as a landlord and this is almost always an optional extra which you will need to add on. This is likely to be an area of home insurance that is especially important in the cost of living crisis so it's worth checking if it's included and available with the insurer before you buy a new policy.

How does building insurance for a flat above a shop work?

If you own a property that is part commercial – the shop – and part residential – your flat –you'll usually need a separate policy for both.

These policies tend to be more expensive as there's a higher risk if something happening such as a fire if you live above a restaurant.

If you just rent the flat but don't own it, a flat contents insurance policy is all you need if you want to cover your belongings.

What add-ons can I get with flat insurance?

When you buy flat insurance, you choose the type you want - buildings or contents, or both - and the level of cover. Some home insurance for flats policies will have a number of features added automatically and others you may need to pay extra for.

Typical add-ons can include accidental cover, legal help, cover when you're away from home, and cover for valuable items.

You can also pay extra for alternative accommodation costs if you need to move out of your property. This often happens if work is being carried out on a home after a flood or fire.