Buildings Insurance

What is buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance covers the physical structure of the property, such as walls, floors and the roof. This also includes any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as your kitchen and fitted wardrobes. Outside structures, like fences, garages and sheds are usually covered too, as are pipes, cables and drains connected to your home (provided they’re your legal responsibility). Buildings insurance is different to contents insurance which covers all the belongings in your home. Homeowners typically buy combined buildings and contents insurance.

Do I need buildings insurance?

If you’re a homeowner with a mortgage, your lender will insist that you have buildings insurance. Your policy must cover the property during the full term of your agreement and whilst the mortgage company has a financial interest in your home. You must also make sure that you have buildings insurance in place from the day you exchange contracts and you become legally responsible for the property and dwellings. If you don’t have a mortgage there’s no requirement to have buildings insurance, however, bare in mind that repairs are often costly. Having a fully comprehensive cover can save you money in the long run. 

Do I need buildings insurance if I’m a landlord or renting?

If you’re renting your home, your landlord is responsible for the building and should have a buildings insurance policy in place to cover the structure and permanent fixtures. You are solely responsible for your own personal contents. If you’re a landlord and have a property which you rent, it’s advisable to take out buildings insurance to cover the structure and permanent fixtures.

Scaffolders

How much is buildings insurance?

On average building insurance costs £120 per year however this figure depends on many factors including:

  • Property location – you’re likely to be quoted a higher price if you live in an area with either a high flood rate or high crime rate
  • Property maintenance – a well-maintained home will reduce the risk of damage. Well maintained pipes and a roof, for example, will reduce the need to claim therefore reduce your premium
  • Property size – a larger home will generally mean higher repair costs meaning higher claims and this will be reflected in the price
  • Property security – many people choose to add extra locks and video surveillance to keep their property secure. You can reduce the cost of your policy if you install more security measures

Things to consider

  • Have an accurate re-build cost
    You must make sure your policy will cover the whole cost to rebuild or repair your home in the event of damage. It’s advisable to regularly re-assess these costs otherwise you might be left with a large build cost if your policy does not match. This is especially important if you have extended or renovated your home since taking out your policy.
  • Accidental damage
    Most policies will cover damage against things like flood, fire, subsidence etc. Most insurers will also include cover for damage caused by falling trees and burst water pipes, however, you may need to add accidental damage cover for mishaps such as putting your foot through the ceiling or drilling through a water pipe.
  • Temporary accommodation
    If you were to have to leave your home so repairs or a re-build could take place, you may have to find alternative accommodation. Some policies will cover these costs but not all. If it’s not included you can add on alternative accommodation cover via many insurers.
  • Unoccupied property
    If you’re away for more than 30 days on holiday or a business trip you’ll need to alert your insurer. There are special terms your insurer can apply to your policy, these can include adding unoccupied property cover.
  • What isn’t included
    Insurers don’t normally cover general wear and tear, pest infestations, frost damage or damage caused by poor workmanship. It’s worth checking what is and isn’t included before you take out your policy.

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