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Buildings insurance is one of the two main types of home insurance and covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding the structure of your property if it’s damaged or destroyed due to fire,
flooding or theft. Buildings insurance is often sold as part of a combined home insurance policy that also includes home contents insurance.
Buildings insurance will provide cover for the structural elements of your home, such as the roof, ceilings, walls, floors, windows and doors, along with permanent fittings such as your kitchen and bathroom. Depending on the policy, it could also cover outdoor constructions such as garages and fences, as well as patios, drains, pipes and cables.
You will usually be covered for loss or damage caused by:
Buildings insurance will usually be a condition of the mortgage as the lender will require you to be covered to protect their investment.
It’s up to you whether you take out buildings insurance, but it’s a good idea to buy cover to ensure you won’t be left out of pocket if your property is damaged.
You are the owner of the building so it’s your responsibility to pay for any repairs – thus building insurance could be well worth having.
You won’t usually need buildings insurance as it’s your landlord’s responsibility, but it’s still worth taking out contents or tenants' insurance.
The owner of the freehold should already have buildings insurance in place. However, if you own the freehold, or a share of it, you’ll need to arrange your own cover.
“If you're buying a property, buildings insurance will usually be a condition of your mortgage offer. But that doesn't mean you have to buy cover from your lender's preferred insurer - instead, you could save a tidy sum of money by shopping around and finding your own policy.”
Rachel Wait, Personal Finance Journalist
The cost of buildings insurance will depend on a number of factors such as:
A quick and easy way to find the best buildings insurance is to shop around and compare quotes – you could also earn up to £28 cashback.
Paying for your buildings insurance in one go each year will be cheaper than paying in monthly instalments. If you can’t afford to pay for your buildings insurance upfront, it could be worth considering a zero-interest purchase credit card to spread the cost interest-free over several months.
The excess is the amount you will need to pay towards the cost of any claim you make. Choosing a higher voluntary excess will reduce your premiums, but make sure you could still afford to pay it if you had to claim.
Insurers will often give you a discount if you combine both buildings insurance and contents insurance on the same policy.
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Most buildings insurance policies won’t cover you for damage caused by rising damp or for condensation. If you have signs of rising damp, it’s best to get them checked out by a professional and also inform your insurer.