Buildings insurance


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Compare buildings insurance

Your house isn't just bricks and mortar - it's your home and you've worked hard to get it. That's why it's important to protect it with buidings insurance that suits your situation. So how do you choose? Here's what you need to know.

Frequently asked questions

What's buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance should cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged because of an event it’s been insured for – such as fire, flood or storm damage. Many policies will include cover for damage caused by burst pipes, leaks or electrical fires, as well as cover for outside structures, such as fences, garages and sheds (but there may be limitations on this). 

Our buildings insurance comparison tool will show you the key points of each policy.

Do I need buildings insurance?

  • If you’re a homeowner with a mortgage, your lender will usually insist that you have adequate buildings cover for the term of your mortgage – that is, while the mortgage company has an interest in the property. You’ll typically need to have buildings insurance in place on the date you exchange contracts, as this is when you become legally responsible for the property.
  • If you don’t have a mortgage, there’s no legal requirement to have buildings insurance – but remember that repairs to your home can be very expensive. Taking out a buildings insurance policy could save you money in the long run and might give you peace of mind too.
  • If you’re renting, then it’s your landlord’s responsibility to have buildings insurance in place – the only thing you need to worry about as a tenant is your own contents insurance.

What’s the difference between buildings insurance and contents insurance?

Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home – the roof, walls, ceilings, floor, doors and windows – as well as any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as your kitchen or bathroom. It also covers pipes, cables and drains that belong to your house.

Contents insurance insures the type of possessions you could take with you when you move home. 

Insurance providers often bundle together buildings and contents insurance under the generic term ‘home insurance’. It can often be more economical, and less hassle, to buy the two together.

Do I need any documents to get a buildings insurance quote?

No, you don’t need documents to get a buildings insurance quote. You’ll just need to know some standard information about your property, such as when it was built, how many rooms it has and what the walls are made from. It’s also handy to have an idea of how much it might cost if you had to rebuild your home, but don’t worry if not as when you get a quote we will help you by providing an estimate.

How do I calculate the rebuild cost of my home?

Not all buildings insurance policies share the same features, but things to consider include:

  • The type of damage your policy covers Most policies will cover damage caused by things like fire, flood, subsidence, storms and other natural disasters. Most will also offer cover for burst pipes and even against falling trees. Buildings insurance cover varies depending on your provider, so it’s always a good idea to read your policy thoroughly. You can usually add accidental damage cover to your policy for mishaps such as drilling a hole through a pipe or accidentally putting your foot through the ceiling.
  • Alternative accommodation If your home is uninhabitable due to damage caused by an insured event such as a fire or flood, this covers the cost of somewhere to stay during repairs. It often comes with a maximum amount you can claim so it’s worth checking how much cover you have in place.
  • Compulsory excess The compulsory excess is set by the insurance provider and you’ll always have to pay it if you make a claim. You can choose the amount of voluntary excess when you take out the policy. It then also becomes payable when you make a claim. Usually a higher voluntary excess will lead to lower premiums. But remember you have to be able to afford this excess if you make a claim. See more in our guide to home insurance excess.
  • No claims discount (NCD) Your no claims discount works the same way it does for car insurance – if you don’t make a claim on your buildings insurance over a 12-month period then you may be looked on more favourably by your insurance provider, which may result in a reduced premium. However, your provider takes other circumstances into account when considering your premium, so it may not always result in a reduction. See more on no claims discounts.
  • Unoccupied properties Always contact your insurance provider to let them know if your property will be empty for any period, as special terms may need to be applied to your policy for your cover to remain in place. If your home is unoccupied (usually for 30 days or more) then your policy might not be valid and your insurance provider could refuse to pay out for certain claims. See our guide to unoccupied property insurance.
  • What your policy won’t cover Your buildings insurance won’t typically cover general wear and tear. Pest infestations, faulty or poor workmanship by contractors, or even frost damage might not be included either, so check your policy carefully.

What should I think about when choosing buildings insurance?

Not all buildings insurance policies share the same features, but things to consider include:

  • The type of damage your policy covers Most policies will cover damage caused by things like fire, flood, subsidence, storms and other natural disasters. Most will also offer cover for burst pipes and even against falling trees. Buildings insurance cover varies depending on your provider, so it’s always a good idea to read your policy thoroughly. You can usually add accidental damage cover to your policy for mishaps such as drilling a hole through a pipe or accidentally putting your foot through the ceiling.
  • Alternative accommodation If your home is uninhabitable due to damage caused by an insured event such as a fire or flood, this covers the cost of somewhere to stay during repairs. It often comes with a maximum amount you can claim so it’s worth checking how much cover you have in place.
  • Compulsory excess The compulsory excess is set by the insurance provider and you’ll always have to pay it if you make a claim. You can choose the amount of voluntary excess when you take out the policy. It then also becomes payable when you make a claim. Usually a higher voluntary excess will lead to lower premiums. But remember you have to be able to afford this excess if you make a claim. See more in our guide to home insurance excess.
  • No claims discount (NCD) Your no claims discount works the same way it does for car insurance – if you don’t make a claim on your buildings insurance over a 12-month period then you may be looked on more favourably by your insurance provider, which may result in a reduced premium. However, your provider takes other circumstances into account when considering your premium, so it may not always result in a reduction. See more on no claims discounts.
  • Unoccupied properties Always contact your insurance provider to let them know if your property will be empty for any period, as special terms may need to be applied to your policy for your cover to remain in place. If your home is unoccupied (usually for 30 days or more) then your policy might not be valid and your insurance provider could refuse to pay out for certain claims. See our guide to unoccupied property insurance.
  • What your policy won’t cover Your buildings insurance won’t typically cover general wear and tear. Pest infestations, faulty or poor workmanship by contractors, or even frost damage might not be included either, so check your policy carefully.

 

How do I get a buildings insurance quote?

Getting a buildings insurance quote isn't about getting the cheapest deal possible. It's about getting cover that's right for you at a price you can afford. Remember that policies vary and terms and conditions can differ depending on the insurance provider.

Building insurance comparison is quick and easy – and you could save money. We found 50% of people could achieve a buildings insurance quote of less than £99*. Give us some details about your home and we'll give you a selection of quotes from our insurance providers.

*based on Compare the Market data in May 2018.