If you’ve got a mortgage, your lender will usually insist that you have buildings insurance (afterall, they want their investment protected too). Of course, if you don’t have a mortgage you’re not under any obligation to have buildings cover in place but it does mean you’ll be forking out to repair any damages yourself.
If you live somewhere, where you share the freehold then make sure you mention this to your insurance provider or speak to an insurance broker. Buildings cover for shared freeholds may be slightly different to arranging insurance for individual properties, so if in doubt, always ask.
If you’re renting, then it’s your landlord’s responsibility to sort out buildings insurance – the only thing you need to worry about as a tenant is your own contents insurance.