A guide to buildings insurance and the construction of your property

Everyone knows that the key to success is preparation – whether it’s an exam or creating the perfect party – it’s all about getting the details right. The same goes for making sure your buildings insurance policy is the right one for you and your home, after all, it’s your safety net if something goes wrong. So in this guide, we’ll tell you all about why it pays to be clear, accurate and in the know when it comes to getting or renewing your policy.

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What’s the point of buildings insurance?

First up – why bother with insurance? Well, if you have a mortgage it may be a condition of the mortgage offer that you have it. Buildings insurance (unlike contents insurance) is there in case you need to make repairs to your home (and your mortgage lender wants to protect their investment).

Home insurance – whether it’s buildings or contents, is not a legal must have so you’re not under any obligation to take it out but if you don’t, are you confident about being able to cover the cost of repairs yourself?

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What else does my insurance provider need to know?

But it’s not just about the materials your walls and roofs are made of that your insurance provider will ask you about. It’s all about being prepared for the worst, so they need to fully understand whether there are any existing or inherent risks in the way your home’s been built. When it comes to comparing the market with us for buildings insurance, we’ll ask you some questions upfront to make sure that we only match up providers who can help you and to give you an accurate premium, such as:

  • Is some of your roof flat? Flat roofs can be prone to damp and sagging if they aren’t well maintained because water doesn’t run off them like it does on a pitched roof.
  • Is your home in a good state of repair? If it isn’t you will find it difficult to get buildings insurance. Buildings insurance covers specific risks such as fire, storm and flood damage. General wear and tear and maintenance is excluded.
  • Is your property undergoing any building work? Building work could increase the risk of accidental damage which you may or may not be covered for under your policy. (so it’s worth checking).
  • Is your home used for business? If it is, you should make sure you have separate and sufficient business insurance because inviting customers to your home can add more risk when it comes to liability.
  • Is your home a listed building? If your home is of significant historical interest, then you’ve got a responsibility to keep it tip top and in all its glory. That means ensuring all building materials are ‘in keeping’ with its age and therefore you may need unconventional (by modern standards) materials and highly skilled workmanship to go with it. And that costs money.

Honesty is the best policy

We all love a bargain, but your buildings insurance isn’t something to skimp on. It’s vital that you’re honest with your provider when it comes to starting a quote otherwise you could invalidate your policy. Insurance is your safety net and it wouldn’t be much of one if it didn’t pay out what you need when you need it. Your side of the deal is to be as up front as possible so that there are no ‘misunderstandings’ when it comes to making a claim. So start off now, and don’t leave anything out, to get your accurate quote.

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