What is buildings insurance?
Building insurance is there to protect against damage to the structure of your property - the roof, walls, ceilings, floor, doors, windows, permanent fixtures and fittings like bathrooms and kitchens. It also covers pipes, cables and drains that belong to your house. Buildings insurance should cover you for the whole rebuild of your property if necessary. Some policies will include outside structures like garages, shed or perhaps the patio. For cover on all the moveable items in your home you'll need to take out home contents insurance. More about that here.
What does building insurance cover?
Building insurance cover varies depending on your provider so it's always a good idea to read your policy thoroughly. That way you’ll know exactly what cover you're getting. But generally it protects you against a range of situations, including theft, vandalism, water damage, escape of oil from heating systems, fire, explosion, floods and storms, damage from falling trees and other natural disasters. It may also provide a limited amount of accidental damage cover to your bathroom suite or windows. , But accidental damage cover for the whole building is usually an extra level of cover so check your policy for details. Accidental damage is very useful for when something unexpected happens such drilling through a water pipe while doing some DIY.
What isn't covered?
Every policy will have its own clauses and exclusions, so it's important to get into that small print. You'll probably find that general wear and tear is not covered, and neither is damage caused by animals or insects. If your home has been unoccupied for a certain period, as set out in your policy, you may find that you're not covered for certain damage.
Do I need buildings insurance?
If you're renting or you live in a leasehold property, your landlord/freeholder will be responsible for the buildings insurance. They will then normally recover this in your service charge. So in this situation you only need to concern yourself with insuring your belongings with contents cover.
If you're a homeowner with a mortgage you'll probably find that it's a requirement from your lender that you have adequate buildings cover for the term of your mortgage - that is, whilst the mortgage company have an interest in the property. This responsibility actually begins even before you move into your home. You'll usually be required to start your building insurance 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 do remember that repairs to your home can be very expensive. Think about whether you would be able to afford major reconstruction work if something did go wrong. Taking out a building insurance policy could save you money in the long run and might give you peace of mind, too.
Comparing building insurance with comparethemarket.com
Comparing building insurance with us is straightforward. Just start a building insurance quote,we'll ask you some questions about you and your home - we'll need to know the rebuild value of your property, so to save time you might want to have that handy. If you’re not sure, online calculators can help you get a rough estimate.
Once we have all the information we need, we'll search a range of insurance providers and get you a list of quotes that best suit your needs. The results page is clear and easy to use and is automatically saved, so you can spend as much time as you like looking through the results until you're ready to make a decision.