A simples guide

Home insurance without contents

Unless you’re a multi-billionaire with a penchant for yachts, chances are your home will be the biggest purchase you ever make. Which means some kind of home insurance is essential if we want to protect the very thing you’ve worked so hard for. 


Home insurance without contents

Home insurance is a term that can be used to describe two different types of policy:

  • Contents Insurance –this covers the possessions in your home, ranging from furniture and electrical gear, to personal belongings like clothes.
  • Buildings Insurance – this covers the building itself, as well as permanent fixtures and fittings.

While some people choose a single policy that covers both their contents and building, others opt to insure them separately – or not at all. Buildings insurance isn’t compulsory when you own your own home, but many mortgage lenders insist on it as one of their requirements. Beyond that, it just makes a lot of sense to have.

Old cottages
car parked on drive

What is home insurance without contents?

Building insurance, or home insurance without contents, covers the bricks and mortar of your home – or the walls, floors, roof, and any other bits that stop it raining on you. In many cases this includes fixtures and fittings too, such as kitchens and bathrooms, and out buildings such as sheds and garages. In the event that damage is caused by something disastrous like a fire or flood, your insurer may pay for the necessary repairs or rebuilds. 

Do I need building insurance?

Insurance is a good idea for most things in life. So when it comes to your home it’s pretty much a no brainer for most people, and, as we mentioned earlier, it can be a mortgage requirement in the first place.

If you’re renting, however, you don’t need to worry about home insurance without contents, as your landlord will take care of it. Likewise, if you have a leasehold flat, the landlord who owns the freehold will likely take care of it and then charge you for insurance in your monthly fee.  

If you own a share of the freehold, then you may have to arrange buildings insurance yourself. An insurance broker will be able to guide you through the process, as it can be a little different to an individual property.

What do I need to think about when choosing building insurance?

Policies vary a fair bit between providers, so there’s quite a lot to weigh up while shopping around. The most important things to bear in mind are:

  • What type of damage it covers: while many insurers will cover damage caused by floods or fires, a decent policy will cover you against things like subsidence, burst pipes, and storms too. Be eagle-eyed when choosing your policy, so you’ll know exactly what you will and won’t be covered for. Are there big old trees beside your property? You’ll probably want a policy that covers damage from falling trees. Live right on a busy road? You may want cover against car and lorry collisions. Live in an area with high crime? It could be wise to be covered against vandalism. You get the idea!
  • What type of damage it doesn’t cover: building insurance won’t cover your property for every day wear and tear. Things such as pest infestations, leaky gutters, frost, or other mild-weather damage can usually be found in the policy’s exclusions so check carefully.
  • Alternative accommodation: if your home becomes so damaged it’s rendered uninhabitable, some insurers will offer you temporary digs until it’s repaired or rebuilt. This could save you a fortune in rent or hotel costs, (or save you from annoying your in-laws).
  • Compulsory excess: how much money you will need to stump up if you have to make a claim.
  • No claims bonus: some insurers will lower your premiums if you’ve gone a while without making a claim.
  • Unoccupied properties: if your property is unoccupied (in the world of building insurance that usually means for more than two months), then you may find your claim is declined if you find it has been damaged whilst it’s unoccupied. If you’re likely to leave your property for an extended period of time, it’s sometimes possible to come to an agreement with your insurer if you give them prior notice. If this is a likely scenario, then read up on the terms first.

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How much is your property worth?  

When applying for your building insurance, the provider will need to know how much it’ll cost to rebuild your home (think worst case scenario!). The rebuild value is different to the market value of your home. The rebuild value can be calculated in one of two ways.

Rebuild cost insurance: unless you’re clued up when it comes to construction and construction materials, this is where you’d get a surveyor in to calculate the costs of rebuilding your abode. This is the way we calculate it on our site – you can use our BCIS calculator to get a good idea of the value.

Bedroom-rated insurance: this is more of an estimate based on the number of bedrooms your property has. About 50% of these policies can insure you up to £250,000 or more – which may well be adequate for your property. However, if you require a higher sum insured you may need to speak directly with your insurer.

Which option you go for is up to you. The second one is usually more convenient, but the first one will be more accurate – and may cost less.

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