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 be required 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 do 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 share a freehold, then make sure you mention this to your insurance provider. Buildings cover for shared freeholds can be slightly different to insurance for individual properties.
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.