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It’ll cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding the permanent bits of your home if they’re damaged, or destroyed, by an unexpected event like a fire or a flood.
The exact cover you can get varies, but it’s not uncommon to get cover for things like:
Buildings cover is often sold combined with contents insurance. This can be a cost-effective and more convenient choice. For instance, you’d only have to deal with one insurer if you needed to claim on both parts.
All buildings insurance policies cover damage by fire, flooding and theft as standard. They don't usually cover things like gradual wear and tear or poor workmanship.
This generally includes water leakage from faulty appliances like your washing machine, frozen pipes and tanks, burst pipes that are old or corroded and disconnected pipes.
If your policy includes escape of water, it’ll probably have trace and access cover as well - which covers the cost of finding and repairing leaks.
Most policies provide some compensation for damage caused by falling trees and branches, aerials and satellite dishes. But you wouldn’t be covered if it was due to lopping or felling.
If your home’s damaged by a tree, your insurer might help cover the costs of removing it, so it doesn’t cause any problems in the future.
Structural damage that occurs due to high winds, torrential rain fall, lightning or earthquakes may be covered if you can prove your home has been maintained to a reasonable standard and that the damage didn’t occur due to wear and tear.
Most policies cover loss and damage caused by subsidence, but won’t cover the cost of preventing further subsidence.
You won’t be covered if the subsidence, heave or landslip is caused by riverbank or coastal erosion, water escaping from pipes or failure to disclose existing subsidence when the policy is purchased.
If your home has suffered from it in the past, you’ll probably need specialist cover.
This compensates you if your homes damaged due to a vehicle colliding with your home, or damage caused by an animal or aircraft, for example.
Legally, it’s not a must. But there are a few situations where you might have to have it, or decide you need it.
If you’re unsure, think about the rebuild cost of your home. If the worst happens, and your home was destroyed in a fire, could you afford to put another roof over your head without financial support?
Most lenders insist you have buildings insurance to get a mortgage. The same goes for if you ever decide to remortgage in the future – they’ll usually ask for proof before they’ll give you the loan.
If you own the your property outright, then it’s up to you whether you take out buildings cover or not.
If you're a tenant, buildings insurance is your landlord’s responsibility. It won’t be their responsibility to insure your contents however, so you might want to consider cover for your possessions.
If you’re leasing a property, such as a flat, the owner of the freehold should have insured the building already. If you own the freehold, or a share of it, you’ll need to organise your own cover.
Our customers pay £124.12 on average for buildings insurance.*
Your own premium might cost more or less than this. It's affected by a number of factors, including:
If your policy doesn’t include cover for things like accidental damage or legal expenses as standard, you can usually add them on for a fee.
Common optional extras include:
Tony Evans, GoCompare’s home insurance expert, says, “Unless you’ve specifically added cover, home insurance doesn’t cover things like accidental damage to your property. If you accidentally drill a hole through a water pipe while putting up shelves, you may not be covered unless you’ve bought the extra protection.”
Buildings insurance covers the structure of your property and its fixtures and fittings. Contents insurance is cover for your possessions - things like your furniture, TV, jewellery and clothes.
You can purchase buildings and contents insurance separately, or together as a combined home insurance policy.
You won’t be covered for damage that occurs when your house has been left unoccupied for more than the period shown on your schedule. This is usually 30 to 60 consecutive days.
Most policies won’t cover damp and condensation, but it’s worth checking your policy details.
When you compare quotes with us, you’ll find a rebuild cost calculator within the set of questions. Alternatively, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has a rebuild cost calculator you can use, or you can hire a Chartered Surveyor.
25% of customers who provided their buildings only insurance renewal price saved up to £50.08 with GoCompare (1 Dec 2020 to 28 Feb 2021).
Based on Trustpilot: Our average rating of 4.8 out of 5 is from 641 people who left a review for home insurance comparison only. Last checked June 2021.
Page last reviewed: 14 June 2021
Next review due: 14 September 2021