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Buildings insurance

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Why compare buildings insurance with us?

Buildings insurance is financial protection for the structure of your home

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:

  • Ceilings, floors, walls, roof, windows and doors
  • Fitted bathroom suites and kitchen units
  • Outdoor constructions like garages, gates and fences
  • Drains, pipes, tanks and cables from the mains supply to your property that you're responsible for

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.

What does buildings insurance cover?

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.


Escape of water

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.

More about home insurance and water leaks >

Falling trees, aerials or satellite dishes

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.

More about trees and home insurance >

Storms, floods, lightning and earthquakes

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.

Subsidence and heave

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.

More about subsidence insurance >

Vehicle or aircraft collision

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.

Do I need buildings insurance?

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?


Mortgages

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.

Home owners

If you own the your property outright, then it’s up to you whether you take out buildings cover or not.

Renters

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.

Freehold and leasehold properties

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.

How much will it cost?

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:

  • The structure and size of your property
  • Your proximity to water
  • The materials used to build your home
  • The number of claims made in the last five years
  • The amount of voluntary and compulsory excess you pay
  • Whether you have a no claims discount

*The average price paid for home insurance annually through GoCompare in March 2021, by type. For buildings and contents insurance, it was £179.97. For buildings insurance only, it was £124.12. For contents insurance only, it was £79.60.
average cost of home insurance

Optional extras

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:

  • Accidental damage – damage for accidentally drilling through pipes for example.
  • Alternative accommodation – gives you a place to stay if your home becomes uninhabitable due to damage.
  • Legal expenses – covers the legal costs if someone is injured on your property or if you have a boundary dispute with a neighbour.
  • Home emergency cover – this is cover for the repair of broken-down boilers, faulty electrics or blocked drains.
  • Replacement locks and keys – covers the cost of replacing your locks or keys if they’re lost or stolen.

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.”

Frequently asked questions

  • What’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?

    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.

  • Am I covered if my property is left unoccupied?

    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.

    Find out more about unoccupied home insurance >

  • Will building insurance cover rising damp?

    Most policies won’t cover damp and condensation, but it’s worth checking your policy details.

  • How can I find the rebuild cost of my property?

    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.

What do you need to get a quote?

When calculating your premium, insurers look at a variety of factors about you and your home. To get you the most accurate prices, we need to know about.

  1. The rebuild cost of your property

    This is the cost of rebuilding your property to the same specification if it was demolished. The cost determines how much cover you need.

  2. Features of your property

    If your home is listed, timber-framed, or has a flat or thatched roof.

  3. Previous claims

    Claims for burglary, vandalism, fire, subsidence, water or storm damage in the last five years will need to be declared. Failure to do so could invalidate your policy.

  4. Security features

    If your property is fitted with smoke alarms and burglar alarms, it may reduce the cost of your premium

  5. Your proximity to water

    Properties in flood risk areas may require extra attention and information from your insurer

References

[2]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).

[3]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

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