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  • We’ll refund up to £250 of your excess if you make a claim. Excludes accidental loss or damage claims^

What's building insurance?

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 as a combined home insurance policy 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.

buildings insurance

Who needs 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?


If you have a mortgage

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.

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.


Who doesn't need buildings insurance?

You won't need buildings insurance if you rent, own an apartment that's part of a block of flats, or if you don't have a mortgage. 

Home insurance guides

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.


How much will it cost?

Our customers pay £129 on average for buildings insurance* but a number of factors – like where you live and the type of home you have – affect the actual price you pay.

The number of bedrooms you have is a good indicator, so here’s how much your buildings insurance could cost depending on the number of bedrooms.**

  • One bedroom: £103.24
  • Two bedrooms: £102.02
  • Three bedrooms: £111.05
  • Four bedrooms: £148.14
  • Five or more bedrooms: £232.41

*The average price paid for home insurance purchased annually in November 2021 by type of cover. For buildings and contents insurance, it was £175.79. For buildings insurance only, it was £129.62. For contents insurance only, it was £76.76.

**The average cost of buildings insurance per number of bedrooms when paid annually between October and December 2021

Free £250 home excess cover, only with GoCompare^

If you need to claim on your home insurance - for example, if your building is damaged by subsidence or your possessions are stolen - your free home excess cover will refund up to £250 of your excess.

There’s no hidden charge. But you won't be covered for things like accidental loss such as leaving a laptop on a train or accidental damage, such as spilling wine on your carpet or drilling through a pipe.

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^UK residents and home insurance purchases only. Excess refunded after claim settled. Excludes accidental loss or damage claims made on your home insurance. Full T&Cs apply.

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Why compare buildings insurance with us?

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:

Check your policy wording so you know what's covered

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.Ceri McMillan - GoCompare Home Insurance

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

 

[1]Based on Trustpilot: Our average rating of 4.8 out of 5 is from 1958 people who left a review for home insurance comparison only. Last checked 09 May 2022.

Page last reviewed: 17 March 2022