Compare home insurance quotes for your flat or apartment
Flat insurance offers the same cover as standard home insurance.
It's made up of two parts: buildings and contents.
If you live in a flat, you usually only need home insurance that covers your contents. Whether you own or rent the flat will dictate whether you need buildings insurance or not.
If you’re a flat owner it’s likely you’re a leaseholder, which means you’re unlikely to be responsible for taking out buildings insurance - it’s up to the freeholder to arrange it. You and your fellow leaseholders will usually just pay for it as part of your service charges.
If you own the freehold for your flat, or a share of the freehold, then buildings insurance is your responsibility.
Your mortage lender will insist on you having buildings insurance if you have a mortgage on your flat, but contents insurance is up to you – it protects your possessions, so it’s not compulsory.
Just be aware that without it, you’ll have to cover the cost yourself if your possessions are stolen or damaged.
|Living situation||Type of insurance|
|You rent a flat||Contents insurance only|
|You rent a flat and share with other people||Contents insurance only|
|You're a leaseholder||Contents insurance only. The freeholder of the block will usually have buildings insurance. But you may need to pay a share of the buildings insurance if the lease requires it - seek legal advice if you’re unsure if you’re responsible for any of the building’s structure.|
|You ’re a freehold flat owner, or own a share of the free hold||Buildings and contents insurance|
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.
^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.
Contents insurance covers loss of your possessions to things like burglary, accidental damage and flooding.
A good contents policy should include cover for fire, theft and other dangers, but you’ll probably have to pay an additional premium for accidental damage and cover for possessions away from home, as these are usually sold as optional extras.
Buildings insurance will cover the structure of your flat: your walls, floors and any permanent fixtures and fittings, like your bathroom suite.
Although you may not have to arrange your own buildings cover as a leaseholder, you’ll contribute towards the cost of the policy through your service charge.
If you own the freehold or a share of the freehold, then it's up to you and those owning other shares of the freehold to arrange cover for the building.
Check your policy wording for how it covers:
If you aren’t sure who’s responsible for insuring the building’s structure, you should seek legal advice.
If you're a student living in a rented flat away from home, you only need contents insurance.
Not all insurers will cover students’ living arrangements, so you’ll have less quotes to choose from than non-students, particularly if you're living in a shared flat.
If you live in a hall of residence, specialist student insurance policiesy are more likely to be offer suitable cover.
In some cases, your possessions may already be covered by your parent’s home insurance policy, even while you’re living away at university, so ask them to check their policy before buying your own.
If you're renting a property, then the whole question of home insurance becomes far simpler.
You only need contents insurance - it's up to the landlord to protect their investment with buildings cover.
There can be several complications if you're renting a room in a shared flat.
For a start, it can be hard to get everyone to agree to taking out a policy. Not everyone sees home insurance as essential.
There's also the danger that your flatmates' actions could invalidate your cover. For example, if they leave the door unlocked or a window open and that's how a thief gets in.
Some insurers won’t cover shared flats, or have exclusions in the policy, especially if bedrooms don't have their own locks.
You should still be able to find flat insurance easily enough, but your choice of provider might be limited, which can mean higher premiums.
But always make clear to insurers the living arrangements in your shared flat or - in the event of a claim - your policy is likely to be invalid.
A water leak in a block of flats can get complicated - the damage caused might be covered by several different policies within the same building.
That can make it hard to establish whose responsibility it is to deal with the problem.
Ceri McMillan, our home insurance expert says, “If you’re in a leasehold flat, the main pipes will probably be the responsibility of the freeholder.
“Check your tenancy agreement if you’re renting as your landlord might be responsible for them.”
Properties that are part commercial and part residential can be tricky to insure. Many insurers don’t offer cover for both, so you’ll need a separate business insurance and home insurance policy for each.
If you don’t own the business premises, but simply lease the flat, getting contents insurance should be much easier.
Premiums tend to be more expensive for flat above a commercial premise that’s a security risk or at increased risk of fire damage – for instance a takeaway or restaurant.
Your home insurance premium is calculated based on a variety of factors, including the value of your possessions, the rebuild cost of your home, your postcode and more.
According to our data, combined buildings and contents insurance costs around £191 a year.
Individual policies are almost always cheaper, but they may not give you the coverage you need.
You should always find out policies are available, what cover you need and what you can afford before purchasing a policy.
 The average price paid for home insurance purchased in July 2022 by type of cover. For buildings and contents insurance, it was £191. For buildings insurance only, it was £150. For contents insurance only, it was £75.
Page last reviewed: 23 June 2022