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Flat insurance

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What is flat insurance?

Flat insurance offers the same cover as standard home insurance.

It's made up of two parts: buildings and contents.

Buildings insurance protects the structure of your property, including any fixtures and fittings, while contents insurance covers your possessions.

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.

Flat insurance

Do I need home insurance for my flat?

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

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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Contents insurance for flats

Contents insurance covers loss of your possessions to things like burglary, accidental damage and flooding.

It covers personal items that are not fixed to your flat, such as home appliances and other electrical equipment, clothes, jewellery and furniture.

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.

Find out more about contents insurance >

Buildings insurance for flats

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:

  • Communal areas and gardens;
  • Public liability claims;
  • Flats that are unoccupied for more than 30 days;
  • Home refurbishments by flat owners

If you aren’t sure who’s responsible for insuring the building’s structure, you should seek legal advice.

Find out more about buildings insurance >

Insurance for students in flats

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.

Find out more about home insurance for students >

How much does flat insurance cost?

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 £148 a year[1].

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.

How to find cheaper flat insurance quotes

There are a few ways to cut the cost of insuring your flat:

  1. Pay for what you need

    Check what’s covered by communal policies and your freeholder’s insurance before you buy

  2. Don't auto-renew

    Comparing quotes can save you money

  3. Pay annually

    Paying in a lump sum means you won’t have to pay interest on monthly instalments

References

[1] Between 1 Mar 2021 to 31 May 2021, 52% of customers were quoted annual buildings and contents insurance premiums of £147.50 or less with Gocompare.com. 52% of customers were quoted annual buildings only insurance premiums of £110.50 or less and 52% of customers were quoted annual contents only insurance premiums of £59.50 or less.

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2021

Next review due: 15 December 2021

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