What buildings insurance is and when to get it

Published: 23rd Dec, 2023

Author: Charlotte Burton

What buildings insurance is and when to get it

Buildings insurance pays out if the structure or fixed parts of your home are damaged or destroyed. It covers the costs of repairs, or even the costs of rebuilding your entire home. Getting buildings insurance is normally a condition of your mortgage.


📅 When should your buildings insurance policy start?

You will need buildings insurance from the date of exchange, not from the date of completion! When you exchange contracts, the buyer becomes legally responsible for the property, including any damage.


🏠 What parts of your home does buildings insurance cover?

  • The structural parts of your home, like the roof, walls and windows.
  • Things associated with the structure, like pipes, drains and cables.
  • Fixed parts of your home, both outside (fences, garages and sheds) and inside (kitchen and bathroom fixtures).

It doesn't cover carpets or furniture - those are part of contents insurance.


💸 When would buildings insurance pay out?

There are normally pretty strict conditions on when buildings insurance would pay out, but generally they include:

  • ⛈️ Natural events like storms, earthquakes, floods, & frozen or burst pipes
  • 🔥 Not-so-natural events like explosions or fires
  • 🙅 People-related problems like theft or vandalism
  • 🌳 Falling things like trees, lampposts, aeroplanes (!)
  • 🕳️ Subsidence if your property hasn't had it before, but only for repair not prevention.

🤔 How should I pick a buildings insurance policy?

  • First, get multiple insurance quotes from a comparison website like Compare the Market , Go Compare or MoneySuperMarket.
  • Check out reviews of the insurers - sometimes the cheapest ones have the worst reviews.
  • Consider what excess you'd be able to pay if you had to make a claim. This is the money you’d pay towards the damage every time you claim on the insurance. The higher the excess, the less you'll pay for the insurance, but don't risk putting in a high excess that you can't afford.
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