Levels of cover
You would only ever need to have buildings insurance if you own (or are planning to own) a property and you are looking to protect it. This includes part ownership schemes such as Help to Buy. If you are renting a property, you do not need buildings insurance.
There isn’t a legal obligation for homeowners to have buildings insurance, but mortgage lenders may make buildings insurance a condition of lending you money. It is also a good idea in its own right, as without buildings insurance, anything that happens to your house would have to be paid out of your own pocket. And, while it’s not nice to think about, this could potentially include the cost of a rebuild – something that is out of most people’s means.
Typically, buying a flat involves becoming part of a business or group of leaseholders who collectively own the building. Alternatively a management company might look after the administration of the building, including the buildings insurance.
Depending on the nature of the building as a whole, you may be able to decide with the other leaseholders which insurer to use and what the policy covers. However, in bigger buildings, it’s likely that the business that owns the property as a whole will arrange the buildings cover and you will contribute to the overall monthly premium.
This won’t be the same for everyone, and so it’s important you understand from the owners of the building as a whole whether your property is covered on a catch-all buildings insurance policy.
This type of arrangement is unlikely to extend to contents insurance, which will be up to you to arrange.
Whatever the age or type of property you live in, if you own it, you will need to get buildings insurance if you want it to be protected.
This is the case for part-ownership schemes as well, like Help to Buy. Any time that you engage a mortgage lender to become a homeowner, you are very likely to need to have buildings insurance in order to qualify.
New-builds by their nature have not been lived in before, so you may encounter problems that couldn’t have been foreseen. This is one reason why buildings insurance can be important.
By its nature, buildings cover doesn’t cover contents.
Accidental damage – i.e. damage that you or someone in your house does to your property unintentionally – is not covered as standard and can be purchased as an add-on for Silver policies. With Gold policies, Accidental Damage comes as standard.
Some elements of wear and tear, like pipes that burst due to age and natural corrosion, may not be covered as standard. It’s important if you live in an old property to make sure that you are covered for things that could go wrong as a result of the property’s age.
There may be other exclusions that are due to your personal circumstances (for instance, if you or someone in your property smokes), so answer everything accurately when getting a quote to get the most representative figure.
Check your Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) or Policy Summary for details to ensure the policy suits your needs.
If you’ve had a survey done then there may be items on it that we will ask about in the quote journey. So it can be helpful to have your survey results to hand.
We’ll also need to know if you’ve done, are doing or plan to do any significant renovation or building work.