Exclusions and limits
Each policy will have certain exclusions where you will not be allowed to claim. It's important to check your exclusions and cover limits with your provider and in the policy documents
1 51% of consumers could save up to £196.93 a year on buildings and contents insurance. Consumer Intelligence, December 2023. UK only.
2 Accurate as of February 2024
Buildings insurance covers your home from damage by flood, fire, subsidence, storm or vandalism. It protects the structure of the building (the walls, roof, floors and extensions) and its fixtures (such as built-in wardrobes, bathroom suites and fitted kitchens).
Your buildings insurance company will also repair damage caused by leaky pipes or faulty electronics, as well as criminal or accidental damage. If necessary, they’ll even foot the bill to rebuild it completely.
Your mortgage lender will require you to have buildings insurance because as soon as you exchange contracts on a property, you’re legally responsible for the building. If you own your home outright, buildings insurance protects your investment.
Most mortgage lenders insist that you have buildings insurance before you exchange contracts and purchase your home
Buildings insurance covers your investment from structural issues, though you may need specific landlords’ insurance too
If you own your house outright, buildings insurance protects your home from all sorts of problems
If you own an apartment in a block of flats, an individual buildings insurance policy isn’t necessary
Renters don’t need buildings insurance – that’s the responsibility of the owner. Consider renters insurance instead
Buildings insurance is often taken care of by freeholders and paid for by leaseholders with service charges from leaseholders
Fire damage is always covered as standard in buildings insurance
Cover for burst rivers, storms, or heavy rain comes as standard for almost all buildings insurance policies
Buildings insurance covers damage caused by violent wind, rain, hail, snow, or lightning
Subsidence and heave
Most buildings insurance policies will cover damage caused by violent wind, rain, hail, snow, or lightning
Collisions and falling debris
Buildings insurance covers the cost of clearing debris as well as rebuilding any damage
Escape of water
Buildings insurance will cover the cost of repairing and replacing burst pipes and associated water damage
Theft and vandalism
Buildings insurance helps you get important repairs and replacements to keep your home safe
Wear and tear
Damage caused by wear and tear e.g. damp, condensation, rust, dry or wet rot are not covered
Contents inside your home
Items inside of your home, including furniture, carpets, clothes, electronics and personal items are not covered. You'll need contents insurance to cover these.
Extended absence from your home
If you plan to be away for any longer than 30 days, you will need to purchase unoccupied house insurance
Most buildings insurance policies are unlikely to include asbestos removal, unless it is disturbed as a result of a fire or flood
As frost is a likely occurrence most winters, damage caused by frost, such as frozen pipes, isn't included
Storm damage to fences, gates, or hedges
These elements of your home are not covered in the event of a storm
You cannot make a claim on your buildings insurance policy if the incident is a result of poor workmanship or faulty design
You can protect a shed or garage as well as any contents you keep in them with this cover
Garden insurance will protect valuable items that you leave in your garden, including outdoor furniture and tools
Buying extra cover will help you claim for any structural damage to your pool
Ponds and patios
Optional extra insurance is available to cover structural damage to your pond or patio (but not the fish in it)
Accidental damage insurance will pay out for any sudden and unintentional damage
Alternative accommodation cover will help you pay for the cost of living elsewhere while your home is being repaired
Home emergency cover will cover the cost of calling out a tradesman when there’s a sudden unexpected incident
To get a buildings insurance quote, you will need to provide some basic details about yourself and your property, including:
Your name and the address of the property
Number of bedrooms
Type of property e.g. detached, semi-detached, terraced house or flat
Whether your roof is flat or pitched
What type of cover you're looking for, including any add-ons
How much your house would cost to rebuild
Whether your property has ever been flooded
Any previous claims, other than for a flood or subsidence
4According to MoneySuperMarket data collected between October to December 2023
The sum insured for your home should cover the full amount it would cost to rebuild from the foundations up at today’s prices – in case something like a gas explosion destroys it completely.
When you get a buildings insurance quote, you will be asked for the rebuild cost figure. The rebuild cost of a house is how much it would cost to construct it in the same way with the same materials from scratch at today’s prices, including labour.
This is not the same as your house’s market value, which also includes the price of the land it’s built on, and local amenities and transport links.
It’s hard to calculate the exact cost of rebuilding, so you need to ensure your estimate is as accurate as possible. A chartered surveyor can help – check out our guide to calculating rebuild costs for more information.
Buildings insurance is essential if you have a mortgage, unless you live in a block of flats. But bear in mind that the cost of rebuilding your home is not the same as its market value – which includes factors like the value of the land it's built on and local amenities. That means the cover you may be less than you paid for the property."
Buildings insurance and contents insurance are both important. The first protects the structure of your property if it’s damaged by natural disasters or vandalism, and the second protects your possessions.
As a rule of thumb, anything that can be carried out of a house is protected under contents insurance, which means things like carpets, curtains, white goods, light fittings and furniture. Meanwhile anything fixed to the structure of the house, such as built-in wardrobes, plus things like your garage or conservatory, are covered by buildings insurance.
No, you don’t need documents to get a quote. However you do need to know basic facts about the property you want to insure, including its age and the materials it is built from.
The simplest way to get a quote on buildings insurance is to give MoneySuperMarket a few details on your home. We will use your information to get quotes from a range of house insurance companies, which you can then search and choose the deal that suits you. You can also search for contents insurance at the same time, or even buy a policy which combines home and contents insurance.
While your mortgage lender will almost certainly require you to buy buildings insurance, you don’t have to buy it from their preferred insurer. In fact, you’ll probably be able to find cheaper insurance by shopping around and comparing prices.
If you own a leasehold property, you might find that the building is already insured by a landlord who owns the freehold. If you’re not sure, your solicitor can advise you.
In certain blocks of flats where leaseholders have joined forces to buy a portion of the freehold, you might have to buy your own buildings cover.
Most buildings insurance policies do not cover rising damp, sadly. It’s unusual for home insurance policies to cover any kind of gradual deterioration.
You can still get buildings insurance if you live in a flood risk area, but your premiums are likely to be quite a lot more expensive. You can find out more in our guide to flood insurance.
If you want to extend or convert your house, or make significant renovations, you should let your insurer know before the work begins. You will probably be able to make changes to your policy, but it’s best to inform them first, in case anything goes wrong and your policy is invalidated.
If you are leaving your property empty for more than 31 days at a time, you will probably need a specialist unoccupied home insurance policy.
If you haven’t been able to get the information from the title deed to your home, which should have been obtained by your conveyancer or estate agent when you bought it, the easiest way to check the age of your home is with the government’s Land Registry service.
Garages are considered separate structures for the purposes of buildings insurance, and you’ll have to list it as such when you apply. You should still be able to get cover, but it’s not wise to claim it as another ordinary room.
Buildings insurance is available to people who own listed buildings or those made from non-standard materials such as thatched roofs, though the chances are you'll have to pay a little extra due to the extra risk, and the extra rebuild costs.
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