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New build home insurance

Affordable buildings insurance for your new-build home

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Home insurance for new builds

A new-build home is usually defined as a property that has been built in the last two years which has never been owned or lived in, though the exact definition can differ between lenders.

New builds are put into a special category for insurance purposes because there are certain ways they can go wrong – usually construction defects, or features and fittings that don’t work properly. Many of these should be protected by the 10-year warranty which comes with most new-build properties – but that warranty doesn’t cover every eventuality.

If you buy a new build, your mortgage lender will almost certainly require you to get a buildings insurance policy to protect the property for damage that’s outside your control, including fire, flooding and storms.

buildings insurance illustration

What does new-build insurance cover?

Buildings insurance for new-build properties covers the physical structure of the building as standard, as well as permanent fixtures like bathroom suites or fitted kitchens.

You are insured for the ‘rebuild cost’ – however much it would cost to rebuild the property from the ground up. This covers the value of the building materials and labour, but not the value of the land itself. Find out more about calculating the rebuild cost of your home. 

There are also plenty of extras you can include on top of your regular policy, if you choose:

The NHBC Buildmark certificate explained

Most new properties in the UK are constructed by companies registered with the National House-Building Council (NHBC), and they come with a certificate that acts as a 10-year warranty protecting you from certain common problems.

The NHBC Buildmark certificate currently protects around 80% of newly built or converted homes in the UK – or 1.5 million or so properties in total.

The NHBC certificate lasts for 10 years, and works like this:

  • For the first two years, whoever built your property will fix any issues that result from the work they did – for example, windows and doors not opening or closing properly
  • For the remaining eight years it works as an insurance policy covering you for physical damage resulting from work carried out by the builders – but not wear and tear
  • You’ll also be covered if you lose your deposit because your builders ended up bankrupt or insolvent – up to either 10% of the purchase price or £100,000, whichever is greater
NHBC illustration

What makes up the rebuild value?

There are plenty of factors at play when it comes to working out your home insurance premiums. These are the main things to think about:

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The age of the property

Older materials are often more expensive

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The building materials

We need to know what the roof, walls and frame are made of 

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Subsidence risk

A higher subsidence risk means more chance of serious damage 

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If the property is near a river there is a higher flood risk

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Number of rooms, doors and windows

These indicate a larger building and higher costs

How much does new-build insurance cost?

The cost of your annual home insurance depends on plenty of factors – including size, location and construction type. 

The average premium for a house that’s less than two years old is just £72, according to MoneySuperMarket data collected in November 2020. As a rule of thumb, the older a property, the more it costs to insure.

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Get cheaper new-build home insurance

The average monthly new-build insurance premium costs £721, One good way to find cheaper buildings insurance premiums is to shop around and see if you can find a cheaper policy elsewhere, instead of auto-renewing. Here are our top tips:

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You could get an average quote of £721 when you search for buildings insurance with MoneySuperMarket

1The average monthly premium for houses built in 2019 and 2020, according to MoneySuperMarket data collected in November 2020.

Compare cheap home insurance from over 55 providers

We’re committed to finding the right cover for you and your home. 

That’s why we compare over 55 of the biggest insurance providers in the country, including:

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Kate Devine

Our expert says

"New-build homes don’t often have issues, and those that do tend to be covered by the NHBC certificate. You will still need a home insurance policy when you get your mortgage, however, as the certificate doesn’t cover you for damage that’s not been caused by the builders."

- Kate Devine, head of home insurance

Yes, you do. Even though new-build homes usually come with a warranty that protects you from errors in the construction process, the warranty doesn’t cover you for everything that can go wrong with a new home. What’s more, your mortgage lender will almost certainly require you to take out buildings insurance before they lend you the money.

The cost of your home insurance depends on many factors, including where you live and what the house is built out of, but because newer homes tend to be better constructed and made out of readily available materials, it usually costs less on average to insure them.

New-build homes come with many advantages – they have modern designs which aim to be future proof, they’ve yet to suffer wear and tear, and there are certain government schemes available which can often make them cheaper to buy.

The NHBC is an independent body which helps provide warranties and certification for new homes. It also supplies inspectors for building regulations.

It is a non-profit distributing company, which means it is bound to put all its profits back into running its services. NHBC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

Most newly built properties come with a certificate, either from NHBC or one of the two other bodies which provide similar warranties. Without a warranty, you’re not protected if there are flaws in the construction of your home.

If your new-build property doesn’t have a buildmark certificate it makes it even more important to take out a home insurance policy that covers your building and contents.

You should also ask the builder why they aren’t part of the scheme if possible before you buy the home. It may be because they’re a small business and they can’t afford to pay the fees involved, but you should ideally aim to find a property with a certificate.

If you’re purchasing a property that’s been newly converted you may be eligible for a Buildmark certificate, however it may come with certain exclusions – you should become familiar with any policy documents and certificates so you know exactly how the cover applies.

In the first two years, Buildmark covers you for physical damage that occurs to your home as a result of builders’ errors, the removal of contaminated land, and any costs you might incur for staying in alternate accommodation and storing your possessions while corrective works take place.

In years three to 10, Buildmark should protect your home from damage that results from the property not being built to NHBC requirements.

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So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

We aim to show you home insurance quotes from as many insurance companies as possible, so that you can find the right policy for you.

Unfortunately, we can’t promise to show quotes from every insurance provider, because not all companies want to be included on comparison websites.

We won’t offer you advice or make a recommendation, but we will provide you with all the information you need to help you decide which is the right policy for you.

You can find out more about how we work here.

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