Buildings insurance covers damage to the structure of your home such as the walls, roof and floors. It usually covers damage to garages, outbuildings, cables, drains and other permanent fixtures to your home such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Do I need buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance isn't compulsory but it is advisable. Think about how you would afford to rebuild your house if it were damaged or destroyed?

If you have a mortgage on your property, it will be a condition of your mortgage that you have insurance cover for your buildings. Your mortgage provider may offer you insurance cover but you don't have to buy your insurance directly from them.

What am I covered for?

Typically, your buildings insurance should cover you for claims caused by:

  • Flooding, fire, explosion, storms, earthquakes, lightning
  • Theft, attempted theft and vandalism
  • Frozen and burst pipes
  • Fallen trees, lampposts, aerials or satellite dishes
  • Subsidence
  • Escape of water

If you want cover for damage or losses caused by an accident, for example putting a nail through a pipe or breaking a window, you will need to extend your policy to include accidental damage cover.

How much cover do you need?

It's important to make sure you insure yourself for the amount it would cost to completely rebuild your home, this isn't the price you paid for your home or the current value if you were to sell it.

The Association of British insurers offer a free online calculator to help you work out the cost of rebuilding your home. If you have an unusual or listed property you can pay for a survey from a Royal Institute Chartered Surveyor.

Some insurers offer a fixed amount of cover. Its still important to check the value of your property so you can be sure that you have enough cover.

Many insurers automatically increase the sum insured on an annual basis (this is called index linking) however you should regularly review your rebuild value.

If you extend your home or carry out any major improvements make sure you review your buildings sum insured to reflect these changes.

If my home is at risk of flooding what buildings insurance cover should I have?

If your property is in a high flood risk area, there is a greater chance that you are likely to make a claim, so when buying flood insurance it is really important that you have the right cover in place.

We've produced a two part guide to help people in high flood risk areas understand in more detail the types of insurance that you can buy to protect their home, and some of the features and benefits that may important to them.

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