Buildings insurance covers the building itself as well as the fittings and fixtures of the home. Please note, the contents of the building are not included, which is in essence everything that could be removed from the property. For protection on the things within the household, you will separately need contents insurance.
Also in most instances, for people who have a mortgage, the lender will require you to have buildings insurance in place.
What is covered in a buildings insurance policy?
Buildings insurance policies can vary quite widely and it is therefore always recommended that you read your policy’s terms and conditions.
Generally speaking, a buildings insurance policy should not only cover your home in the event of damage from fire and floods but it should also pay -out in the event of vandalism, storm damage, burst pipes and subsidence.
In many cases, buildings insurance will also include legal and emergence repairs costs such as pest control and issues with boilers and heating systems. Within the insurance policy, there may also be a 24 hours emergency number which gives you quick access to professionals.
In some instances, accidental damage is also included in the policy such as damage to bathroom fixtures etc. Should the property not be habitable, the insurance company may even provide a payout so you can find other suitable accommodation whilst the problems at home are getting resolved.
How much buildings insurance shall I opt for?
If you underinsure you could be left with a big bill to bring your home to its former glory and If you over insure, you will end up paying higher premiums needlessly, so getting the right amount of cover is essential.
The amount of buildings insurance cover you require should be dependent on the rebuild value which is typically lower than the market value.
Should you wish to know the rebuild value of your home, you can consult a surveyor to determine the price. You can find a surveyor via the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
What determines the premium for buildings insurance?
There are many factors which are taken into consideration when insurance companies give a quote such as the size, location and age of your house.
Naturally rebuilding a big house which has recently been built with a steel-frame, thatch roof (most expensive roof type) and is close to the river will have high premiums due to the magnitude, quality and probability of flooding at the home.
How can I reduce the cost of buildings insurance?
Be sure not to auto-renew much like car insurance, it really pays to look around and change your buildings insurance policy. Always compare!
If you can afford it, you can increase your excess voluntarily which will reduce the premiums too, as your will be paying more towards any possible claim.
Be sure to have the right level of cover at all times. Do not reduce the level of cover, as you could end up in a disastrous situation for the sake of a few pounds.