What should I consider when choosing buildings insurance?
Before buying a policy it’s important to check:
- What’s included as standard
- The amount of excess
- How long you can leave your home unoccupied
- Alternative accommodation
- No-claims bonus (NCB)
- What isn’t covered by your policy
What’s included as standard such as damage by fire, floods, storms and subsidence, which are usually covered. However, accidental damage insurance often needs to be bought as an add on.
The amount of excess you need to pay if you make a claim. There’s often a compulsory excess set by the insurer but you may be able to reduce the price of your insurance by agreeing a voluntary excess that you pay towards any claim.
How long you can leave your home unoccupied is something to take into consideration if you’re away for long periods of time. Many policies won’t cover your home if it’s left unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days.
Alternative accommodation is important if your home suffers serious damage by fire or flood. Make sure to check with your provider that this is provided if you’re concerned about damage to your home as there may be limits as to how much you can claim.
No-claims bonus (NCB) should build up if you don’t make a claim during the policy year. You may be able to build up your NCB and enjoy lower insurance prices.
What isn’t covered by your policy may include accidental damage to your home or poor workmanship. Also, you may not be covered for pest infestations or frost damage.
How much does buildings insurance cost?
The average price of buildings insurance is £197.262 but prices can vary considerably depending on the type of home you want to insure:
Insurance companies will take into account a huge range of factors from the property’s location through to its size and age. As a rule of thumb, larger and listed properties will cost more to insure, as will those in areas where there is a higher risk of flooding.
2September 2021 Confused.com data - top average premium excluding quotes with claims or accidental damage.
Need more help?
No. Only the owner of a property can buy the buildings insurance. If you’re not the building owner but you’re worried about appropriate buildings insurance, you can check with the building’s proprietor or landlord to check this cover is in place.
If you’re a tenant, you make want to look at contents insurance to make sure your personal possessions are covered.
Yes, you can protect your home against flooding even in a flood risk area. The government and insurers have an agreement which allows for affordable insurance even in flood risk areas, it’s called Flood Re.
Find out more about flood insurance.
No. Although your mortgage lender will require you to have buildings insurance you don't have to buy it from your mortgage provider unless it's a specific requirement of your mortgage contract.
Lenders will often offer policies from their own insurers. This does mean that as they're usually the only insurer offering you buildings cover when you’re arranging your mortgage, there’s less need for them to competitively price your insurance policy.
You can often save money by shopping around and comparing quotes from a number of insurers. That's where we can help.
What our home insurance expert says:
Most mortgage providers will insist you have buildings cover in place. Even if you own your property outright, buildings insurance is still a no-brainer. Structural repairs to your home can be pricey, especially if any damage caused requires a re-build. It can give you peace of mind that if something does happen, you’re not left out of pocket.
Home insurance product manager