Buildings insurance covers the repair or rebuilding of your property in the event of damage or disaster. Not only is buildings insurance vital, as it covers the roof over your head, but it is a requirement of mortgage providers as they need to protect the security of their loan.
Buildings insurance typically covers the structure of your home, permanent fixtures like fitted kitchens, baths and basins, and often such things as garden sheds, greenhouses, garages, driveways, paths, gates, boundary walls, fences and swimming pools.
When looking to buy buildings insurance it is important to check exactly what the policy covers. It is tempting to opt for the cheapest quote, but for a just a bit more money you may be covered for considerably more.
At the very least the policy will cover the cost of rebuilding your home should it be completely destroyed or damaged to the point that complete rebuilding is required. Some policies only cover the market value, so it is important to check this.
The policy may also cover against damage caused by events beyond your control such as storm and flood damage, fire, smoke and explosions, subsidence, burst pipes and other incidents of water leakage, vandalism or third party damage. The policy may provide you with alternative accommodation in the event of your home becoming uninhabitable.
Standard buildings insurance does not cover a property being let. If you are letting a property, you are running a business and therefore require business buildings insurance.
You should take out landlord buildings insurance or buy to let building insurance. This covers you for the liability risk should your tenant or another visitor to the property injure themselves and it is proved that the fault relates to your property. Also many let properties remain empty for extended periods of time, and a standard policy may not cover this eventuality, whilst these specialist policies should do.
Many landlords rely on using standard buildings insurance for rental property, however it is important to know that failure to disclose that the property is being let can result in cancelled policies, unpaid claims and may even affect your ability to obtain future insurance.