For most households, a comprehensive home insurance that includes buildings insurance, content insurance and liability insurance is the best choice, but there are situations where a separate buildings insurance policy is a better idea. It is always important to take a look at all your insurance needs before making any decision.
Buildings insurance is an insurance policy for the building itself. It will typically cover things such as structural damage, damaged fixings and damaged fittings. Generally speaking, only things that are permanently attached to the building will be covered. With some buildings insurance policies, external things such as garden sheds and patios are covered too. One important point to check before you pick a buildings insurance policy is how well it covers the garage, if present.
What type of damage causes that are covered by the buildings insurance varies from policy to policy. Here are a few examples of points that you should check up when you compare different policies:
- Damage caused by fire
- Damage caused by floods
- Damage caused by strong winds
- Damage caused by falling trees
- Damage caused by vandalism
- Damage caused by earthquakes and tsunamis
- Damage caused by lightning
- Damage caused by water leaks on the property
- Damage caused by low temperatures
- Damage caused by snow or hail
- Damage caused by subsidence
- Accidental, reckless or intentional damage caused by renters
- Accidental, reckless or intentional damage caused by house guests
- Damage caused by DIY projects
Landlords buildings insurance in the United Kingdom
In many jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom, a special type of buildings insurance is available for landlords. A standard buildings insurance will normally not be sufficient to provide adequate cover when a building is rented out.
In addition to providing suitable buildings protection, landlord buildings insurance policies in the United Kingdom will often include cover for loss of rent in certain circumstances, and also personal liability cover (example: a tenant is injured in your building and is suing you).
An add-on to the insurance policy is usually required to keep vacant buildings covered. Other examples of popular add-ons are landlords content insurance and accidental damage insurance.
Buildings insurance for a flat in the United Kingdom
Many people fail to realize that in some situations, you definitely ought to have buildings insurance even though you live in a flat and not a freestanding house.
- If you only rent your flat, you shouldn’t have buildings insurance since you’re not the owner of the building. Focus on getting a good home insurance policy, or at least content insurance, instead.
- If you own a leasehold flat, you shouldn’t have buildings insurance since it is up to the owner of the freehold to keep the building insured.
- In recent years, it has become popular among leaseholders to buy a share of the freehold. This is when it becomes a bit complicated from an insurance point of view. If you and the other leaseholders go together and buy the freehold, you essentially become your own landlords and should get buildings insurance for the property. It is usually cheaper and less complicated to take out a block policy for the entire building rather than having each household get their own buildings insurance.