Buildings Insurance – Money Advice Service

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Buildings insurance covers the cost of damage to the structure of your property. It is a combined insurance that will cover or replace any damage that might occur to the house or its contents, including loss.

The Money Advice Service is set up by government and offers free and impartial advice, tips and budget planners for all life’s money matters . We’re here to help you make better financial decisions.


There are two types of household insurance – buildings and contents insurance. This video will explain more about buildings insurance.

If you own your home, you probably need buildings insurance. It pays the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged by something like a storm, falling trees or subsidence.

It also covers the cost of fixtures and fittings, such as your kitchen units and the bathroom suite.

You don’t need buildings insurance if you live in a rented home, or if you live in a leasehold flat and your landlord buys it for you.

There are different ways of working out how much buildings insurance cover you need.

You can buy it based on the number of bedrooms your home has, called ‘bedroom rated’ insurance.

Or you can buy based on the amount you’ve insured for – called ‘sum insured’ cover, where you work out what your home would cost to rebuild if it was badly damaged.

The rebuild cost isn’t the same as the price you paid for your house or what it’s worth today. It’s normally lower than the market price because you wouldn’t have to pay for the land your home is on.

Be careful not to under-insure your home, especially if it’s an older property, a listed building or if it’s worth a lot of money.

The best way to work out the rebuild cost is to ask a chartered surveyor, but you’ll have to pay for their time.

Insurance that’s based on the number of bedrooms is easier to arrange because you don’t have to do the calculation yourself.

Whatever policy you choose, it’s a good idea to ask for the amount you’re insuring to be index linked. So it keeps up with inflation and you should always have enough cover.

If you use an insurance broker, they can help you work out which is the best type of policy for you.

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