Some colourful terraced houses.

Buildings and contents insurance

If you own a home, or are in the process of buying one, you'll need to protect the building and you should consider protecting all your belongings too with quality insurance. Here we answer some the questions you may have about buildings and contents cover.

What is buildings and contents insurance?

There are three main types of home insurance: buildings insurance, contents insurance and combined buildings and contents cover. Home buildings and contents insurance is basically two single policies rolled into one – which makes it easier to manage and could save you some money, too.

What does building and contents insurance cover?

Buildings insurance covers the actual structure of your home, while contents covers the things inside of it. But there's more to each type of insurance – let's take a look in a little more detail.

Buildings insurance

This protects the actual bricks and mortar of your home. In general, it will pay to repair or rebuild your home if it's damaged by a range of events, including:

  • Fire, smoke and explosion
  • Escape of water and flooding
  • Storms and lightning
  • Subsidence (some policies cover this)
  • Natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes)
  • Falling trees
  • Collapse of aerials and satellite dishes

Building insurance also covers permanent structures in your home, like fitted kitchens and bathroom suites, and outbuildings such as garages and sheds.

Contents insurance

Contents essentially covers all the things in your home that aren't part of its structure. Things like your TV, beds, mirrors and carpets – some providers will even cover the contents of your fridge-freezer. You can claim on your policy for loss or damage of your belongings caused by:

  • Fire, smoke and explosion
  • Flooding
  • Leaks from heating or water fixtures
  • Storms and lightning
  • Vandalism
  • Theft and attempted theft
  • Falling trees
  • Natural disasters

A buildings and contents insurance policy – sometimes referred to more generally as home insurance – includes all of the above. But the terms and conditions vary with each provider, so make sure you read the fine print so you know exactly what you're covered for.

Do you need buildings and contents insurance?

Almost all mortgage providers will ask you take out buildings insurance as a condition of them lending you the money. They're likely to recommend a certain insurer because they're partnered with them, but that won't always lead to you getting the best deal, so make sure you shop around.

Cover for your contents is completely optional, but if you had your TV stolen or sofa damaged by a water leak, you'd have to pay out the full cost to repair or replace them if you didn't have contents insurance. The money you'd have to pay can be more than the cost of the policy.

How much is buildings and contents insurance?

Your premium's based on a huge range of factors, from where you live and the type of house you live in, to the combined value of your belongings. We are committed to finding customers the best buildings and contents policy for the best price.

Our home policies feature a huge range of benefits as standard, including:

  • £1,000,000 of buildings cover
  • £75,000 of contents cover (which can be increased up to £150,000)
  • £100,000 for alternative accommodation
  • New for old insurance (excluding linens)
  • 24-hour access to our claims helpline

Because all homeowners are different, you can tailor your policy to suit your needs. Optional extras we offer include:

  • High value items cover. You'll need additional protection for items in your home worth more than £1,500.
  • Portable property protection. This covers items taken away from the home, like bicycles and jewellery.
  • Home emergency (included in Premier policies). This protects against home emergencies like boiler breakdowns or problems with the central heating or plumbing. We'll send out a trusted contractor to carry out repairs and will pay up to £500 per claim.
  • Home legal expenses (included in Premier policies). You and your family living with you can call RAC's Legal Helpline to discuss any personal legal or debt matter. If you need more help, there is also up to £100,000 towards legal costs to support with disputes involving employment, contracts, your home, probate, school admissions, tax or if you've suffered personal injury or clinical negligence.

Home insurance

We know how important your home and its contents are to you. That's why we offer home insurance that covers you for the unexpected expense that theft, loss and damage can bring. Plus, you can choose from a great range of optional extras.

Log in to MyAccount

Log in to MyAccount to manage your policy online. You can view and download documents at your convenience. If your policy number starts with 'XA' you can also make payments and changes to your policy online.