If you own a home, you should take out home insurance, which takes the form of buildings insurance, contents insurance or a combined buildings and contents policy. This guide tells you all you need to know about insurance for buildings.
What is buildings insurance?
Unlike contents insurance, buildings insurance covers the actual bricks and mortar of your home – including the roof, walls, floors and ceilings.
With the right level of protection, your insurer will pay to repair or replace your home if it's damaged or destroyed.
What does buildings insurance cover?
Buildings insurance protects you from loss or damage caused by a range of factors. Policies vary, but are likely to include:
- Theft or attempted theft
- Fire, smoke or explosions
- Extreme weather, like storms and flooding
- Natural disasters including earthquakes
- Escape of water or oil
- Malicious persons and rioting
- Falling trees or other objects colliding with your home (i.e. vehicles)
- Collapse of aerials or satellite dishes
As well as the actual structure of your home, permanent fixtures and fittings are also covered by buildings insurance. These include doors and windows, fitted kitchens, bathroom suites and built-in cupboards.
Outbuildings are usually covered too – for example garages, sheds, summer houses and gazebos. Gates, fences and outside walls aren't usually covered, so you should check your policy documents to know exactly where you stand.
Do I need buildings insurance?
Whether you live in it or rent it out, if you own a home it's advised you have buildings insurance.
If you're a first-time buyer your mortgage lender will want to see proof you have buildings insurance arranged before they lend you money. Your lender or mortgage broker is likely to recommend a provider they're partnered with, but this might not give you the best cover for the best price. So it's always worth getting a few buildings insurance quotes – one of them being from Hastings Direct!
If you're renting, it's your landlord's responsibility to sort out appropriate insurance for the building – check they have it when you sign the contract. Remember though, you need to take out your own contents insurance for your personal possessions. In a similar vein, if you're a landlord it's your duty to get your properties properly covered under your bespoke landlord policy.
How much is buildings insurance?
Buildings insurance is worked out based on how much it will cost to rebuild your home, not its market value. So your home's insured for the cost of repairing all damage following a catastrophic event.
The chance of your home being destroyed is very slim. But quality buildings insurance will make sure that if your home was severely damaged or destroyed, the cost of repairing or replacing it will be taken care of by your insurer.
You'll need to give an estimate of your home's rebuild value when you get a quote for buildings insurance. It's important you're as accurate as possible – underinsuring means you risk being out of pocket in the event of a claim, while overinsuring could lead to you paying too much for cover.
If you need help working out your home's rebuild cost, use a free calculator like this one on the Association of British Insurers' website. For a really accurate value, consider hiring a chartered surveyor to carry out a professional assessment.
The cost of cover depends on a host of other factors too, including the age and condition of your home, whether it's listed and where it is. You could save money by bringing buildings and contents insurance together under one, easier-to-manage policy. Hastings Direct customers save up to 20% on their annual premium by doing this.
Quality buildings insurance with Hastings Direct
Hastings Direct prides itself on offering quality, straightforward insurance for a price that won't break the bank.
Choose the level of cover that suits you, before tailoring your policy with our great range of optional extras. These include:
- Family legal protection. This helps to cover legal fees associated with pursuing civil legal proceedings for things like personal injury claims, contractor claims, probate disputes and motoring prosecutions. You and all family members living with you at your permanent address are covered, and you'll get unlimited 24-hour access to legal advice and a debt counselling service.
- Key protection. This will pay out to replace or recover keys that are lost, stolen, locked in or broken in a lock, preventing you from getting into your home. You get £1,500 worth of protection and we can also insure office and car keys.
- Home emergency assistance. Protect yourself against emergency home mishaps, including boiler breakdowns, plumbing issues, roof damage and much more. As soon as you report the problem via our helpline, we'll arrange for a trusted tradesperson to come and fix it for you.
Protect your home with quality insurance from Hastings Direct. Get a quote today and see how much you could save!
At Hastings Direct, 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.