Guide to Buildings Insurance | Blog | Bespoke Home Finanace

Guide to Buildings Insurance

What is building insurance? Buildings Insurance is essential for anyone who owns a property as it covers the cost of repairing damage to a building’s structure or completely rebuilding if the property was totally destroyed. Without the proper cover, you could end up with a home that you can’t afford to fix or an outstanding mortgage to pay on a property that’s been destroyed by a flood or fire! Did you know that all lenders need a proof of building insurance? It is a part of their terms and conditions of the mortgage.

What does Buildings Insurance cover?

Buildings insurance is designed to cover the structure of a property, this includes the walls and roof, against damage, loss and theft, as well as any permanent fixtures and fittings, including bathroom suites, fitted kitchens and built-in cupboards. This basically means anything that doesn’t fall off would be insured under your buildings insurance.

Some buildings policies usually also cover outbuildings within the property boundaries such as garages, greenhouses and garden sheds. This is worth checking with the experts as this is not always the case. With some policies these can be added at little cost. Any possessions kept in the buildings including your outbuildings, need contents insurance, as opposed to buildings insurance. Some Policies vary, but here is a list of what building insurance should cover:

  • Burst pipes
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Vandalism and malicious damage
  • Explosions (caused by gas leaks or electrical failure)
  • Subsidence and land heave (provided it’s not pre-existing)
  • Communication equipment collapsing, such as aerials and satellite apparatus
  • Theft or attempted theft of buildings, or parts of buildings
  • Storm and lightning damage
  • Falling trees and branches
  • Damaged caused to someone else’s property (by trees in your garden)

Extras to standard cover

When creating your cover it’s important to remember that there can be extras created. Here are an example of the most popular extras: 

Accidental damage – Limited cover for accidental damage to glass in doors and windows, and to bathroom fittings, sometimes forms part of most standard cover. But if you want full accidental damage cover you might need pay for it as an ‘add on’. If you put your foot through a ceiling, for example, the repair work needed would then be covered.

Home emergency cover – Cover for home emergencies can prove extremely useful. If your boiler breaks down in the middle of winter, for example, it could ordinarily take several days or longer to find a plumber to fix it. With home emergency insurance you would be guaranteed rapid help. Most such cover includes loss of house keys, drainage issues and broken windows that represent a security risk and need replacing fast.

Alternative accommodation – If your home was flooded to the extent it became uninhabitable, alternative accommodation insurance would prove very helpful. It covers the cost of renting another property, or even hotel accommodation, for a stipulated period. Some policies include this as standard, so check your policy wording.

How Much Cover Do You Need?

When working out the maximum cover your property needs, you should bear in mind that the sum insured is based on the rebuild value, not the current market value (i.e. the price at which you could sell it to someone else). Finding the right building insurance for you is our top priority, at Bespoke Home Finance we can find the best policy for you. Most standard policies now provide blanket cover up to £500,000, or even more. We will find out what the maximum pay out in the event of a claim would cover the full cost of rebuilding your home.

Biggest Mistakes When Taking Out Buildings Insurance

People often make assumptions, when taking out building insurance. They assume that the cover includes many different things without asking the insurer or reading the policy small print. They can then be shocked and disappointed when it comes to making a claim, as all policies include exclusions of some sort or other.

Exclusions may include the following:

  • General maintenance and wear and tear – When it comes to general damage like condensation and weathering to roofs and brickwork. It is down to you to keep the property in good condition.
  • Central heating boilers – If you want boiler cover you will usually have to buy it as additional cover, or a stand-alone policy.
  • Non-disclosure – If you fail to tell your insurer certain information, it could invalidate any future claim you might make. If property has experienced flooding or subsidence prior to your taking out buildings insurance, the insurer must be told.
  • Fencing – Fencing is only covered if it forms part of the whole property (such as a boundary fence), rather than decorative fencing such as garden trellis or screens.
  • Away for long periods – Standard policies usually stipulate that you leave a property unoccupied for no longer than 30 days. Any damage that happens after this time would not be covered. If you are going to be away for longer, talk to your insurer as you may be able to extend the time limit.
  • Neighbour disputes – Legal expenses are usually covered if something happens to your property which also damages a neighbour’s. But personal injury or disputes concerning boundary rights, access and other typical areas of conflict between neighbours, aren’t unless you pay to include legal expenses cover.

How to Save Money on Buildings Insurance?

Buildings insurance can be bought as a stand-alone policy, but it’s nearly always cheaper to buy at the same time as contents insurance as part of a general home insurance deal (‘home insurance’ refers to both buildings and contents cover). This is where we come in, at Bespoke Home Finance we can help find the right building insurance for you. Our staff will take a tailored approach to ensure that you find the right policy for you. We know how important it is to get the right cover and for the right price. If you are looking for a building insurance advisor who is trustworthy and will provide professional advice to guide you every step of the way, then look no further than Bespoke Home Finance. Call us today on …… or fill in a contact form below.

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