Your home is your safe place, so why not return the favour by safeguarding it against danger? Covering your home with insurance is the only way to protect it and its contents from the risk of damage and loss. However, when we think of home insurance, we think singular, but covering all contingencies takes two. Let’s dive deep into home contents insurance vs. buildings insurance to understand how the two work and which one you should choose.
Buildings insurance and content insurance are the two types of home insurance offered by British insurers.
Home contents insurance
Contents insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing high-value items in your home that have been subject to theft, damage, or events such as floods, fire, or storm. These items could be household goods or personal effects named on your policy owned by you or your family. Home contents insurance can also cover items you take out of the house, such as on holiday.
What does a home contents insurance cover?
It usually covers items such as jewellery, antiques, paintings, documents, credit cards, money, bicycles, mobility scooters, laptops, TVs, furniture, carpets, and appliances.
What are instances that this type of insurance is needed?
Content insurance covers all goods mentioned on the policy from damage and theft. It includes accidental damage, fire, flooding, storm, or burglary.
Who is responsible for the policy?
If you are a homeowner, securing the contents of your home will give you peace of mind. Renters can take out contents insurance for their possessions. If your rented property comes with furniture, appliances, and unfitted carpets, taking out contents insurance on these is your landlord’s responsibility.
Buildings insurance covers the cost of rebuilding and repairing the structure of your home damaged by flood, fire, or storm. It also covers permanent fixtures and fittings in your home, such as fitted kitchens and fitted bedroom furniture. It doesn’t cover items inside your home, for which you need home contents insurance.
What does buildings insurance cover?
Buildings insurance covers damage to the structure of your home, including roof, walls, floor, doors, windows, and fixtures and fittings. Outbuildings such as garages, sheds, and conservatories are also covered, as well as pipes, cables, and drains.
Buildings insurance covers the cost of
- Fire, explosion, storms, floods, and earthquakes
- Theft, attempted theft, and vandalism
- Water damage, frozen, and burst pipes
- Fallen trees, lampposts, aerials, or satellite dishes
- Vehicle or aircraft collisions
- Oil leaking from your heating system
Why do I need buildings insurance?
Buildings insurance is usually a condition of the mortgage. A mortgage lender requires you have buildings insurance in place from the moment you exchange contracts to ensure their stake in your home is protected. The policy must at least cover the outstanding mortgage. Your lender will either give you a choice of insurer or allow you to choose one yourself. They can reject your choice of insurer, but unless your mortgage package includes insurance, they cannot make you use an insurance policy of their own.
If you don’t have a mortgage, it is still advisable to have buildings insurance to cover the cost of damage, which can be expensive.
Who is responsible for the policy?
It is the responsibility of the homeowner to have buildings insurance that protects their property. New build homes come with a warranty, typically a 10-year warranty. It covers any defects or structural problems with your home caused by the builder’s oversight. However, you need your own insurance to cover everything else.
If you are a leaseholder, your lease may specify that you should have buildings insurance with a named insurer. If not, the freeholder may take out insurance themselves and charge you for it.
If you are a tenant, your landlord usually takes out landlord insurance, buildings insurance that covers their property.
Buildings insurance is not compulsory, but it is a safety net to recover losses, especially when your home is your most prized possession.
The typical UK home is worth around £230,000 and contains some £35,000 worth of goods, which makes buildings insurance and contents insurance all the more important. Have you taken one on your home or its contents yet? If you are moving into a new build home, you will receive a 10-year new build warranty. However, make sure to get buildings and insurance to cover all contingencies. GS Brown Construction homes come with a 10-year HNBC warranty.