Why do I need buildings insurance?

Your home is precious, so it’s important to insure it in case the unexpected happens.

The prospect of your property getting damaged or destroyed might be the last thing any of us want to think about. However, the cost of rebuilding or repairing could be very expensive and it’s important to bear in mind how you would be able to pay for this.

Buildings insurance is usually a condition of your mortgage, but most homeowners would choose to have it anyway. That’s because it covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your home, as well as outbuildings and permanent fixtures and fittings.

It includes:

Walls

Doors

Roofs

Windows

Bathroom suites

Fitted wardrobes

Kitchen units and built-in appliances

Garages

Sheds

How much buildings cover do I need?

You should insure your property for the amount it would cost to rebuild from scratch. This is not the same as its market value, which is how much the house would sell for. Since you wouldn’t have to buy the land again, the cost of rebuilding is almost always lower than the market value.

If you have recently had a Homebuyer Report carried out when you bought the property, you can usually find the rebuild cost in the report.

Alternatively, some policies offer unlimited buildings cover, so you don’t have to worry about being under-insured.

What is covered by buildings insurance?

No two policies are exactly the same, but you’ll generally be able to claim if your home is damaged by:

Fire, smoke or gas explosions

Natural events such as storms and floods

Subsidence, heave and landslide

Water damage from burst pipes

Falling trees and satellite dishes

Vandalism

Impact damage from vehicles

What isn’t covered by buildings insurance?

Each policy has its own exclusions, but most won’t cover you for:

     General wear and tear  

     Leaking gutters  

     Frost damage to outside pipes and brickwork  

     Damage caused by birds, insects and vermin


Standard policies also won’t usually cover you for accidental damage, but you can add this as an optional extra.

Buildings insurance doesn’t cover your possessions, such as carpets and freestanding kitchen appliances. For that you’ll need contents insurance.

You can buy buildings and contents insurance separately, but if you need to make a claim you might find that having it with the same insurer makes the process easier.

Articles and Guides

John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. Registered office address is: 171, Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales No. 233462.

John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323).

John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Covea Insurance plc. Its Financial Services Register No. is 416011. John Lewis Specialist Home Insurance is underwritten by Covea Insurance plc. The Covea Insurance Registered office address is: Norman Place, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8DA. Registered in England and Wales No 613259. It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Its Financial Services Register No. is 202277.

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