Buildings insurance is an insurance policy which could cover the cost of repairing damage or rebuilding the structure of your home if it's damaged by an event you're insured for, such as a fire, flood or storm. This includes cover for your roof, floors and walls, as well as any permanent fixtures and fittings, like your kitchen and bathroom.

If you are a homeowner with a mortgage, your lender will usually insist that you have adequate buildings cover for the term of your mortgage.

If you own your home and do not have a mortgage, there’s no legal requirement to have buildings insurance.

If you own a leasehold property then the freehold building that your property is a part of may be insured by the landlord of the building and you need check to see if you need to arrange your own cover.

If you are in rented accommodation then it is usually the landlord’s responsibility to have buildings insurance.

For more information on Buildings Insurance from MoneyHelper, click the following links:

The contents of your house are not covered by buildings insurance, these are covered by contents insurance, further information can be found at the MyAdviceGateway page Contents Insurance.

Remember that you can often save money by buying your buildings insurance and contents insurance from the same provider.

Buildings Insurance will usually also cover interior decorations and out buildings like greenhouses and sheds, however boundary walls like fences, paths and drives are usually excluded.

You must inform your insurer if you are enlarging your property – for example building a garage or a conservatory.

Cover is based on how much your home would cost to rebuild (this is known as the “insured value”), to access an online tool to help you work out a rough idea of how much your home would cost if it needed to be entirely rebuilt, follow this link. This link also provides further detailed information on types of cover and extensions of cover you can add to you policy.

The insured value of your property can be different to how much the market value is as the situation of some houses will have changed, for example: if you live in a recent brick-built house the rebuilding costs may be quite low as the materials will be readily available and the rebuild cost does not take into account how popular the area you live in may be.

Alternatively if you were to compare this type of house with a listed property, the rebuilding costs might be much higher as national laws would require a listed building to be rebuilt in traditional materials which would cost more.

This means that the insured value of your home can be drastically different to the market value. So never specify the market value of your home as the insured value in your insurance policy as you may be over or under insuring your home.

If you want to get a truly accurate assessment of the rebuilding’s cost use a surveyor, click here to search the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for a surveyor. But in the vast majority of cases the calculator above is sufficient.

Costs can be reduced if you agree to pay the first part of any claim (an excess charge). Always remember to shop around to find the best deals, be aware that you must compare the cover as well as the price – some policy’s may be cheaper but may exclude factors that are important to you.

More information and advice on Home Insurance, including details on the differing insurance types, specialist policies and what is and isn’t coveredcan be found at the following links:

To help you determine how much home insurance you need follow this link.

Flood Insurance

With flooding on the increase in the UK insurance is essential, but getting cover isn’t always easy, especially if you live in a high-risk area.

A guide explaining all you need to know about flood insurance is available at the following links:

Repair & Renew Grant

People whose homes and businesses were flooded during winter 2013 to 2014 can now apply for a government grant of up to £5,000 through their local authority, regardless of where they live.The grant is intended to help people who live in flooded homes to mitigate the damage caused and reduce the risk of future flooding. More information is available at GOV.UK.

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