Article by David Thomson
Buildings insurance covers the costs of repairing or rebuilding your home in the event of damage to the structure, fittings or outbuildings.Whats covered?The structure is the walls, roof, chimney or plumbing.Fittings are kitchen units, sinks and baths plus outside walls or fences.Outbuildings are structures that are not part of the structure of your home, like garages, sheds and greenhouses.If you have a mortgage, your lender generally insists you take out insurance as a condition of the loan. Even if you dont have a mortgage, consider taking out a policy to protect your home and your pocket in the event of a possible disaster.What’s included?Different insurers offer varying levels of cover including damage from: Fire Storms and floods Theft, riots or vandalism Earthquakes or subsidence Vehicle collisions Falling trees, branches or aircraft partsOthers may include cover for frost damage to pipes connecting your house to mains supplies. Where your home is situated may also increase your premium. For example, if the property is in a high-risk area for flooding or subsidence. Subsidence is often only covered if risk is previously reported to the insurer, although the postcode of the property is often considered enough to inform the company of any subsidence risk.What’s not included?Exclusions also vary between insurers, but almost all exclude damage from: War and terrorism Radioactive contamination Sonic booms PollutionReading the small printTell your insurer everything you know about your property to ensure you have adequate home insurance cover. If you dont, you may unintentionally void the policy and your insurer may not pay out if you make a claim. Preventable damage, like taking on DIY jobs yourself instead of calling in a professional builder can void your policy if your work goes wrong. Another common preventable damage risk is root damage to foundations from planting or felling a tree near to your home.You should check if your property is in a high-risk area that your insurer may not cover before taking out a policy.Extra cover is often available while the builders are in or for ongoing exceptional risks.Sum InsuredThe sum insured under a buildings policy is the full rebuilding cost of your home. This cost is not related to the sale price or Council Tax but calculated by a surveyor.Index LinkingKeep the sum insured up to date by making sure your policy is index-linked. This means the sum insured is adjusted each in line with any changes in rebuilding costs, like inflation.ExcessYou can reduce your premium by agreeing an excess a voluntary sum you pay against the cost of a claim before the insurer pays out. For example, if you have an excess of £150 and claim £1,000, the insurer will deduct the excess and only pay you £850.No Claims BonusSome policies have a “no claims” discount that reduces your premium if you have not claimed on your insurance. Letting propertyIf you are a landlord, make sure your buildings insurance covers renting your property to tenants.
About the Author
David Thomson is Chief Executive of BestDealInsurance an independent specialist broker dedicated to providing their clients with the best insurance deal on their home insurance, car and life insurance.
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