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Buildings Insurance

A Guide to Buildings Insurance

What is buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance is designed to cover the rebuilding cost should your home suffer any damage to its structure. Damage could be caused by a variety of different factors, including fire, burst pipes, water damage and vandalism, whilst some policies may also cover accidental damage. As well as the structure, buildings insurance may cover permanent fixtures and fittings.

Having the right buildings insurance cover in place is of vital importance as it should cover the cost to rebuild the main elements of your property, including: walls, floors, ceiling, roof, windows and doors. Garages and other outdoor buildings can be included as well.

Each year, the Association of British Insurers produces guidelines on rebuilding costs. It is worth referring to these when taking out or renewing building insurance to help you assess the cover you need.

What happens if I don’t have buildings insurance?

It remains your responsibility to insure your property. On behalf of your lender, each year, we will write to you requesting that you send details of your own buildings insurance to us. Should you not provide evidence that you have buildings insurance in place by the time your policy is due for renewal, your lender may put in place alternative buildings insurance until such time as you provide proof that you have your own cover in place. You should never assume that your lender has arranged buildings insurance on your property unless and until they confirm they have done so in writing to you. Please note that in the event the lender does insure the property, any costs incurred will be payable by you as a charge payable through your mortgage account. It is possible that you may be able to arrange buildings insurance yourself for a lower cost.

Where your lender does put buildings only insurance in place, some of the buildings insurance risks are reinsured using a Protected Cell Company facility which Acenden Limited is a party to and has an interest in, and from which an underwriting profit or loss may arise. 

In the event it is satisfactorily established that you have been dual insured with another insurer whilst the buildings only insurance has been in place, and provided that no claim has been made during the period of insurance, a refund of any insurance payments received from you will be made by the insurer at a rate of 100% of the policy cost for the current 12 month policy period and 50% for the previous year's policies, up to a maximum period of three years.

 

Do I need buildings insurance?

It is a condition of your mortgage terms and conditions that you have adequate buildings insurance for your property. These details must be provided to Acenden, who will hold these details on your mortgage file on behalf of your lender.

Adequate buildings insurance must be in place at all times and needs to fulfil the following minimum requirements:

  • The policy should be arranged with an insurance company regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • The policy schedule must note the interest of your mortgage lender – please contact us if you are unsure what details to include
  • The policy schedule must show the period of insurance
  • The level of cover must be at least equivalent to the current reinstatement value and be index linked
  • The buildings insurance is arranged on the property your mortgage is secured on

Before making any decisions regarding your insurance needs we suggest that you seek independent advice from an FCA authorised insurance broker or intermediary. They will be able to suggest the level of insurance needed to protect your property fully. You should satisfy yourself that this will be sufficient, particularly if you have improved, or intend to improve your property.

Do I need contents insurance?

It is not a requirement of your mortgage conditions to insure the contents of your property. However, as buildings insurance will as a rule not cover your personal possessions, furniture or household goods that are not permanent fixtures, you may want to do so. Again if you have any questions or want to understand what cover is right for you, we suggest you seek independent advice from an insurance broker or intermediary.

Why do I need to provide my buildings insurance details to you?

Unless your buildings insurance was arranged through your lender, you need to provide written proof that your property is protected by insurance at all times. This will ensure that, should your property be damaged, it can be repaired and reinstated, protecting both your interest in the property and your lender’s security.

When do I need to provide my buildings insurance details to you?

When your mortgage first completed, you would have provided details of your own buildings insurance to your lender (unless you arranged your insurance through the lender). Throughout the life of your mortgage you need to ensure, that if this buildings insurance expires, renews or you simply change your insurer, these details are then provided to us, so that we have up to date and valid buildings insurance details for your property on file.

How do I provide my buildings insurance details to you?

Please do not send your original buildings insurance schedule to us – this should be kept in a safe place by you. However, please note that it is vitally important that you send a photocopy of your renewed buildings insurance schedule to us. We request that you send a photocopy of your insurance schedule in rather than your original documentation as we are unable to guarantee its safe return. You can send this to us by a number of different methods:

Post: Acenden Limited, Ascot House, Maidenhead Office Park, Maidenhead, SL6 3QQ

Email:  You can send us an email, with a scanned copy of your documents attached, to the following address – insuranceteam@acenden.com. Please remember to quote your mortgage or loan account number in the email.

Fax: 020 7532 9140

For further information, please contact Customer Services.

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