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.

Do I need buildings insurance?

It remains your responsibility to insure your property. We will remind you of this obligation, annually, when we issue your Mortgage Account Statement, as it is a condition of your mortgage terms and conditions that you have adequate buildings insurance for your property.

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 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.

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.  We no longer require that you provide evidence of insurance every year. However, under the terms and conditions of your mortgage we remain entitled to request evidence of buildings insurance at any time during the life of the mortgage, it is therefore important you ensure that adequate buildings insurance cover remains in place throughout the life of your mortgage.  In addition to being a breach of the terms and conditions of your mortgage failure to maintain adequate buildings insurance will leave you financially unprotected in the event the building was damaged or destroyed. 

For further information, please contact Customer Services.