Buildings insurance covers damage to the actual structure of your home, such as the roof, walls, floors, ceilings and foundations. For example, if your house is destroyed or rendered uninhabitable, you can claim the cost to rebuild or carry out the necessary repairs.
Normally, you will also be able to claim the cost of alternative accommodation while the rebuilding work is undertaken, as well as any legal costs arising from damage to your home. Buildings insurance may also include outbuildings such as sheds or garages.
Importantly, you should always ensure that there is proper insurance in place from the moment you become responsible for the premises, even if this is before moving in.
Typically, buildings insurance covers:
• Subsidence of the foundations of your home
• Damage by falling objects such as trees, aerials, aircraft parts
• Collision damage, e.g. if someone drives into your home
• Burst pipes, tanks, damaged boilers and floods
• Damage caused during a civil riot
In some cases, you can make smaller claims on your policy for damage caused by less destructive means, including smoke and broken windows. However, the policy will not cover basic wear and tear and may exclude certain events such as damage caused by terrorism.
These exclusions vary from policy to policy and between the various insurance companies. It is always worth checking the policy details so that you know the risks you are not insured against.
If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist that you have buildings insurance. If you don’t, it is usually advisable to have buildings insurance anyway to protect yourself.
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