Buildings insurance covers the structure, fixtures and fittings such as the walls, roof, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, bathroom suites and fitted kitchens, generally speaking anything fixed to the property. This may also include outdoor buildings, fixtures and fittings such as garages, sheds, greenhouses, boundary walls. This is not standard to all insurers so please check with them to ensure they offer the level of cover you require.
Assessing the buildings sum insured for house building insurance
When assessing how much your building sum insured should be, this should NOT be based on the market value of the property but rather the rebuild value of the property itself. Market value includes the cost of the land which in proportion to the value of the building can vary greatly and Insurance policies take all types of risk into account.
For building insurance usually the highest risk is a complete property rebuild. The land proportion of this is very rarely affected and it is often far cheaper to completely rebuild the property, therefore it is advisable to make sure you have a sufficient buildings sum insured to cover the rebuild cost of the property. When assessing the rebuild value there are a number of ways this can be obtained:
1. The first is on your home survey/ buyers report when you purchased the house, however if this is a few years old then the rebuild value should be reassessed. If you have just purchased your home then the rebuild value should be on your mortgage valuation.
2. Get a chartered surveyor to produce a report for you.
3. Use an online home insurance buildings calculator. The Association of British Insurers has an online calculator in association with the Building Cost Information Service (http://abi.bcis.co.uk). It is also important to remember that whenever you have an extension or work done to your property that increases the building sum insured such as an extension, that you incorporate this into your buildings cover. You should also notify your insurer whenever you have any structural work done so they can advise whether this will affect your policy during or after work being done on your property. If insurers are not made aware of an extension such as an extra room being added then your insurance may cover you should you need to make a claim.
Should you require buildings insurance then Highhouse can provide you with a free quote and we offer discount when you combine your buildings and contents covering all the usual perils as well as accidental damage. Our own property policies are underwritten at Lloyds of London and we issue our own polices “in house” noting lenders interests if required and we can have you on cover, with the documents over to you, your solicitor or lender, in most cases on the same day.