Building Insurance: How It works

Buildings insurance is of help to your home if it gets damaged. If you’re getting a mortgage to buy your home, you’ll likely have to get building insurance. This page explains what building insurance typically covers and how to claim on building insurance.

Building Insurance

What is Building insurance?

Buildings insurance pays for fixing or rebuilding your home if it gets damaged, including walls, windows, roofs, and even the kitchen and bathroom. It protects you from bad situations fires, storms, and floods.

But, it doesn’t cover the stuff inside your home, like furniture, clothes, or electronics. For that, you’ll need contents insurance. Every building insurance policy has limits and rules, so make sure you know what’s included and what’s not.

How Does Building Insurance Work

Buildings insurance helps if something bad happens to your home, caused by a storm, fire, or flood. You pay a fee (premium) to your insurer, and if there’s a problem, they will fix it. Your policy documents explain what’s covered and what’s not. Remember to check for any rules, like how long the insurance will last.

What Building insurance covers

Buildings insurance takes care of your home’s main parts, such as walls, roof, and floors, and includes fixed things like kitchen cupboards and the bathroom. Different insurers and policies offer various levels of cover, but most will help with fixing or replacing things if they’re damaged by fire, floods, storms, vandalism, subsidence, or leaking pipes.

You can usually pay more to add accidental damage cover. Some policies might also cover other structures like garages, outside walls, and driveways.

What Building Insurance Does Not Cover

Most insurance plans won’t pay for:

  • Regular wear and tear
  • Intentional damage
  • Leaky gutters
  • Some pests, like bugs and birds
  • Frost (unless it breaks a pipe)
  • Storm damage to gates and fences

Remember to check your policy carefully because what’s not covered can be different. If you want to protect your things like carpets, furniture, jewellery, and clothes, you’ll need contents insurance.

How to Claim on Building Insurance

If something bad happens, contact your insurance company right away. Some insurance companies let you make a claim within 180 days, but it’s better to do it sooner.

To make your claim, you might need to:

  • List what got damaged
  • Take pictures of the damage
  • Keep the broken stuff if you can
  • Explain what happened to your insurance company
  • Show receipts for damaged things if you have them

If your claim gets approved, your insurance company will pay to fix the damage, replace stuff, or rebuild your property. How much they pay depends on your deductible and policy limits. Don’t start fixing anything or pay repair people until you talk to your insurance company.

How Much Does Building Insurance Cost

Insurance companies consider several things when deciding how much you’ll pay for building insurance:

  • Rebuilding cost: They look at how big your house is, whether it’s connected to other houses or stands alone, and how it’s built.
  • Chances of a claim: If your home is more likely to have problems, like being in a flood-prone area or having issues like subsidence, they may charge more.
  • Your past claims: They’ll also check if you’ve made claims before. If you have, they might charge you more because it suggests you might make more claims in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does building insurance cover burst pipes?

If a pipe bursts, it can cause water damage. Most home insurance plans will pay for the damage to your house caused by burst pipes, but they usually won’t cover the cost of fixing the pipe itself. You might have to pay more money upfront (called an excess) for this kind of claim.

Usually, your insurance won’t pay for fixing the plumbing to stop the leak. However, some plans might cover the cost of fixing the damage to your house that happened while finding and fixing the leak.

Does building insurance cover leaks?

If your building insurance covers it, leaks from water or oil are usually taken care of. But if it’s because things are getting old or not maintained well, you might not get compensated. “Wear and tear” means things breaking down over time.

If you claim for this, you might have to pay more upfront. The insurance usually won’t pay for fixing the plumbing or stopping the leak. Some policies might pay for fixing any damage caused while finding and fixing the leak.

Does building insurance cover roof repairs?

Your insurance will pay for fixing your roof if a storm damages it. But if your roof is already in bad shape or showing signs of getting old, the insurance might not cover it. Wear and tear means damage that happens over time as things age.

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