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How Much Does Buildings Insurance Cost?

Martha Lott

Written by

25th Oct 2021 (Last updated on 12th Aug 2022) 5 minute read

On average, the cost of buildings and contents insurance will range between £95 - £120 plus a year.

It doesn’t have to cost much, but if you don’t sort the insurance out before exchanging contracts, you could risk your mortgage falling through. Taking out buildings insurance is usually compulsory if you’re buying a house with the help of a mortgage.

Buildings insurance will cover the cost of rebuilding your home, should the worst happen. In this article, we look at the cost of home insurance and what’s included.

This article will cover the following:
  1. How Much Will it Cost?
  2. What Will Affect the Quote?
  3. What Does Buildings Insurance Cover?
  4. What Doesn’t it Cover?
  5. When Do I Need to Get Buildings Insurance?
  6. What Types of Buildings Insurance Policies are There?
  7. Who Pays for Buildings Insurance?
  8. How to Claim on Your Buildings Insurance
  9. Do I Need Contents Insurance?
  10. Next Steps of Buying a House

How Much Will it Cost?

Our research shows that the average cost of buildings and contents insurance in the UK ranges between £95.59 and £119.47+ if you’re paying annually. This works out to as little as £8.75 a month.

This is the cost to insure a semi-detached 3-bedroom house worth £225,500 with a rebuild cost of £249,000. It would cover up to £50,000 worth of contents inside the property.

The cost of buildings insurance will vary depending on a number of factors, but mainly the value of the property and its rebuild cost. It’s also common to get a combined insurance policy for buildings and contents as it’s often cheaper.

It should be noted that this was based on the range of the 5 cheapest quotes we found using a well-known comparison website. You can add on extra protection or increase cover costs if necessary. We found the quote included as standard; Replacement Locks & Keys, New for Old, Freezer Contents Cover and Alternative Accommodation.

Breakdown of an average buildings and contents insurance quote:

Included in Buildings InsuranceIncluded in Contents Insurance

£500,000 Cover

£50,000 Cover

£250 Voluntary Excess

£250 Voluntary Excess

£100 Compulsory Excess

£100 Compulsory Excess

£350 Total Excess

£350 Total Excess

We based the quote on buildings and contents insurance as this is common, so if you’re only getting buildings insurance you can expect to pay less.

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What Will Affect the Quote?

The cost of your buildings and contents insurance will vary as it depends on multiple factors.

The following will affect your cost:

  • The type of locks
  • Number of rooms
  • Market value and how much it would cost to rebuild home
  • Whether you use the home for business
  • Trees within 5 metres
  • Whether the property is more than 400 metres away from water
  • If you have laptops or bikes worth over £350
  • Whether you have an item worth over £1000
  • Whether you have working security alarms
  • And whether you pay monthly or annually

What Does Buildings Insurance Cover?

Buildings insurance will cover the full cost of rebuilding your property. It will include the costs for damage caused to the structure of your house, garage, shed and fence.

The policy will cover damage caused by the following:

  • Natural hazards such as storms/floods
  • Fire and smoke
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Frozen/burst pipes
  • Subsidence
  • Fallen trees
  • Lampposts
  • Ariel/satellite dishes
  • Vehicle collisions

What Doesn’t it Cover?

Buildings insurance won’t cover general wear and tear and many policies don’t include accidental damage.

Not included in a buildings insurance policy:

  • Leaking gutters
  • Insects or bird infestation
  • Damage from frost

Each policy will be different, so it’s important to find out what is and isn’t included.

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When Do I Need to Get Buildings Insurance?

You’ll need to sort out buildings insurance prior to exchanging contracts. Usually, your mortgage lender will make this a requirement.

If you fail to get buildings insurance, you’re at risk of your mortgage not going through. This is because the lender needs to know their investment is protected.

What Types of Buildings Insurance Policies are There?

There are two main types of buildings insurance policy:

Sum rated – Sum rated policies will be based on the cost of rebuilding your home, including labour and architects’ fees. This is typically found in your property survey.

Bedroom rated - Bedroom rated means that the amount your policy covers you for is based on the number of bedrooms in the property. This means you don’t need to know the cost of rebuilding your home.

Who Pays for Buildings Insurance?

The buyer will pay for buildings insurance as the property will soon be yours, including your personal belongings. You can either choose to pay monthly to spread the costs, or you can pay upfront annually.

If you opt for an annual payment, you will pay less overall. You should remember to factor this into your costs of buying a house.

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How to Claim on Your Buildings Insurance

If the worst should happen and your property is damaged, contact your insurer immediately.

Some insurers will give homeowners up to 180 days to make a claim, but the sooner you contact them the better.

Make a list of the damage done and take photographs as evidence. You will be asked to provide copies of receipts for the damaged items if you still have them, so gather these when possible. You should also have your policy and account number close to hand.

If your claim is accepted, your insurer will cover the repair costs and replace or rebuild the damaged areas. The amount provided will depend on your specific policy and excess.

Do I Need Contents Insurance?

Although contents insurance is important, it’s not compulsory to get like buildings insurance is. Buildings insurance will protect the structure of the property, while contents insurance will cover your belongings inside the property. Contents insurance won’t be required by your mortgage lender.

Many people get a combined buildings and contents insurance policy as there isn’t much difference in monthly costs. It also gives additional peace of mind.

Next Steps of Buying a House

This article has been a part of our buying a home guide. The next step in the buying process will be exchanging contracts, which we explore in the next article. To find out more read what is exchanging of contracts.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.