If you’re a homeowner, buildings insurance could save you thousands if your home gets damaged. Here’s what’s covered, extras you can add, and exclusions to look out for.
It’s an insurance policy that could pay for the cost to repair or rebuild your home if it suffers damage.
It covers the main structure of your home (bricks and mortar, roof, floors and walls) plus:
It doesn’t cover your personal belongings, you’ll need a contents insurance policy for these.
Buildings cover is for anyone who owns a property that they live in or rent out.
If you’re a landlord, you’re responsible for insuring the property itself, and your tenants are responsible for insuring their belongings.
If you’re a homeowner, buildings cover may be a condition of your mortgage, as it offers protection against damage and theft, which lowers the risk.
Most policies commonly cover damage caused by:
Your policy may also include cover for alternative accommodation that could be needed, for example following a break-in or flood.
Check the exclusions for each of the examples and choose a policy that fully meets your needs.
Most policies won’t cover you for damage caused by:
If your home is unoccupied for a set number of consecutive days (usually 30 or more), your policy may be invalidated. So, if you’re planning on being away for a while, make sure you get specialist cover.
If there are features you need that aren’t included as standard, you can pay more to add them on. Some extras include:
Only add on the extras you need, as they will bump up the cost of your policy.
You’ll need to know the cost of rebuilding your home, which is different from its market value.
Some providers use a bedroom rated method to calculate the rebuild cost, which is based on the number of bedrooms your home has and isn’t always accurate.
Others use the cost to rebuild from scratch - you can use the rebuild calculator from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland to help with this.
The more accurate the calculation the better. You could pay more for a higher rebuild cost than you need to, but you wouldn’t get more than the actual rebuild cost back if you had to claim.
Search for home insurance providers or brokers to get as many quotes as possible.
As well as confirming basic information like house type and number of bedrooms, you’ll also need to confirm:
Always give accurate information or your policy could be invalidated and won’t pay out in a claim.
You can build up your no claims bonus, which is the number of complete and consecutive years you’ve been claim free. Having five years no claims could earn you up to 50% off.
Look out for general discounts and offers too when you’re getting quotes, like discounts for buying online or introductory offers.
It may work out cheaper to buy a combined buildings and contents policy if you also need cover for your belongings.
No, the property owner or landlord is responsible for insuring the building. You will need to get contents insurance though to cover your personal belongings, including any furniture or furnishings.
It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving