How to Insure Your Buildings

How to Insure Your Buildings?

Just as the name implies, buildings insurance is a particular type of home insurance cover that insures against loss or damage of a structure.

The building could be a home, an office building or even outbuildings on the property in many cases.

However, buildings insurance does not cover the contents unless you particularly carry that optional cover. Although there may be slight differences in what is covered, there are some similarities in most policies underwritten by insurance companies in the UK.

Buildings Insurance Basic Cover

Again, whilst there may be slight variations as to exactly what is covered when comparing insurance companies, good buildings insurance usually covers:

  • Damage from storms and floods
  • Landslides
  • Third party damage/vandalism
  • Either attempted theft or actual theft
  • Leakage from central heat systems (oil)
  • Burst pipes and water leakage
  • Lightning, explosions and fire
  • Damage from falling trees and/or leaves

You should look for a minimum of these types of cover when purchasing buildings insurance although there are some companies that set limits on exactly what is covered and how much they are willing to cover.

How to Insure Your Buildings

Typical Exclusions on Buildings Cover

Most of the time you will find things in the small print which are excluded on any type of insurance policy, and buildings insurance is no different. Keep in mind that most buildings insurance policies will not cover damage that resulted from normal wear and tear nor will they cover acts of war or terrorism.

As well, radioactive contamination, damage from frost and sonic booms are usually excluded from cover. One other thing to keep in mind is that some insurance companies will refuse to pay on a claim if the building had gone unoccupied for a period of 30 days or more prior to the loss being claimed against.

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How Much Cover Is Needed?

The general rule of thumb to go by when purchasing buildings insurance is to calculate how much it would cost to replace the building in today’s market conditions. This amount will obviously change from time to time as real estate rises and falls with the economy. However, you can calculate the cost of your home or other buildings in today’s market in two ways. First, you can use an online building cost calculator or you can have your home/building valued by a licensed appraiser. Be advised that if you have a mortgage, your lender may require a valuation based on a licensed building appraiser. They want to ensure their investment is well protected and you will be responsible for the appraisal fee.

Tips for Finding Affordable Buildings Insurance

If you are looking for affordable buildings insurance, the best tip would be to shop around a bit. Compare quotes online, side by side, to see what comparable cover would cost from company to company. As well, keep in mind that the amount of excess on your policy will also affect the cost. Higher excess is cheaper than lower excess. The more you are willing or able to pay out of pocket the lower your premiums will be. Some insurance companies give a discount for paying up front annually whilst others give discounts for shopping online or carrying more than one type of insurance with their company. Finally, many insurance companies also provide a discount for their customers who haven’t made a claim within a given period of time.

Whether or not you have a mortgage, you still should seriously consider purchasing buildings and contents insurance. It only takes one moment in time for everything you have worked so hard to pay for to literally go up in flames. Take the time to find a policy that is affordable, even if it means having larger excess. You can’t afford to be without cover so act before it is too late.

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