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Guide to buildings insurance

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No lender will agree to give you a mortgage without buildings insurance.

Buildings insurance is cover that pays out in the event of your house being burned down or collapsing. If you are the freeholder (you own the building and the land that it stands on), it is your responsibility to arrange the building insurance. If you are a leaseholder (which usually means you live in a block of flats) it is the responsibility of the freeholder to arrange the building insurance, so ensure they have done this.


Your property is the lender’s security on the loan, so it will understandably want you to have that property insured against damage from fire, subsidence or heavy storms.


Your lender will usually offer to sell building insurance, though you may get cheaper cover elsewhere. But do bear in mind that if you take your mortgage lender’s insurance, they have a vested interest in your property and therefore may be more amenable to covering your claim in full should the worst come to the worst.


If you rent your property out to tenants it is vital that you tell your insurer. It is unlikely that they will increase the premium you pay, but due to the wording of your contract it may become null and void if the property is not your primary residence.


If you are unfortunate enough to live on a floodplain, you should still be able to find an insurance policy that covers your property, but bear in mind that your premiums are likely to be higher than they would be elsewhere.

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