Buildings & Contents

kids playing pillow fight in the bedroom

Buildings insurance

Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your property in the event of damage. It covers the structure of the property, as well as outbuildings such as garages and sheds and fences, and external items such as pipes, cables and drains.

How much you pay for buildings insurance will depend on the rebuild value of your new home. This should not be confused with the property’s current asking price. It is how much it would cost to completely rebuild your home from scratch.

Contents Insurance

Contents insurance is designed to protect possessions and furniture against loss or damage. As a general rule, it will cover anything that can be taken with you if you move home, such as kitchen appliances, bedding, furniture and valuables.

Contents insurance will usually have a single item limit which means any belongings worth more than this, such as musical instruments or jewellery, may need to be named separately on the policy. You may also have to pay extra to add personal possessions cover to your policy to ensure your belongings are protected when they are taken outside the home.


The cover provided by a home insurance policy can vary depending on the insurer. You can usually ‘add-on’ extra cover for an additional cost. These optional extras allow you to tailor your policy to your own individual circumstances, so you only pay for the cover you need.

Personal possessions used away from home
Many people mistakenly assume home insurance will cover their belongings both in and outside the home. You will usually need to add personal possessions cover (sometimes known as an all-risks extension) to your policy to ensure portable items, such as mobile phones, musical instruments and laptops, are protected away from the home. Items may also be covered when abroad with this add on – usually for up to 60 days a year.

Accidental damage
Accidental damage provides cover for accidents around the home. Adding this cover to your contents insurance will protect you for life’s little mishaps like spilling red wine on your cream carpet, or a toddler wreaking havoc with a paintbrush.

If you add accidental damage cover to buildings insurance, you will be covered for accidents such as drilling through a water pipe or cracking a bathroom washbasin. Note that general wear and tear isn’t usually included.

Legal expenses
Another optional extra for the majority of home insurance policies is legal expenses cover. This pays for the cost of legal proceedings should you need to go to court if a claim is disputed by any of the parties involved.

Home emergency cover
This add-on will pay for emergency callouts and repairs if, for example, your boiler breaks down or a pipe bursts. Cover can vary between insurers, so you should check carefully, but it will often cover boilers and central heating, drains, plumbing, electrical faults, replacement locks and pest infestations.