Many people will need both buildings and contents insurance, but some will only need one type of cover.
You may need both if:
- You’re a homeowner. You probably need both. While buildings insurance isn't a legal requirement, it will usually be required by your mortgage lender. Even if you own outright (i.e. there is no mortgage) it’s still usually a good idea, as it covers repair or rebuilding costs in the event of damage - and those costs can be very high.
- You own the freehold to your property. It can be very expensive to repair any structural damage, so cover is highly advisable. If you own the freehold on a flat or maisonette you might be able to take out a single buildings policy with other owners.
- You’re a landlord. Your mortgage lender will likely require that you have buildings insurance in place, and it’s sensible to have contents insurance if you’re providing the furnishings in the property. One option is to take out landlord insurance, which protects your property as well as your rental income and covers your liabilities in the event of damage or injury suffered by your tenants.
You may not need both if:
- You’re a tenant. You’ll likely only need contents insurance. You don’t need to take out buildings insurance, as it will be your landlord’s responsibility to make sure the right cover is in place. But if you want your possessions to be insured, it’s up to you to take out contents insurance, not the owner/landlord. Find out more in our blog about I'm renting my home do I need insurance?
- You own a leasehold flat and don't own part of the freehold. The building will likely be insured by whoever owns the freehold but you may have to pay a contribution to the cost of insurance through your service charge. If you do own part of the freehold with other leaseholders, you will jointly be responsible for taking out buildings insurance. Your solicitor will be able to advise you if your lease means you have to take out buildings insurance separately. Either way, you’ll need contents cover if you want your belongings to be protected.
If you do need both buildings and contents insurance, it’s usually cheapest to buy them together on a combined policy rather than taking out two separate ones.
Having one policy in place can also make it easier and quicker if you do need to claim on both your buildings and contents cover.