What is Building and Contents insurance?

What is Building and Contents insurance and what does it cover?

What is Buildings and Contents insurance?

Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the structural parts of your property. The structure includes things like the roof, windows and walls as well as permanent fixtures like bathroom suites and fitted kitchens.

Contents insurance covers your stuff within the home. Things like your phone, laptop, bike and other personal possessions.

A Buildings and Contents insurance policy covers both the structural parts of your home and your stuff within it. All on one combined policy.

What does Buildings and Contents insurance cover?

Buildings and Contents insurance is often referred to as home insurance. Buildings insurance will usually cover the cost of repairing damage caused by:


  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Storms & floods
  • Escape of water
  • Subsidence
  • Landslides

When thinking about what Contents insurance covers, imagine moving home, what would you take with you? Everything you take is considered your contents. This will usually include:


  • Phone
  • Laptop
  • Bike (usually an add on to a policy to insure outside the home)
  • Jewellery/ watches
  • Clothes, shoes, accessories
  • Amateur sports equipment
  • Furniture

Every insurance policy will have exclusions so make sure you check the policy document before purchasing your policy.

Do I need Home and Contents insurance?

Do you need Buildings and Contents insurance if you have a mortgage?

If you have or are applying for a mortgage, your lender will require you to have Buildings insurance. Your mortgage lender may recommend an insurance provider to you. You will usually have the final decision of which provider to go with.

Do you need Buildings and Contents insurance if you don’t have a mortgage?

Buildings and Contents insurance is not compulsory or a legal requirement. Although you may want to consider if you would be able to cover the cost of repairing your home, should the worst happen.


Do you need Buildings and Contents insurance if you’re a leaseholder and have a mortgage?

If you’re buying your home as a leaseholder (not a freeholder), you might not need to buy Buildings insurance yourself.

Leaseholds are more common in flats since you don’t own a part of the land, this will be owned by the freeholder.

It's common for the Buildings insurance to be included in your lease or the money you pay each year. This is one where you’ll need to check with your solicitor.

Do you need Buildings and Contents insurance if you’re a renter or tenant?

If you're a renter or tenant you do not need to purchase Buildings insurance as you do not own the home. This will be down to your landlord.

As a tenant, although it’s not a legal requirement, you may want to buy Contents insurance to cover your stuff in the home. This would cover stuff like your phone, laptop, bike.

Read more about Contents insurance for renters in our ultimate guide here. Our Contents insurance includes Tenants Liability insurance which protects your landlord stuff at no extra cost.

Do you need Buildings and Contents insurance if you’re a landlord?

If you’re a landlord you will need to get a specialised Buildings insurance policy. A standard home insurance policy will not cover you if you're renting to tenants. You can buy a Landlord insurance policy with Urban Jungle.

Our Landlord insurance policy covers against loss or damage to buildings caused by fire, storm, flood, theft and escape of water. Policies can also cover the landlord's contents within the property. For more information click here: Landlord insurance.

When do I need Home insurance when buying a house?

When buying your home, you will need to have insurance in place on the day you exchange contracts. If you already own a home you may have two Buildings insurance policies for a certain period.

Give yourself enough time to search around for Buildings insurance. Unfortunately, the traditional insurance industry can ask you up to 60 questions about your home before seeing an insurance quote!

Our mission is to make this process as simple as possible so you can concentrate on your move while knowing you're in safe hands. To get a Buildings and Contents insurance quote in 5 minutes from Urban Jungle click below!

What Buildings insurance do I need?

When considering how much Buildings and Contents insurance you need, it’s important to cover what it would cost to repair your home, not the cost of what you bought the property for or would sell it for.

You may be asking yourself what is the rebuild cost of my home? And how do I know how much home insurance I need?

There are a few ways to work this out:

  • Your mortgage valuation report
  • The deeds to your home
  • A surveyor’s report. You can find a surveyor through RICS here.
  • ABI calculator

Working out the cost to rebuild your home is an important part of getting insurance. A common problem is being underinsured. When this happens you may receive a reduced payout. This is called the average clause. Read more about the average clause here.

For working out how much contents insurance you need head here!


What is the average cost of Home and Contents insurance?

According to Unbiased, the average cost of Buildings and Contents insurance is between £146- £152 per year. Looking at postcodes breakdown, London's average premium is the highest with £205. The North East is the lowest with £133.

Who is best for Home and Contents insurance?

When accessing who is the best for Home and Contents insurance you may want to consider what the policies actually cover. As always with insurance, it’s best to shop around and find a policy that suits your needs.

When deciding who is the best for Buildings and Contents insurance, you may want to consider what add ons you need:

Accidental Damage

Accidental Damage refers to unexpected unintended damage or breakage. This is often an add on in home insurance policies.

Global research company Mintel reports that a third of claims on home insurance are from Accidental Damage. It also reports that it's the most popular cover level to add to a policy.

If you're an accident-prone person you may want to consider adding this cover to your policy. For more information including common exclusions on Accidental Damage see here.

Legal Expenses

Legal Expenses cover is also known as family legal protection. This cover will cover the legal costs for you and usually any family living with you for legal disputes.

This can include employment disputes, landlord disputes, or injury claims. Cover also usually includes a legal advice line.


No matter what sort of insurance you’re after, an excess is likely to be included. An excess (sometimes called a deductible) is a specified amount you pay towards a claim.

You’ll want to think about how much you are willing to pay or can pay towards a claim. Most insurance policies will allow you to change your excess. If you reduce your excess the cost of your policy may increase. Read more on excess here.

Home Emergency

A Home Emergency is a sudden or unexpected event in the home that requires immediate action to:

  • Make the home safe and secure
  • Avoid damage or further damage
  • Relieve unreasonable discomfort and risk of difficulty for the customer and their family
  • Restore electricity, gas or water services to the property if they have totally failed

If you have a Home Emergency, this cover will usually cover the call out, materials, and labour charges if a contractor is required.

Home Emergency will also usually cover you for alternative accommodation and transport if the property is uninhabitable.

Other questions for you to consider when decided who is the best for Home and Contents insurance:

Other questions for you to consider when deciding who is the best for Home and Contents insurance:

  1. Are there any add ons that you would like to include?
  2. Have you checked and understood the exclusions list?
  3. What are the customer reviews like?
  4. If you need advice for what cover you need check out Unbiased or British Insurance Brokers Association. Most insurers are not authorised to offer you advice on your circumstances but these companies are!

We hope you have found this guide useful. You can get a quote for either Buildings and Contents or standalone contents from Urban Jungle insurance here.

You may also be interested in:

Contents insurance comparison: our ultimate guide

Tips to prepare your house for a viewing

Claiming on Contents insurance

If you want to learn more about our policies:

Read more about our Contents insurance policy here.

Read more about our Buildings and Contents insurance policy here.

Read more about Tenants Liability insurance here.

Urban Jungle is not a financial advisor and information in this article should not be taken as advice or recommendation.