How much should I insure my home for?
The confusion lies with how a home is valued for buildings insurance. Forget the value from an estate agent, it’s the rebuild cost you need from a surveyor.
The rebuild cost does not include the land the home stands on but does cover the cost of clearing the site of debris, if required.
How is the rebuild cost calculated?
If you have just bought your home, the surveyor’s valuation will include the rebuild figure.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has a calculator online
Remember adding an extension or special design features may change the cost, and so will building with specific materials, like stone only available from certain quarries.
Does the insurer need to know about improvements?
The insurer will want to know if the risk is changed – major renovations may leave the property insecure, builders could damage the property or contents and you may move out leaving the home unoccupied for an extended period.
If the improvements increase the value of your home, they may alter the rebuild cost, so needs to be notified as well.
What is storm damage and how does it affect claims?
Insurers keep weather records to confirm how bad the weather was when damage was caused. Most would not expect the weather to damage a home except under exceptional circumstances, like an earthquake, hurricane or freezing conditions.
Does buildings insurance cover wear and tear?
No. Day to day maintenance is not covered by buildings insurance. Homeowners have a n obligation to look after their property, in the same way drivers should maintain their cars and not expect insurers to pay for the brakes and tyres when they wear out.