What is the difference between buildings and contents insurance?

The difference between buildings and contents insurance is that buildings insurance covers the physical structure of the property including the walls, roof and floors, while contents insurance covers items inside the property, like furniture and freestanding appliances.

When you compare buildings and contents insurance, it’s helpful to think about what could be considered part of the fabric of the property (‘buildings’) and what could reasonably be removed and taken to another property (‘contents’).

This means that the floor, roof, windows and walls of your property are covered by buildings insurance, while the furniture, appliances and decorative items are covered by contents insurance.

While this seems quite straightforward, some parts of your property can be more difficult to define. Insurance policies usually consider fixtures and fittings (for example a fitted kitchen or a bathroom suite) as buildings, while carpets are usually covered under contents insurance. Laminate flooring is likely to be considered part of the building, but it’s worth checking your policy to make sure.

Depending on your policy, external structures like garages and outbuildings may also be covered by your buildings insurance.

If you’re buying landlord insurance, only items that belong to you are covered under the contents part of the policy. Your tenants will need to take out their own contents insurance to cover anything that belongs to them.

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