Getting Insurance when buying a house

Who this page is for?

If you are a first-time buyer, getting a second home or moving as part of a chain, you will find details around insurance when buying a house here. Current homeowners should visit our Home Insurance page.

Home Insurance when you're buying a house

If you are buying a home, you’ll likely need Buildings Insurance. It will be a condition of getting your mortgage that you have this in place.

As soon as you take legal responsibility for your new house, you should have Buildings Insurance to protect against damage to the property. This can cover you if your new home is damaged or destroyed by insured events, like fires, floods, storms, or vandalism.

You do not need Contents Insurance to buy a house, but this might offer peace of mind to have it in place to protect what you own.

When should you get Home Insurance when buying a house?

You should have Buildings Insurance in place from the day you exchange contracts.  Some insurance companies will provide free cover between exchange of contracts and completion so it is worth checking when you apply.

As a buyer, you legally commit to buying the house on the date you exchange contracts. If you don’t have Buildings Insurance and there was a fire before you move in, you wouldn’t be able to claim for the repairs or to rebuild your new home. 

It can be useful to arrange Contents Insurance before you start to move house so your contents are covered as part of the moving process.

Why do you need Home Insurance while getting a mortgage?

You won’t be able to get a mortgage without arranging Buildings Insurance to cover the structure of your new home.

It protects the walls, floors, roof, permanent fixtures and fittings, covering repair costs to these areas. This safeguards you against the costs of damage to repair and rebuild your house.

If your new home has a garden, garage, shed or any other outbuildings, it can be worth checking your insurance covers them too.

Contents Insurance is part of a Home Insurance policy that covers your belongings. You only need this when you have moved your things into your new home. Check your current policy, as you may be able to transfer it over and it may cover your things when in transit.

Do you need Home Insurance at the exchange of contracts?

You will need Buildings Insurance at the exchange of contracts. Once the contracts are agreed, they are binding. To avoid your new home being uninsured, you should have cover that starts from the date you exchange contracts.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will handle your contracts and paperwork. But you must arrange your Buildings Insurance yourself, before moving in. You can sort out the details in advance when you know the date of the exchange.

Most insurers let you choose a policy start date. Arrange it in advance and you have time to compare quotes and the level of cover. Your mortgage provider may offer Home Insurance or recommend an insurer. You may be able to transfer your current policy to your new home.

The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute finance advice.

For impartial financial advice, we recommend government bodies like the Money Advice Service.

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