Things happen when you least expect it...

If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist that your property (and their security) is protected by buildings insurance. It usually pays out if your property is destroyed by fire, floods or subsidence (although you will need to check if you live on a flood plain, for example). Damage to fixed fittings such as baths and kitchens are often included, as well as sheds, greenhouses and garages.

You might be offered buildings insurance when you take out your mortgage, but you don't have to take what's on offer. Use the key policy information to shop around and get the best deal for you.

If you purchase a leasehold property (such as a flat in a block of flats) the freeholder may have arranged buildings insurance for the whole block, in which case you may not need your own buildings policy.

What isn't covered?

Your cover is based on what your home would cost to rebuild. You can check whether you have enough buildings insurance through the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) website. It has an online tool to help you calculate the sum you should insure your building(s) for, in case your home has to be entirely rebuilt.

You need to tell your insurer if you extend your property, for example with a loft conversion or conservatory. Your belongings are not covered – these need to be covered separately with contents insurance – see Contents insurance.

Keeping costs down

As always, shop around. You may also find that you get a better deal if you buy buildings and contents insurance together. Most policies have a standard excess charge which means you agree to pay the first part of any claim, for example the first £50 or £100. If you agree to pay a higher excess you might get a cheaper policy. Always compare what's covered by a policy, not just the price – the key policy information will help you do this. Some might be cheaper than others, but they may not offer the same level of protection.

Benefits can include:

  • Accidental Damage Cover
  • Building Cover
  • No Claims Discount
  • Legal Liability
  • Metered Water
  • Loss of rent or costs for alternative accommodation

LEGAL

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

We charge a fee of £495 for the straight forward mortgage application and up to £1,495 for the more complex ones. The fee will be confirmed to you prior to application.

Zebra Mortgage Centre and Zebra Money Centre are trading names of Zebra Money Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is entered on the Financial Services Register under reference 618018. Registered in England and Wales No: 70520888 . Registered office 1 Union Street Luton LU1 3AN. Calls may be recorded for training and monitoring.

It is our intention to provide you with a high level of customer service at all times. If there is an occasion when we do not meet these standards and you wish to register a complaint, please contact us by writing to our Customer Services Department, Zebra Money Limited, 1 Union Street LUTON LU1 3AN or by phone: 01582 450000.

If you cannot settle your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service

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