Home Insurance: Buildings vs Contents

Published on 18 April 2016

There are two types of Home insurance you need to consider for your home – Buildings insurance and Contents insurance. You can buy these separately or as a package.

But what’s the difference between Buildings and Contents insurance? Which one is right for my home, or do I need both types of cover? Let’s discuss the difference...

What is Buildings Insurance?

Buildings insurance insures a building against fire, flood, water damage and other hazards to its physical structure including the roof, windows, walls and doors. It also covers things you wouldn’t be able to take with you should you move, such as fitted kitchens, bathrooms, gates, fences and outbuildings.

The amount of cover you need depends on the cost of rebuilding or replacing, should anything go wrong. The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) is a good place to go for guidance on this.

What is Contents Insurance?

Contents insurance pays for any theft, fire, flood damage or other hazards to the moveable items inside your house, such as furniture, art, clothes, jewellery, electrical items and any other personal belongings.

The amount of cover you need depends on the cost of replacing these items as new should anything go wrong.


Buildings and Contents Insurance Q&A


Q: I’m a landlord. Do I need Buildings cover, Contents cover, or both?

A: When you own a building, you should always take out Buildings cover. You may also want to consider property owner’s liability.

Whether you need Contents cover depends on what you own inside the house. If you own a lot of contents, e.g., white goods, then you should get Contents cover to the value it would take to replace the items. Otherwise, you'll be out of pocket in the case of an emergency.

Q: I’m a tenant. Do I need Buildings cover, Contents cover, or both?

A: As the owner of the property, the landlord should have Home insurance in place, which insures the structure itself. It’s more than likely they will have some kind of Contents insurance in place, covering their own property inside the structure, such as carpets, curtains, TVs, microwaves, vacuum cleaners and fridges, etc. But when it comes to your own personal items, the landlord’s policy won’t cover them, so you should consider taking out Contents insurance. Otherwise, in the event of fire, theft or other damage, you could be left out of pocket.

When getting a Contents insurance quote (sometimes called Tenants Home insurance, or Rental Home insurance), an insurance company will ask you to give a total value of your belongings. To determine this, you’ll need to add up what it would cost to replace them as new, and getting a professional appraisal for more expensive items, such as jewellery is often a requirement.

Policies vary from company to company, but most will insure you against the common incidents like fire, lightning, burst pipes, flood, storms and burglary. So, to fully enjoy your rented home and have total peace of mind, Contents insurance is definitely worth it.


Buildings & Contents Insurance with Liberty


Home insurance won’t stop the unexpected happening, but it will mean you’re covered when it does. With our Building & Contents cover, it’s about making a difficult time easier. Find out more or get a quote in minutes.


Get a Building & Contents quote