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.