Generally the definition of what constitutes Buildings and Contents under a home insurance is commonsense and straight forward. Buildings being all domestic buildings within the boundaries of the land, owned by the insured and permanent fixtures and fittings. Contents are portable items, possessions you’d take with you if you move, including carpets and curtains. There are however a few areas which can cause confusion, so here we go.
- Flooring, glued, nailed or stuck down would usually be considered Buildings, with carpets coming under Contents.
- Fitted kitchens and bathrooms under Buildings, but free standing (not built in) domestic appliances being Contents.
- Satellite dishes, receiving aerials, their fittings and masts are considered Contents, as seen as an extension of the television.
The insurance policy wording will give you a definition of Home Buildings and Contents, along with the terms, conditions and exclusions. Insurers usually keep to a plain English format, to make the policy wording easier to understand. Leaving aside complex insurance jargon. If you’re still none the wiser, then any queries should be ironed out in a phone call.
On occasions confusion can arise when insured damage occurs to laminate flooring. Especially when the owner has separate Home Buildings and Contents policies with different insurers.
Although there is no Association of British Insurers (ABI) agreement on whether laminate flooring is covered under Buildings or Contents, a meeting in July 2003 of the Property Claims Forum, an insurance industry group, concluded that it should be insured under a Home Buildings policy. This decision is not set in stone, so very much a matter for individual insurers to decide. Insurers may take into account whether the laminate tongue and groove is glued, binding the flooring and making it more permanent. If so the outcome is more likely to be a matter for the Buildings insurers. No glue then the outcome might be a little less clear.
The Installation of solar panels, as a environmently friendly way to generate power for the home and save money on energy bills is steadily on the increase. Despite the rise of homes with solar panels there still seems to be a bit of confusion as to whether solar panels are included under buildings insurance. Generally there’s no mention of solar panels under insurers’ policy wordings, leading to doubt. Ember JD, a specialist home insurance broker since 1970, now offers cover from 1 February 2012 with solar panels included within the definition of buildings, so the cover applying to the buildings also applies to solar panels. If damage or loss occurs, such as fire, storm, lightning and even theft, then the solar panels will be included. Good news, as solar panels are fixed externally to the home, so are exposed to the elements.
If you are looking for a quality home buildings insurance, which definitely includes solar panels within the cover, we would be pleased to hear from you. Please use our website to request a quote, or call Steve Hayton or david Nash on 020 8941 2204 during office hours.