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Buying a Home

What insurance do you need when buying property?

When you are buying a new property it is very important to ensure that you arranged to have the right insurance in place, at the right time.  

Home insurance

From the moment you exchange contracts on the purchase of a property, buildings cover should be in place which covers the rebuilding cost in the event that damage occurs to the property. While your mortgage lender (if you have one), will not impose a condition on contents cover, it is worthwhile to also have this in place as it covers the fixtures and fittings of the property, some of which may be included in the sale.

If you are using a mortgage to buy the property, you will need to let your solicitor know when the cover is in place and your insurance company or broker should send the information over to your solicitor as well as your lender with the appropriate details of cover. It is worth speaking with an insurance company or broker well in advance of this to ensure that you can get suitable insurance cover for the property, at a premium you can afford. Especially if the property has been flooded or has been the subject of any claims for subsidence in the past.

Life Insurance

If you are buying the property with a mortgage, you should ensure you are adequately covered to pay of its remainder and to provide a lump sum for loved ones in the event of premature death. Make sure the broker or insurance company advises your solicitor that the policy has been approved and it is ready to go ahead. You should arrange for any such policy to be brought into force on the exchange of contracts.


On exchange of contracts, a legally binding contract exists and in the majority of cases, that contract places the responsibility for insuring a property on the buyer as of exchange. Where this is the case, insurance cover must state to start on exchange.

If you are in any doubt, you should ask your solicitor what type of insurance you need and when it should start to allow you time to find the right sort of cover for your needs.

Alan Williams is a partner and can be reached at