When applying for Buildings and Contents Insurance, many people are confused as to what actually constitutes Buildings and what should be designated as Contents. Insurance companies define buildings as, the home and its decorations, fixtures and fitting attached to the home, permanently installed swimming pools, tennis courts, drives, patios and terraces, walls, gates and fences and fixed fuel tanks. In simple terms anything that you would leave behind if you left the property should be classed as buildings. Thus the bathroom suite and any fully fitted kitchen would be classed as the building. However, cooker that slots in under kitchen units would be classed as contents as it can be removed.
So, when does a fixture and fitting does becomes part of the building, legally, an item becomes part of the building when it is affixed in such a way as to loose its own personal indemnity and would pass to the owner on the sale of the property. There are of course grey areas, carpets always raise the question, buildings or contents and it is safer to insure them as contents as even fully fitted carpets can be removed. When calculating your building sum insured, remember to include all the out buildings as well.
Your insurers will want you to tell them if the building is of a non standard construction, the definition of non standard does vary from insurer to insurer but in general terms, any property that is built of brick or stone and has a pitched roof of slate or tiles will be considered to be of standard construction.
Certainly you should tell your insurers if the property has a flat roof or any portion of the roof is flat. In recent years, the quality of material used in flat roofing has improved, however, they are still notorious for leaking and insurers may load your premium if you have a flat roof.
Contents can easily be defined as any item you would take with you if your left the property for good, or to put it another way, if you could some how turn the building up side down, any item that would drop out. Remember when insuring your contents to make sure you include all items in the sum insured , including clothing and all your personal effects and to tell the insurers if you require extra insurance for items that are taken away from the home such as jewellery and valuables. Most modern contents insurance policies are written on a new for old basis, this basically means that in the event of a claim, your old items will be replaced with new ones. To get this cover, you must insure your contents as if they were all brand new.