Buildings Insurance

Buildings Insurance

Hong Kong residents consider their home to be one of their most valuable assets. Purchasing the proper insurance to protect a home, the contents within, and mitigating the risk of liability should therefore be a serious consideration, and not taken lightly.

Buildings Insurance can be purchased as a packaged product that will provide all the necessary coverages that will be used to protect your home during all the years you enjoy it. The most efficient and affordable way to purchase the necessary insurance is to shop for a package policy among the many insurers in Hong Kong. The typical package policy will include the following covers:

Structure Insurance – This section provides replacement coverage for the structure you live in, freestanding garages, outbuildings, walls, and fences against the covered perils listed in the policy.

Personal Liability Insurance – This cover protects you and your family in the event you are found liable for injuries or property damage to a third party (visitor) who is on or in your property. The policy will also pay for defence costs associated with the claim against you.

Alternative Accommodation Insurance (Loss of Use) – Many times a homeowner will be forced to temporarily relocate while their home is under repair after a loss has taken place. This cover will reimburse the insured for these additional expenses until the home can be safely re-occcupied. This cover can also reimburse for any loss of rental income if your home is being rented to another party who is forced to move while the home is under repair.

Death and Disablement Insurance – This cover will pay up to the limit selected in the event an insured party dies or becomes totally disabled as the result of a fire, theft, or attempted theft.

Theft or Attempted Theft Insurance – This cover extends the list of perils or risks that are included in the policy to include theft or attempted theft when there is evidence of a forcible entry or exit from your premises.

What is covered in a Buildings Insurance Policy?

The typical risks your home is insured against includes fire, bursting of pipes, water tank overflow, damage from sprinkler linkage, explosions, earthquakes, impacts, riots and civil unrest, vandalism, damage from aircraft, typhoons, windstorms, and floods. The applicant can also request coverage for Landslip and Subsidence for an additional premium.

When considering your buildings insurance, it’s important to talk to your Trusted Union insurance broker to properly determine the replacement cost of your home and the contents within. We will take the time to consider all of the characteristics of your home as well as the value of your personal belongings to help you determine an amount sufficient enough to replace the structure and all of your valuables in the event of a total loss.

Personal Building Insurance Faq

Do I have to get my buildings insurance through my mortgage provider?

The short answer is no. While a lot of mortgage providers will try to sell you building insurance whenever you take out a mortgage, you do not have to buy it from them (despite what their sales pitch might imply). The only requirement that the mortgage companies have is that you carry adequate building insurance so that their investment is protected.

In fact, we usually don’t recommend buying building insurance from your mortgage provider. The reason is because your mortgage provider likely doesn’t have as many options as an independent insurance broker. Working with an independent insurance broker like Trusted Union gives you access to more products, expert advice and the best pricing.

Once you’ve secured an insurance policy, the mortgage company might also require that you list them on the policy as loss payees so they can receive compensation if the building were to be destroyed and also so that they’re notified before your policy gets cancelled voluntarily or terminated involuntarily by the insurance company.

Can I get a buildings insurance policy if I don’t own the property?

The quick answer is no, you’re not able to purchase insurance on anything you don’t have insurable interest in. If you won’t suffer any financial losses from the loss of something, you’re not able to purchase insurance on that thing. Naturally, if you don’t own the property, you won’t be financially damaged if the property were to be damaged.

A common question we get at this point is “what if you rent and happen to damage your landlords building?” With that, you should purchase a form of buildings insurance in a tenant’s legal liability policy to pay for any liability you might have for damaging your landlord’s property.

How can I save money on my buildings insurance?

There are a lot of ways to do it and generally break down to things related to the building, things related to the policy, and things related to the applicant.

The Building - Insurance companies will consider the properties of your building when it comes to setting insurance premiums. Construction is the biggest factor when it comes to pricing because it affects your risk of fire losses but outside of reconstructing your entire building or installing fire sprinklers, installing monitored burglar alarms is one of the easiest ways to save money on your building insurance premiums.

The Policy - One of the easiest ways to save money on your insurance premiums is to sacrifice a bit of coverage. By increasing your deductible or removing some unnecessary coverage, you can save some money on your building insurance.

The Applicant - Applicants with a good claims history will be able to get a discount from most insurance companies. Many insurance companies will also give a discount for loyal customers who have been with that insurer for a long time or have lots of policies with the same insurer.

There are a lot of different ways to save some money on your buildings insurance but not every technique is suitable for everyone. Contact a Trusted Union broker for the most accurate advice.

Do I need building insurance if I rent a property?

Yes you do, in a way. Although you won’t need building insurance in the traditional sense like a building owner or landlord would, you would still need insurance to help protect yourself against any liability arising out of damage you negligently cause to the landlord’s building.

For example, if you accidentally leave the stove on when you leave for work in the morning and the house burns down as a result, you could be found responsible for the damage.

While you’re renting, the building is in your care and you have the responsibility to leave it in roughly the same state as when you first rented it. If you’re careless and cause damage to the building, tenant’s liability insurance will step in, defend you and pay for any damages the court orders you to pay the landlord.

Is a fitted kitchen covered by buildings insurance?

Yes, the definition of dwelling building includes not just the building itself but also other fixed structures like the plumbing systems, light fixtures, sinks, counter tops, and other kitchen fittings.

How much does building insurance cost?

The short answer is: it depends. The biggest factor is the value of the building and the limit of insurance chosen. The more valuable your building is, the more an insurance company might need to pay in the event of a loss and the more expensive your insurance will be.

The other big factor is the risk of fire. If your building is constructed from wood frame, you can expect to pay significantly more than if it were built entirely out of concrete or some other fire resistive material.

Contact a Trusted Union broker to get a more accurate quote based on your own specific situation.

Do I need building insurance?

Yes, if you own property, it’s likely a significant investment – as with any large investment, you should make sure you’re managing your risk and protecting it with an insurance policy. This is doubly true if you have a mortgage on the property as most mortgage lenders will require you to have insurance before approving and funding your loan.

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