Buildings insurance—who is covered?
Produced in partnership with Gowling WLG
Buildings insurance—who is covered?

The following Construction guidance note Produced in partnership with Gowling WLG provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Buildings insurance—who is covered?
  • Landlord or property owner
  • Tenant
  • Contractor
  • Sub-contractor
  • Hints and tips

Landlord or property owner

The freeholder has the greatest long-term interest in the property as a capital investment, which for a landlord provides an income return. It is often the freeholder, and, therefore, the landlord who will take out and maintain the buildings insurance policy (see Landlord and tenant—insurances—Buildings insurance). For this reason, they usually maintain control of the policy, including renewing the cover, agreeing its terms, and receive the proceeds from any successful claim under the policy.

There are some occasions in which it is more appropriate for the tenant to take out buildings insurance, for example: when the tenant has paid a large amount up front on a long-term lease of a property (say 999 years) and pays a nominal rent. Here, the risk of loss lies with the tenant and they should therefore have the benefit of any buildings insurance policy.


Where the landlord maintains the buildings insurance policy, it may still be appropriate for the tenant to be a party to the policy as a joint insured. In some cases, however it simply is not practical to include the tenant, for example: it would be impractical to add all the tenants to the policy in a multi-let shopping centre.

In addition, the tenant should take out and maintain its own insurance policy