A thatched cottage is an ideal a lot of people strive for, unless of course if you are an insurance company.
Most mainstream insurance companies refuse to cover properties with thatched roofs, or they charge extortionate premiums. Therefore, it can be very tricky for owners of thatched homes to obtain buildings insurance at a reasonable price.
Several specialist firms provide home insurance for thatched roofs; however, they usually charge high premiums. They are also able to offer expert advice on roof maintenance as well as fire safety.
Why is Thatched roof Home Insurance so Expensive?
A thatched roof home poses a huge fire risk. Thatched homes do not catch fire any more frequently than standard properties. However, should a fire start, then it usually spreads rapidly and causes extensive damage.
Should a thatched home catch fire, the rebuilding costs can be exceedingly high due to the necessity for specialist materials and crafts people. Moreover, most thatched homes are listed buildings; hence, they are governed by strict rules regarding repairs or construction, which raises the costs accordingly.
Thatched roof property owners usually underestimate the rebuild costs involved. Therefore, it is vital to seek professional advice from a specialist insurance company.
Furthermore, insurance companies are highly wary of thatched roofs due to potentially high maintenance and repair costs. Certain roofs have a limited life expectancy, due to the kind of thatch, construction method and local conditions.
How can I lower the cost of home insurance for my Thatched Home?
An insurance company is highly likely to undertake an inspection of a thatched home prior to agreeing to cover the property. The insurer is likely to check that you have fire prevention and safety measures in place for the protection of your home.
The cause of over 90% of fires in thatched properties is a fault in the flue or chimney. Therefore, check that you have your chimney swept frequently, at least twice a year.
Should you have a wood burning stove in your home, you may find it all the more difficult to obtain cover at a reasonable cost due to the increased risk of fire. The insurance company is highly likely to insist upon adequate lining for the chimney.
Smoke detectors need to be placed around your home and in the roof space. If you do not have a smoke alarm, a fire can smoulder for many hours in a thatched roof prior to discovery.
Moreover, it is highly advisable to separate the roof void from the thatched roof with a fire resistant barrier and to use a fire retardant coating to spray the thatch.
As faulty wires and connections can cause fires, it is highly advisable to check electrical wiring regularly.
Most insurance companies insist on specific safety measures as one of the conditions for buildings insurance cover. You could perhaps receive a discount on your premium if you have approved safety devices installed.
It is vital to shop around for your thatched roof home cover as no two policies are identical.