Certain properties do not fit perfectly into a box marked 'standard', say, if they have a thatched roof or are listed buildings. Unique homes are attractive to look at, however, they can prove difficult to insure.
Should you own or be planning to buy a 'non standard' property, it is highly advisable to consider specialist home insurance, or non standard home insurance.
Risk of Flood
One out of six homes in England is at some risk of flooding. You can check if yours is one of them by visiting the Environment Agency’s website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk. Your home insurance premiums are definitely going to be affected should you live in a flood risk area. So, you will need to get specialist cover.
Properties with thatched roofs are normally old and at a higher risk of fire damage than homes that have a more standard construction. Hence, most standard insurance companies are wary of insuring them. Therefore, it is vital that you put in place appropriate cover just in case you need to make a claim. Otherwise you may be left with a very costly repair bill.
Shrinkage of clay soil in dry weather is the key cause of subsidence in the UK. Clay soil is most common in the South East; therefore, properties within that area are particularly vulnerable.
Moreover, trees can greatly impact the soil as they absorb a lot of moisture from the soil. Subsidence claims can prove expensive, costing insurance companies £175m in 2009 alone. Hence, you can anticipate paying a higher premium for buildings insurance should your property be prone to subsidence. The policy terms and conditions may also differ from standard cover.
Listed buildings are legally protected. Therefore, you usually require special permission to undertake any repairs or alterations. You can even use a specific kind of material or technique, which can prove costly. Listed building owners normally need specialist help to get appropriate cover.
Standard home insurance policies do not normally provide cover for a property which has been left unoccupied for more than 30 days. So, say if you know that you are going to be away from home for around a month, you are going for a long stay in hospital or you are off on a lengthy overseas trip, you ought to ensure that you get sufficient cover to protect your property and possessions.
A farm is a business and a home, so, standard home insurance cover is not adequate for a farm. Therefore, a specialist house insurance policy is a necessity for this set of circumstances.
Non Standard Construction Insurance
Should your home have brick walls and a tiled roof, you can be quite sure that that an insurance company is going to classify it as 'standard construction'. There are many properties that are more unusual, for example, they may have a timber frame or have been constructed by use of traditional wattle and daub. In such cases you need a specialist buildings insurance policy to make certain you have adequate cover.
Self Build Insurance
Should you opt to build your own home you are going to need specialist self-build home insurance to cover the property during that project. This cover will provide you with protection from damage to your property due to flood, fire, vandalism or storm damage. It also provides cover for the tools you are using for the self build. Should you be employing individuals to help out with the self-build, then you are going to benefit from employer's liability insurance which will provide cover for any damages claim should anyone get killed or injured over the duration of the project.