Specialist home insurance is a term used chiefly in the United Kingdom, where it denotes a home insurance policy that covers ”non standard risk”. As of 2015, an estimated 8 million households in the United Kingdom fall into this category and thus require specialist home insurances to be adequately covered.
The reason why a household needs specialist home insurance can be linked both to the householders and to the building or buildings they wish to insure. A person with certain criminal convictions can for instance need specialist home insurance, since he or she is considered a non standard risk. Also, a perfectly normal building can require specialist home insurances if it is to be left uninhabited for more than a month.
Below, you will find a few examples of things that can cause a need for specialist home insurance. The list is by no means exhaustive. It is always a good idea contact several different insurance providers and discuss you particular situation with them to find out more and see if you need specialist home insurance or if a standard home insurance policy will provide sufficient cover.
The thatch roof is a traditional roofing technique in the United Kingdom. It is found on many older buildings, and quite a few new buildings are also constructed with thatched roofs due to its aesthetic and environmentally friendly appeal.
Many insurance providers deem thatched roofs as non standard risk. One of the reasons is that these roofs are so expensive to replace. So, if something happens and the insurance company must pay for a new roof, it will be a big expense for them.
If a building in the UK, with a thatched roof, is included in the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, it may be illegal to replace a damaged or destroyed roof with anything else than a new thatched roof that is constructed using techniques and materials as similar to the original ones as possible, and this can make the project even more expensive.
Non Standard Construction
A thatched roof is far from the only aspect of a building that can deem it a non standard risk in the eyes of an insurance company. Even something as relatively common as a timber frame or wattle & daub can be sufficient to warrant a specialist home insurances with some insurance companies.
In the United Kingdom, most insurance companies will required that you obtain specialist home insurance for a property that is to be left unoccupied for more than 30 days. So, if you for instance are planning to travel in South East Asia for three months and no one will live in your home during that time, you should contact your insurance provider to find out more about specialist home insurance.
If you live in a flood risk area, specialist home insurance with special flooding protection can be necessary to provide you with adequate cover in case of a flood. For the United Kingdom, the Environment Agency has a lot of useful resources regarding flood risk areas.
A building can subside for many reasons. In the United Kingdom, one of the more common reasons for building subsidence is clay soil shrinking as it loses its moist during prolonged periods of dry (and often also warm) weather. Clay soil is especially common in the South East part of the country.
Another quite common reason for building subsidence is trees that drain the soil of moisture.
If your building is prone to subsidence, you may need specialist home insurance.
The Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
In the United Kingdom, a building can be placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Listed buildings are protected by law and the owner will normally need permission to do repairs or alterations. The owner can be required to use special techniques and materials, as well as retain specialist help throughout the process. This can of course become very expensive, and this is why most UK insurance companies requires specialist home insurance for listed buildings.
The statutory bodies maintaining the list:
- Historic England
- The Historic Environment Service of the Welsh Government (Cadw)
- Historic Scotland
- Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)
A farm is usually both home and business for the owner. This means that a standard home insurance policy wont fit. You need an insurance policy solution that will keep both your home and your business protected.