Specialist home insurance for unusual properties
If you live in an unusual, character property rather than a conventional house, you may need specialist home insurance rather than a standard policy – and the reality is that you will usually have to pay a bit more for your cover.
Some insurers prefer not to cover certain types of property at all, while others simply impose very expensive premiums. If you find this is the case with your home, it makes sense to get quotes from several specialist insurers to see if you can find a better rate.
Just like with standard home insurance, you need two types of specialist home insurance: buildings insurance (covering the structural 'bricks and mortar' elements of your home) and contents insurance (covering the 'moveable' items such as furniture, soft furnishings, and so on).
Some of the types of buildings that might demand specialist home insurance include:
Listed buildings and quirky conversions such as mills, barns, lighthouses, chapels and castles usually have to be restored according to strict guidelines, so if they are damaged the work can cost more than it would to restore a conventional home.
Thatched homes may pose an increased fire risk, and be costly to repair if they are damaged.
Properties with non-standard construction
If your property has been built in an unconventional way, for example using a timber frame (which poses a greater fire risk), or is so old that it was built from wattle and daub, you will need to find non-standard construction insurance.
Properties with structural issues
If your property has a serious structural problem such as subsidence it may be difficult to find reasonably priced standard home insurance, or providers may only be willing to cover you for everything except subsidence, or with an extremely high excess. Properties situated in an area that experiences flooding can also pose problems. Specialist insurance providers may offer a better rate and a better level of cover.
If you buy a farmhouse and a working farm, your property is tied in with your farming business and requires specialist farm insurance which covers all the buildings, vehicles, machinery and any livestock or crops.
Chalets and mobile homes
These properties also demand specialist insurance. Wooden chalets may be at a greater risk of fire damage than a conventional home, for example, and mobile homes can be vulnerable in storms.
High value homes and very large properties
Standard home insurance may not cover homes with more than six bedrooms. If your house value is running into millions you will need high net worth home insurance, and if your contents have a very high value you may need specialist policies such as fine art home contents Insurance or Jewellery Insurance
When you compare quotes from different providers, make sure that they are offering the level of cover you need, and watch out for any exclusions in the small print.