A simples guide

A guide to specialist home insurance

Many of us have houses with little quirks. But does that make it harder to get home insurance? Here we look at what specialist home insurance considerations you might need to take into account if your home isn’t quite the norm.


Is my home a ‘specialist’ non-standard home?

Most houses are brick boxes with a few windows and a tiled roof. If you live in a home which doesn’t meet this description, for example if you have a thatched roof or timber frame then you probably live in a home that is classed as ‘non-standard

Plus, if you live in an area where subsidence is an issue or where you’re at higher risk of flooding then, like anyone with a non-standard home you may worry about getting insurance. But you don’t have to worry, although your home may be unconventional it doesn’t mean you have to go without peace of mind.

thatched roof

Why are my insurance needs different from a standard home?

Houses that fall into the specialist category are usually little pieces of history or have an old world charm that newer houses simply can’t match. Because the materials used in the construction of these types of houses (such as reeds and grass for thatched roofs) are unusual, they’re often more expensive to get hold of. In addition to this, the workmanship needed to repair and maintain specialist houses tends to be highly skilled and labour intensive, adding to the cost.

Older homes may also be listed – most properties built before 1700 and still in decent shape are listed as are many built between 1700 and 1840. Listed buildings need to adhere to certain rules and regulations when it comes to repair and maintenance – this tends to mean using materials and building techniques originally used to build the property which comes at a price.

Insurance providers need to consider the need for specialist materials and specific workmanship when it comes to providing cover which is often reflected in slightly higher premiums.

Flooding and subsidence

One in six homes in the UK are at risk of flooding so if this applies to you, then you’re not alone. There’s an assumption that living somewhere with a flood risk means paying sky high premiums. But that’s not necessarily the case and certainly shouldn’t be now that the government’s Flood Re scheme (which works with insurers to keep the cost of insurance affordable) is up and running.

Subsidence can be another cause for concern – it’s when the ground beneath your home moves downward causing the foundations to move and can result in cracks in the walls of your house. But it’s not caused by the weight of your house, it’s usually because tree roots have sucked all the moisture out of the ground leaving the soil dry and crumbly. But subsidence can be repaired and it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom when you compare home insurance quotes.


Do I need home insurance?

Home insurance is the general term for buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can buy them together or separately – it’s up to you. Buildings cover will insure you for the structural repair of your home and contents is all the stuff inside it.

When it comes to totting up the value of your belongings – don’t underestimate it. It’s easy to forget the tools in the shed at the bottom of the garden and the barbecue that languishes in the corner. Just because you don’t use them very often doesn’t mean you’d want to go without them.

Should I use a specialist home insurance provider?

Living in a specialist home doesn’t mean you can only seek out specialist home insurance. When you comparethemarket with us, we’ll ask you a few questions about your home – things like what sort of roof it has, what the walls are made of and whether it’s listed or not. We’ll also need to know things like whether you live near water, close to trees,  or if there are any cracks in the outside walls. Based on your answers, we’ll then search from our trusted home insurance partners to find you a provider that fits the bill. If only someone had told those little pigs…

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