A guide to buildings insurance and your external walls

It’s safe to say that when the three little pigs built their respective houses of straw, sticks and bricks, they probably weren’t thinking of how it would affect their home insurance. If they had, the pig with the brick house would’ve ended up even more smug than he already was from having the only house still standing. Why? Because the material your external walls are made of has a direct impact on the cost of your insurance.

What are the different types of external walls?

For most of us, a wall is a wall – we don’t tend to ponder too much about what it’s made of. But your walls can be made of a variety of materials – conventional bricks, stone or concrete or unconventional substances such as glass, timber or metal. Each one will have their inherent qualities, usually chosen at the time of build for certain characteristics, whether that’s to be modern, or use locally sourced materials such as flint or granite or just to provide a long-lasting, solid home, as is the case with new builds.

why do external walls affect buildings insurance

How external walls can impact your buildings insurance

Your buildings insurance is there to cover the cost of repairs or complete rebuilding of your home if it is damaged as a result of some specific causes. It may sound drastic, but fire damage or subsidence, for example, can be devastating and sometimes the only way to repair is to start from scratch. With this in mind, your insurance provider has to consider what it is that your home is made of and reflect this in the cost of your premiums.

Conventional materials such as good old bricks and mortar are plentiful and relatively inexpensive to source; bricks are also hard-wearing – this can be good news for the cost of your insurance. Particular types of stone such as flint or granite might also be extremely hard-wearing, but they can be expensive to source, (especially if your home is listed and has to be rebuilt in a certain way using original materials) and this’ll add up when it comes to your insurance. Even if your walls are made with a seemingly everyday material, if it’s ‘not normal’ (according to insurance providers) to build a house out of – then your insurance premiums are likely to reflect this with higher premiums.

If you commissioned a survey on your house when you came to buy it, the report will probably tell you what the external walls are made of. In most cases you’d know from the start if it was made of anything ‘unconventional’ by just looking at it.

What are the consequences of non-disclosure?

Of course, different insurance providers will have their own ideas about what an ‘unconventional’ material is, so it’s important to be honest and as accurate as possible when it comes to getting a quote. Not telling the whole truth or missing out anything pertinent can result in your insurance being invalidated and like the first two little pigs you could end up leaving you out of pocket and disgruntled. So if in doubt, always ask your insurance provider for advice.

a jar of pennies

Sifting through the rubble – getting the right insurance

No-one ever admitted that sorting out their home insurance was fun and we don’t pretend that it is, but we are very good at comparing it. If you start a quote online, we’ll just ask you a few simple questions about your home and then do the searching for you. That way, you know that everything we bring to the table should match your needs – leaving you to simply, compare and choose.

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