A simples guide

Listed buildings insurance

Choosing the right home insurance can be tricky – it’s a fine line between making sure your premiums are affordable while ensuring that your policy covers everything you might need. If your home’s a listed building, finding the right policy can be even trickier.


But it doesn’t have to be that way, here, we explain exactly what you need to know about listed buildings insurance so that you feel confident about comparing the market and getting the right policy for your home.


What is a listed building?

It’s basically a building that has been labelled as having special architectural features or is of historic interest and importance. Generally, the older the building, the more likely it is to be listed.

There are two main ways for a building to become listed. Firstly, you can nominate a building or monument to Historic England who are responsible for looking after the country’s historic environment. Secondly, Historic England will designate listed status on buildings based on their own research and priorities. Any building over 30 years old can be nominated so that dodgy 1960s concrete tower blocks could be declared a national treasure.

There are around 500,000 listed buildings in England and there are three listing categories:

- Grade I – these are buildings of exceptional historic interest and it’s a pretty exclusive group, only 2.5% of listed buildings are classified as Grade I

- Grade II* - these are buildings of particular historic interest and 5.5% of all listed buildings are Grade II*

- Grade II – these are buildings of special interest and the most likely grading for home owners, 92% of all listed buildings are classed as Grade II

What bits of the house are listed?

Exactly what a listing covers will vary according to the property so you’ll need to check with your local planning authority to find out the specifics. But in most cases, the entire property is covered by the listing. That means, outbuildings, extensions and in properties built before 1948, it also usually includes the land surrounding it. 

Old cottages

What does it mean for me if my house is listed?

Listing a building isn’t meant to prevent change but it does mean you’ll need special ‘listed building consent’ from your local planning authority to carry out any work to your home. It also means that you’ll need to pay particular attention to the type of materials used in any repair work and source craftsmen skilled in the ‘old ways’ of building work. If it all sounds like a bit of a palaver, just remember that you’re living in a little bit of history and future generations will thank you for it.

Do I really need listed building insurance?

Listed building home insurance is specific to the needs of these properties. If you start a home insurance quote with us and tell us that it’s a listed building then your number of quotes from will reduce but we can offer you cover with some insurance providers. In theory, your insurance is there to cover the cost of your home if you had to rebuild it brick by brick. Chances are the cost of rebuilding your lovingly created listed building will be slightly more than your standard semi. 

Medieval Manor House

What does listed building insurance cover?

Ultimately that will depend on what your listed property insurance policy covers, but you might want to think about the following:

- Damage cover – for the actual brickwork of the building including any damage caused by fire, flood or storms

- Materials – making sure that it covers the cost of specialist materials and labour

- Accommodation – repairing a listed building can be a lengthy process so look out for policies that cover the cost of alternative accommodation while your home is uninhabitable

- Professional valuation for rebuild cost – there’s nothing worse than finding out you’re underinsured. BICS can help you to calculate the rebuild value of your home

Is there anything else I should know?

Maintaining your listed home is vital to minimising problems associated with older properties. You might want to make sure that your home is secure against damp, that there are no drainage blockages and that you check for broken roof tiles.

It all sounds like a lot work but living in a listed building can be incredibly rewarding, it’s filled with character and if it makes you feel better you can think of yourself as a guardian of time – ensuring that the nation’s treasures are protected for the future. Just don’t forget a Time Lord’s best friend – the insurance! So get comparing with us and see how much you could save!

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