Does the age of your house impact on your home insurance?

Does the age of your house impact your home insurance?

From high-pitched Victorian roofs and red-bricked Edwardian facades through to terrace-lined streets and an eclectic array of new builds, the diversity of housing in the UK speaks of our storied history.

However, the time your home was built may also affect other factors, including its upkeep, and home insurance – but, how many of us actually know how old our houses are and how this impacts our home insurance bills?

To answer this, we studied over 1.5 million MoneySuperMarket home insurance enquiries along with consumer sentiment to reveal some home truths about what the ages of our homes could mean for us.

And, 1 in 3 aren’t sure when their house was built, meaning the accuracy for your home insurance quote could be affected.

This, along with other key factors help to determine your home insurance premium.

Factors that affect home insurance

The most common types of house around the country

So, when considering the impact the age of a house could have on premiums, we must first look more broadly at when homes across the country were built.

According to our enquiry data, the largest proportion of UK houses standing today were built in the 1930s, falling in the Art Deco era of housing. Most of these can be found in Birmingham, with Harrow and Manchester also being areas with large number of houses built at this time.

The most common era of house in the UK

Across other decades, only a small proportion of houses still exist – for example, the combined percentage of houses built from pre-1700 to 1929 amounts for only 21.8% of UK housing. Very few houses from some decades still existing, such as only 221 from the 1710s.

Further, each city in the UK has a clear variation in the types of houses most commonly found as a result of culture, history and even climate. The country’s second largest city, Birmingham, is contributing a large proportion of the most common house types in the country, with the largest number of four of the top five.

The capital, on the other hand, features mostly pre-World War 1 buildings built during the Edwardian era of housing, with the north-west being developed later on in the 30s.

The central areas of London feature newer houses, with housing from the 80s being most common in WC postcodes, compared to very new housing since 2010 in the eastern part of the city centre.

Most common house era across London

According to the consumer research data, 1 in 5 (21%) say 90s new builds are the most desirable say – more than any other type of home.

This is true in the majority of large cities in the country, with those from London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and others listing 90s buildings as their top choice.

Meanwhile, those from Bristol, Edinburgh and Leeds all prefer Victorian homes (24%, 22% and 18% respectively).

The most common types of house around the country

According to our research, nearly half of us (49%) don’t think the cost of home insurance is affected by the time the house was built. However, this is a key piece of information required to give an accurate quote.

Of those who do know that this impacts the cost, nearly a third (27%) expect homes built after the millennium to have higher home insurance costs than those built before the turn of the century.

In fact, the enquiry data shows that he older the house is, the more expensive the insurance, when looking at the average cheapest premiums.

Countrywide, houses built after 2010 tend to have the cheapest home insurance premiums, with an average of £129.52 a month.

Comparatively, the most expensive premiums are for homes built pre-1700 – typically Stuart-era homes – with an average cost of £322.90 a month.

Average premiums for houses from popular eras

*NB. these bandings are defined here and assume that all houses within this time period were of that era and style.

Does the age of your home also affect the likelihood of burglary?

Risk of burglary is one of the many factors that insurers take into account when quoting on home insurance, so we wanted to discover whether the age of the house also plays into this.

We first asked consumers whether they thought the time a house was built would impact its risk of being burgled, and nearly two-thirds (57%) stated that they didn’t think this would affect it.

Of those who do believe there’s a risk of burglary, 15% think that homes built since 2000 are more likely to be burgled - yet we know the majority of people still desire newer homes.

However, according to our enquiry data, the claim rate for thefts at older properties is higher per 1,000 than for newer houses.

Art Deco houses have the most claims of theft, with 31.3 instances per 1,000 houses.

Theft claims per 1,000 houses from popular eras

If you are worried about your house being burgled you should consider installing additional security measures.

What does this mean for you?

Our research tells us that not only does the age of a house affect the cost of a home insurance premium, it also has an impact on how likely it is to be broken into, despite what most people think.

We know that the majority of UK homes were built in the 1930s – the Art Deco era – and that the rate of theft at these homes is higher than for other eras. There could be a number of reasons why they are more vulnerable; for example homes with glass panels in the doors, like those on Art Deco houses, are easy targets. Similarly, it could be the impressive architecture that appeals to thieves, especially if they believe there could be valuable goods inside.

If you live in a 1930s home that doesn’t mean you have to worry – you can rest assured that there are a number of security systems available which will help to reduce the risk of burglary.

It’s worth researching the range of cameras, lights and alarm systems on the market. Investing in extra security measures will go some way to reducing the overall cost of your home insurance and help you rest easy knowing your house is safe.

When you are looking for a quote, regardless of how old your house is, it is important to answer all questions as honestly as possible so you get an accurate quote and the best possible deal.

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Sources

MoneySuperMarket home insurance enquiry data - 1st Feb 2018 - 31st Jan 2019

All consumer research figures according to analysis carried out by Research Without Barriers, conducted between 21st May and 22nd May 2019. The sample comprised 2, 017 UK homeowners.

Burglarly trends and advice – Police UK: https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/

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