Listed building insurance

Home insurance for listed buildings

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Listed properties are often unique and fascinating, but they aren’t always easy to insure – here’s how to find home insurance for listed buildings

An old house by a bridge

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What is a listed building?

A listed building is a structure or property that is of special architectural or historical interest or importance. They can be categorised into the following:

  1. Grade I: Buildings of exceptional special interest
  2. Grade II*: Particularly important buildings of more than special interest
  3. Grade II: Buildings of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them

What percentage of listed buildings in England belong to each grade?

How does a building become listed?

There are two ways that buildings can become listed. They can be nominated to Historic England, the organisation in charge of England’s listed buildings, or Historic England can designate the building themselves based on their own research.

What if my building is listed?

If your building is listed, then you’ll need permission from your local council to make any changes to the property – for example, adding an extension. It also means that you’ll need to bear in mind any specialist materials or craftsmen you might need to find in order to maintain the building’s status as listed.

Does it matter if a listed building is in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?

There are different rules for listed buildings depending on where you are in the UK:

  • Scotland: Your local authority are the first port of call for matters around consent with listed buildings, and they are guided by Historic Environment Scotland
  • Wales: As with Scotland, you must get consent from your local authority, who get this from the planning division of the Welsh government’s historic environment service. However some grade II listed buildings can be changed after just consulting the local authority
  • Northern Ireland: Listed buildings in Northern Ireland are listed differently, from B2, B1 and B+, and A. You must ask your local authority for consent, and they’ll consult the Historic Environment Division in the Department for Communities

What is listed building insurance?

Home insurance for listed buildings is what you take out to cover your property if it falls into one of the above categories as a building of special interest.

Do I need listed building insurance?

Standard home insurance doesn’t offer the kind of protection you’ll get with a specialised listed building policy. Listed buildings often require there are specialist materials or techniques for repair and renovation work, which can be expensive or hard to source.

As a result you’d need a policy that will pay out for the cost of using these materials or techniques in order to preserve the building’s historic status.

What does listed building insurance cover?

Listed building home insurance works in a similar way to standard home insurance, in that you can take out both building and contents insurance policies.

  • Buildings insurance for listed buildings: This will cover your listed building against costs that result from fires, floods, subsidence, burst pipes, or accidental damage. It might also extend to outbuildings, gardens, ponds or patios
  • Contents insurance for listed buildings: This covers you against the cost of repairs or replacements for items such as gadgets, furniture, clothing, money or financial documents. However, you might have to take out separate policies for expensive gadgets or jewellery

What extra policies can I add to my listed building home insurance?

When you take out a home insurance policy for your listed building, you’ll be able to add the following extras if they aren’t included as standard:

  1. Accidental damage: Accidental damage policies cover unintentional damage you might cause, such as spilled wine on a carpet or a broken window
  2. Home emergency: Home emergency insurance covers you for the cost of emergency assistance if you need it for a burst pipe or an electrical fault
  3. Personal belongings: Personal belongings policies extends your contents insurance so your belongings are also insured outside your home – for example, things like mobile phones and jewellery when you take them out and about
  4. Legal expenses: A legal expenses policy pays out for legal costs relating to property disputes
  5. Unoccupied property: Unoccupied property insurance will cover your listed property while it’s empty for longer than a certain period – usually a month
  6. Heave and subsidence: Heave and subsidence policies are useful if your home is at risk of either, as they offer cover that isn’t generally part of standard home insurance

Why is home insurance for listed buildings more expensive?

Listed building insurance is generally costlier than standard home insurance due to the specialised nature of cover needed. Repairs for listed buildings often require certain special materials or techniques that might be expensive or rare, and if you own a listed building you may even be legally required to repair any damage done to the property.

This means the chances that you’ll need to claim on your policy in order to make repairs is likely to be higher, so premiums for listed buildings insurance are more expensive.

Compare listed building insurance quotes

If you own a historic or architecturally significant building, comparing listed building insurance with MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find cover. We’ll show you a list of providers who offer the specialist cover you need for your property – you can see what each is good for and what you need to be aware of.

Just click through to the insurer’s website and fill out a few details about the property you want to insure and you’ll be given a quote for how much cover will cost. Keep in mind the cheapest quote isn’t always the best – you want to make sure you have the right level of cover in place for the best possible price to avoid over-paying or being under-insured.

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