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Listed building insurance

How to insure a listed building

Protect your listed home

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What is listed building insurance?

A listed building is a structure that the government believes is of special architectural or historical importance. In practice, this means that the owners may need to seek permission and use specialist materials or craftsmen to make changes to a listed property. At higher listing grades, owners may not be allowed to make changes at all.

There are three listing grades:

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

Because listed buildings are usually made of rarer materials and cost more to repair, they usually require specialist insurance policies to make sure they’re protected. These policies tend to be more expensive than insurance for ordinary homes as claims tend to cost more as a result. If you own a listed building you may even be legally required to repair any damage done to the property.

MSM house

What does listed building insurance cover?

Listed building insurance works like regular home insurance: in exchange for a monthly premium, your property is protected in the event that it’s damaged or destroyed by fire, flooding and theft. There are two types of home insurance cover: buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can take each out separately or get both from the same company in a combined home insurance policy.

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    Buildings insurance

    Buildings insurance covers the physical structure of your home – the bricks and mortar – and any permanent fittings or fixtures (from your doors to your kitchen sink).

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    Contents insurance

    Contents insurance protects the possessions in your home against damage or theft – some policies cover your stuff while you’re out and about too.

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    Combined home insurance

    You can take out your buildings and contents insurance with the same insurer to reduce the hassle, but you should always compare quotes to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

How much does listed buildings insurance cost?

 

  Buildings only Contents only Combined buildings and content
Grade I £208.80 £77.13 £285.71
Grade II £208.51 £82.82 £281.52

According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of December 2020

What add-ons are available with listed building 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:

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    Accidental damage

    This covers unintentional damage you or your guests cause, such as spilled wine on a carpet or a broken window

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    Home emergency

    This covers you for the cost of calling out emergency assistance for a burst pipe or an electrical fault

  • List Icon

    Personal belongings

    This extends your contents insurance so your belongings are also insured when you take them outside your home 

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    Legal expenses

    This type of policy is a flexible option that can pay for all sorts of legal costs and disputes relating to property ownership

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    Unoccupied property

    This will protect your listed property if it is left empty for longer than a certain period – usually 31 days 

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    Heave and subsidence

    Useful if your home is at risk of heave or subsidence, which are not generally included in standard home insurance

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:

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    England

    If your building is listed, you need permission from your local council to make any changes – for example, adding an extension. You will have to bear the extra costs if your property is made of rare materials or requires specialist tradespeople to maintain it.

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    Scotland

    Your local planning authority is the first port of call for making changes to listed buildings. Guidelines are set by Historic Environment Scotland, but there are certain changes you can make which do not require consent. Applying for consent is free, and works like planning permission

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    Wales

    As with Scotland, you must get consent from your local authority, which 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

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    Northern Ireland

    Listed buildings in Northern Ireland are listed differently, and grades range 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

How to get a listed building insurance quote

Listed buildings may cost a little more on average to insure, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard to find an insurer who can help out. Here’s how to compare listed buildings insurance with MoneySuperMarket:

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It doesn’t take long

Pop in some details about your home and
your belongings, and compare quotes in
just a few minutes

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We’ll search for savings

We’ll search the market for the cheapest
deals, and help you choose the cover that
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Get the right cover

We’ll show you claims experience for
policies, to help you choose the right
home insurance policy for you

Compare cheap home insurance from over 55 providers

We’re committed to finding the right cover for you and your home. 

That’s why we compare over 55 of the biggest insurance providers in the country, including:

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Kate Devine

Our expert says

"Listed buildings do undeniably cost more on average to insure than most other properties – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find insurance for your architecturally significant home. We work with a number of specialist providers who will do what they can to suit your needs, and the needs of your property. "

- Kate Devine, head of home insurance

Finding out if your property is listed is easy: the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) contains details of every listed building in England. 

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 itself, based on its own research.

You can make certain alterations to a listed building, but the higher the grade the less you can do. 

 

Historic England’s website states that ‘listed buildings are to be enjoyed and used, like any other building. Listed buildings can be altered, extended and sometimes even demolished within government planning guidance’.

 

But before you make any changes, you must apply to your local authority for consent – making changes without permission is against the law.

Listed buildings do tend to be more expensive to insure on average, but as with every insurance policy, the exact cost of any policy depends on the value of the property being insured. But because listed buildings tend to be harder to repair, requiring rarer materials and amore expertise, premiums are normally higher to reflect this.

Almost certainly: most ordinary home insurance policies aren’t designed to cover the specific needs of a listed property. Specialist insurance should always be your first port of call.

You may well find that your home does need a specialist insurance policy if it’s in a conservation area. Local authorities which govern such areas do have the power to make sure your building is preserved. 

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We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

 

We aim to show you home insurance quotes from as many insurance companies as possible, so that you can find the right policy for you.

Unfortunately, we can’t promise to show quotes from every insurance provider, because not all companies want to be included on comparison websites.

We won’t offer you advice or make a recommendation, but we will provide you with all the information you need to help you decide which is the right policy for you.

You can find out more about how we work here.

 

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