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Thatched roof home insurance

Compare insurance quotes for a home with a thatched roof

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Written by  David McDermottroe
5 min read
Updated: 02 Feb 2024

If your home has a thatched roof, you may need to turn to a specialist insurer to get the cover you need

The quintessential thatched cottage, with its charming silhouette and rustic appeal, often embodies the idyllic English countryside dream. However, the picturesque qualities that make these homes so desirable also present unique challenges when it comes to home insurance. Thatched roofs, while beautiful, are prone to higher fire risks and require specialized repair skills, making it necessary to seek out specialist insurance firms that understand their unique nature.

What is thatched roof home insurance?

Thatched roof home insurance is a niche product designed to cater to the specific needs of thatched property owners. This type of insurance covers the unique risks associated with thatched cottages, such as heightened fire hazards and the intricacies involved in repairing or rebuilding these distinctive structures.

thatched roof cottage

Insurance challenges for thatched properties

Lots of insurers don’t provide thatched property insurance at all, because they see these homes as higher risk of insurance claims. The non-standard construction of thatched cottages means they are more likely to suffer significant damage in the event of a fire, compared to properties with conventional tiled roofs. Those mainstream insurers that do offer coverage for thatched homes often charge steep premiums, reflecting the perceived increased risk.

Specialist providers

Despite the challenges, there are specialist insurance providers that cater specifically to owners of thatched properties. These specialists not only offer potentially lower premiums but also provide invaluable maintenance and fire safety advice, helping homeowners manage the risks associated with their thatched roofs.

Thatched homes insurance costs

The cost of insuring a thatched property is generally higher due to the specialist techniques and materials required for construction and repair. The amount of buildings insurance you need is based on the rebuild cost of the property if it were to be completely destroyed, not on its market value.

Rebuilding costs and listed buildings

Rebuilding a thatched property after damage involves using traditional methods and materials, which can be expensive. Fires can cause extensive damage to thatched roofs, leading to significant claims. Additionally, many thatched properties are also listed buildings, recognized for their architectural or historic importance. This status can further increase the cost of insurance premiums. Homeowners should seek specialist advice to ensure they have the right rebuild cost estimate to avoid being under or over-insured.

Protecting thatched homes from fire

Homeowners can take proactive steps to protect their thatched homes from fire, potentially reducing their insurance premiums. These include:

  • Conducting regular chimney checks and cleaning at least twice a year.

  • Installing smoke detectors throughout the property, including in the roof space.

  • Applying fire-resistant barriers and fire-retardant coatings on the thatch, which may not only lead to premium discounts but could also be a requirement by some insurers.

Reducing insurance premium costs

To lower insurance premiums, homeowners can opt to increase the voluntary excess on their policy. While the mandatory excess is set by the insurer, the voluntary excess is flexible, and setting a higher excess can lead to lower premiums. However, it's crucial to ensure the voluntary excess is affordable in the event of a claim.

Comparing thatched cottage insurance quotes

Homeowners looking to insure their thatched cottages can compare quotes from various insurers with MoneySuperMarket. Insurers may require specific safety measures and could conduct a property survey to assess risks and determine accurate pricing. You can compare quotes from several different insurers which offer thatched roof home insurance with MoneySuperMarket.

Owning a thatched cottage is a unique experience that comes with its own set of responsibilities and considerations. While the insurance for these homes may be more complex and costly, the right coverage ensures that the dream of living in a picturesque thatched home remains a secure and sustainable reality.

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