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Non-standard home insurance

Understanding non-standard home insurance

David McDermottroe
Written by  David McDermottroe
5 min read
Updated: 01 Mar 2024

If your home has unique features like a thatched roof or timber frames, it’s considered a non-standard property and it won’t be covered by a standard insurance policy. Read our guide to find out what else makes a home a non-standard property, and why you should consider specialist cover.

The essential guide to non-standard home insurance

When it comes to safeguarding your home with insurance, most homeowners aim for a standard policy that fits neatly into what insurers consider 'normal'. But what if your home is anything but typical? That's where non-standard home insurance comes into play. In this comprehensive guide, we'll look into what non-standard home insurance is, why it's necessary, and how to find the best deals for your unique property.

What qualifies as a non-standard property?

Non-standard properties are as diverse as the people who live in them. They are unique and, as such, can be difficult to insure under a standard policy. Here are some examples of non-standard properties:

  • High-value homes: Homes that are of particularly high value often require specialist policies due to their high rebuild costs.

  • Flood risk: Properties that have previously been flooded or are in flood-risk areas.

  • Unoccupied long-term: Properties that have been unoccupied for a long period of time, including those undergoing renovation or those gained through inheritance.

  • Listed buildings: Listed buildings require specialist insurance due to the extra regulation that surrounds how they’re built and renovated.

  • Subsidence: Properties with a history of subsidence need to be transparent with their insurers, often providing a recent structural engineer's report.

  • Personal circumstances: Including individuals with criminal convictions or who have experienced bankruptcy, which must be disclosed when seeking insurance.

These are just a few examples of what might necessitate non-standard insurance. If your home falls into any of these categories, or if it's unique in other ways, you'll need to look beyond standard insurance policies.

Non-standard construction details

When it comes to non-standard construction, these homes are not just architecturally unique but also present unique challenges for insurance. Types of non-standard construction include:

  • Thatched roofs: An icon of the British countryside, thatched roofs require regular, skilled replacement.

  • Timber frames: These homes need extra care due to the material's susceptibility to fire and rot.

  • Steel frames: Although durable, they are expensive to repair or replace.

  • Flat roofs: These have a higher risk of water damage due to their design.

  • Modular homes: These require specialist maintenance due to their unique construction methods.

  • Barn conversions: Often using a mix of old and new materials, these homes need special insurance considerations.

Why opt for specialist cover?

Choosing specialist cover for your non-standard home is crucial for several reasons:

  • High rebuilding costs: Unique materials and construction methods can be more expensive to replace or repair.

  • Increased maintenance: Some non-standard homes require more upkeep, which insurers take into account.

  • Full disclosure: Insurers need to know the full legal and personal circumstances of your home to provide appropriate coverage.

Did you know...

The cost of price of rebuilding costs, such as the price of raw materials and labour costs, rose by 21% since 2022 according to The House Rebuilding Cost Index (HRCI).

Types of non-Standard Home Insurance

When insuring a non-standard property, you have several options:

  • Contents insurance: This protects your personal belongings and can be influenced by the home's construction and location.

  • Buildings insurance: This is crucial for covering the structure of your home. It's based on the rebuild cost, which doesn't include the land value.

  • Combined insurance: Offering both contents and buildings coverage, this can be a cost-effective solution for many homeowners.

Rebuild Value Assessment

If you own a non-standard home, it’s probably wise to get a surveyor to assess the rebuild value. Estimating this incorrectly could leave you underinsured or overpaying. A professional assessment ensures that your insurance coverage matches the true cost of rebuilding your home.

Cost Factors for Non-Standard Insurance

The cost of non-standard home insurance can vary widely. Factors that influence the price include:

  • The location of your home.

  • The age and size of the property.

  • Security features installed in the home.

  • The materials used in the construction.

  • How the home is used, such as for business or as a holiday let.

Additional policy features

When crafting your non-standard home insurance policy, consider these optional extras:

Saving Money on Non-Standard Home Insurance

There are several ways to reduce the cost of your non-standard home insurance:

  • Build a no-claims discount over time.

  • Pay your premium annually rather than monthly.

  • Ask for a higher excess: A higher excess can lead to lower premiums.

  • Improve security: Installing a burglar alarm and better locks on doors and windows can make a difference.

  • Install smoke alarms throughout the property.

Finding the best deals on non-standard home insurance

The key to finding the best deals on non-standard home insurance is to shop around. Comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket are invaluable for this, allowing you to compare a wide range of policies and find the one that offers the best coverage for your unique property.

Protecting a unique home shouldn't be a liability. With the right non-standard home insurance, you can ensure peace of mind, knowing that your property is as well-protected as any 'standard' home.

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