Thatched Building Insurance UK

Thatched Building Insurance

Thatched home Insurance is one of the harder building insurance policies to obtain. This type of risk falls under the definition of non-standard construction. Thatched buildings can be found throughout the United Kingdom, often constructed of locally sourced materials and providing an excellent insight in to examples of rural homes in our country before the advent of the industrial revolution. Often these types of property are listed buildings using materials such as cob & lath & plaster with timber frames. Whilst these wonderful properties are charming and picturesque, regrettably they are not much loved by insurance companies. The main problem with these types of building is the thatched covering, for most insurance companies this renders the risk unacceptable and the home owner is usually left with having to visit a specialist insurer for cover and alas the premiums can be a lot higher than for a building on standard construction. So whatís the problem? In essence, thatched homes have a greater chance of catching fire. If a fire does take hold in the roofing material, serious damage to the structure of the building can be caused. Due to the age of many thatched properties, the buildings have the original chimneys still installed. If regular maintenance and servicing is not carried out, hot fire gases can break through old or damaged flues. This increased fire risk leads to most insurance companies either refusing cover or wanting a higher premium. Insurerís statistics show that fire claims in thatched homes usually result in more serious damage being caused and consequently larger claims costs. The most commonly reported fires in thatched homes are those involving wood burning stoves or other solid fuel devices. If you own a thatched building, these devices should be fitted by a professional. The second most common cause of a fire is an electrical fault caused by old or faulty wiring. The good news is these homes are insurable and there are a number of specialist insurance companies with specific knowledge of thatched buildings that subject to full underwriting details will be prepared to offer an insurance quotation. Usually, each risk is considered on its own merits, and the insurers will take in to consideration all of the features of the building which may increase or decrease its chance of a loss. How are premiums calculated? All the usual questions relating to buildings insurance will be required such as the address and postcode of the property, details of any previous claims and of course the required sums insured. Itís usual to be able to include your contents and all risks. As well as these basic questions, more detailed questions about the structure of the property will be required. The thatched roof covering itself is not always that important although most insurers will want to know when it was last replaced or repaired, either fully or perhaps just re-ridged. There are different types of roofing materials used, often the location of the property dictates the type of thatch used although many coverings are now grown to order and delivered to the property from many miles away. The type of heating used at the property is also important, central heating doesnít pose too many problems, but if there are open fires or log burning stoves, the insurers will want to know when the chimneys were last swept and if they are lined at all. For quelling a fire that has broken out, some insurers always like to know about the local water supply or even the proximity to a local fire station. The height of any chimney above the thatch can also have a bearing on the premium. Up until recently, spark arrestors were thought to be a way of managing risk in a thatched home although, there is now contrary evidence as to their effectiveness and many insurers do not like them. Obtaining a cheaper thatched building insurance premium. Shopping around as with other building insurance types is a good idea although be prepared form many refusals of cover. You may like to consider a larger excess as this often will reduce help reduce the premium. Basically, though, the insurers will be looking for a good quality risk if you have many years without a claim this will help as well as a good understanding of risk management relating to a thatched building. If you can demonstrate that you are aware of the risks involved and what you do to help prevent a loss, this hopefully will be taken on-board by an insurer and will result in a more competitive insurance quote. .