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Home insurance for non-standard properties

Published 10 April 2016 by

Your home is the one place where you can relax and have your own space – so it’s natural to want to protect it properly with the right home insurance. Most houses with brick walls and a tile roof would fall under the category of a “standard” property.

But what about other properties with a slight modification or unusual feature? Insurers class these as “non-standard” properties and would need to be covered by specialist home insurance. Let’s take you through what a “non-standard” property is and the extra cover you’ll need.

Non-standard properties

A non-standard property is essentially a building that doesn’t fit the typical brick and tile build. One factor is the materials used to build or modify a property. This is because the cost of replacing these materials can be more expensive than for a standard property.

So if your home is made with materials such as timber, straw, concrete, fibreglass, or steel then it will generally be considered non-standard. The same goes for if your roof is made of something other than tile – for example, corrugated iron. A property with a thatched roof is typically classed as non-standard as well.

Listed buildings could need non-standard home insurance as they are more likely to need regular maintenance. If you live in a high risk area for subsidence or your home has already started to subside then it’s probably best to speak to a non-standard insurer. If you’re not sure whether your home is non-standard, give your insurer a ring to check.

Does location matter?

The location of your property can also affect whether you need non-standard home insurance.

One major issue with home insurance is flooding. If you live in a location that’s close to a watercourse or in an area that has a history of flooding, your insurer will most likely consider your property as non-standard risk. Live in a flood-prone area? You could now receive cheaper home insurance under a new Government-backed scheme called Flood Re.

If you own a second property like a holiday home that you leave unoccupied for more than 30 days at a time, you’ll probably need to get non-standard home insurance. If you let your home out then you may need specialist cover for this.

Living in a home above a shop or in a high rise building could put you more at risk of fire damage – as there’s people living directly under or above you – so you may need to seek non-standard cover in these circumstances.

Non-standard home insurance can be more expensive so shop around to make sure you get the best deal. Be honest about the construction and location of your home as if you don’t give all of the information, your insurer might not pay out if you need to make a claim.