What happens when your home doesn’t fit with standard insurance policies? Most policies are written to cover standard build properties (bricks, mortar and tile roof) therefore do not take into account homes with special characteristics such as listed status, unusual features or innovative construction techniques and materials.
Many insurers will also refuse cover where the property will be empty for long periods, there is a history of multiple claims or the resident has a criminal record. Environmental issues such as flood risk and subsidence can also result in insurers turning down insurance applications.
Properties that fall outside the standard categories need insurance just as much as any other home. Specialist home insurance offers a solution for homeowners who have unusual requirements or higher than average risk factors.
It might be tempting for homeowners to be selective in what they tell insurers in order to secure off-the-shelf cover. This is a big mistake: in the event of a claim, the insurer could refuse cover on the basis that they were given incorrect information. You need insurance you can rely on in times of need, rather than a worthless piece of paper.
Non-standard home insurance is a product designed to give protection to people whose property is deemed to be at higher risk than average. For example, specialist construction methods such as straw bale building or wood frame building have become increasingly popular because of their environmental credentials.
On the other hand, because these types of buildings are much less common it is harder for insurers to calculate their risk in insuring such a structure. Likewise, certain structures such as flat roofs are more likely to have short lifespans and are prone to leaks. Specialist insurance provides an ideal solution.
Rarity of materials and skills
It might be that you are lucky enough to live in a property with special historical significance. Understandably, if your home features a Tudor stained glass window or sweeping Georgian staircase, the cost of repair will be a lot higher than it would for a recently-built townhouse. Specialist insurance for your historic home will reflect the added cost of needing to use expert craftspeople and expensive materials in the event of a claim.
Your profession is another factor that could mean you need non-standard home insurance. If you work from home, your insurance policy will need to reflect that. Some jobs involve spending long periods away from home, for example if you are an international engineering consultant. Your policy will need to reflect the added security risks of an unoccupied home.
Sometimes specialist insurance is needed because of a history of making claims on insurance or having a criminal record. A case-by-case approach is taken towards this, so the insurer can work out whether the issue will actually have an impact on your risk rating. If you made a claim five years ago because a washing machine blew up this is unlikely to affect your rating: if you make claims every few months this will be reflected in your premium.
Letting a property to a tenant also changes your risk rating. If you rent out a property you will need to seek specialist insurance to make sure you are covered.
How to get specialist property insurance
If you are unsure whether your property requires specialist home insurance, it is best to speak to a specialist home insurance advisor, who will be able to explain in detail the cover required. Computerquote Insurance offers a range of policies to cover specialist features. We will go through each element of your property and select from our panel of insurers the right cover at the best price.