Specialist home insurance – when standard cover isn't enough

Listed home or conservation area housing - specialist insurance from Computerquote

Home insurance policies are a bit like clothes: for most people, standard ones will fit but there will always be others who need a more tailored approach. Specialist or non-standard insurance is there for people whose circumstances or property mean they are unsuitable for an off-the-peg policy. 

9 reasons why you might need non-standard home insurance.

1. Your home’s internal structure or materials are unusual

Most UK homes are built from brick or stone with a tiled roof. Homes made using steel or timber frame structures, or even ancient wattle and daub methods, are subject to a different set of risks compared to brick homes. They will need special maintenance measures and might be more subject to pests, weather damage and deterioration.

2. You live in a prefab (pre-fabricated home)

After the Second World War, over 150,000 prefabs were put together rapidly to ease the post-war housing shortage. Built from pre-formed concrete slabs, they were intended to last around ten years but many are still standing and modern versions are being built.

Prefabs tend to have unique characteristics in relation to thermal performance, fire risk, and maintenance regimes compared to traditional housing, so insurers only offer specialist insurance policies. 

3. You have a flat roof

A well-made, well-looked after flat roof can function very well over a long period, but many roofs of this type tend to be leaky and costly to maintain. 

4. Your home is listed or in a conservation area 

Lucky you! Historic homes can be very characterful and attract high prices on the property market. On the other hand, there are usually restrictions about materials that can be used in remedial works and specialist craftsmen are often needed to carry out repairs. 

5. You live in an eco-home

There are some very exciting developments in eco-building in the UK, with green materials, solar panels, heat pumps and improved insulation offering a low-energy, environmentally friendly home. However, the innovative nature of these homes means it is hard to determine how the construction methods will fare in the longer term.  

6. Your home has a history of subsidence

Older homes often have cracks which indicate that the ground beneath has shifted over time. Most of the time it is nothing to worry about, but for insurers the risk is increased and therefore a specialist policy is needed.

7. You have a criminal record

A criminal record can be an indication that you are likely to be dishonest or misuse your property in some way. Accordingly, insurers are more careful in issuing policies to people with a record. 

8. Your home is used in a non-standard way

If you are a budding Airbnb entrepreneur or run a business from home, this usage alters your risk profile from an insurance point of view. Standard insurance is often refused in these circumstances, or if your property will be unoccupied for long periods. Request a quote for Airbnb host insurance.

9. You keep high-risk possessions at home

If you have a large jewellery collection, a well-stocked gun cabinet or a penchant for expensive antiques, your insurance broker will not offer standard insurance. 

If you need specialist insurance, contact Computerquote to discuss your options on 0800 389 9949 or 023 9224 7870.

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