What to consider when buying a non standard home: listed buildings, renovated buildings, second homes and flood risk homes
Collaborative Post | When purchasing a home there are obviously lots of upfront costs to consider, such as stamp duty, deposit, valuation fee and surveyors’ fees to name a few. One aspect that can be overlooked initially is the cost of insurance, however it is worth looking into this early on, especially if you fall in love with and wish to purchase a non standard home.
A non standard home is one that is classed as one that is either built using non standard materials or built in a riskier area. In insurance terms this means a standard home policy would not protect your property, so you would need a non standard home insurance policy. So, this would be relevant if you were purchasing a listed building, renovated building, a home in a flood risk area or even a second home. Here we will look into why this.
From time to time, listed homes come on to the market in the UK and are snapped up, and it’s not hard to see why. They are usually stunning, unique properties with great character and history. However, with this slice of property heaven comes extra costs. On average they are 131% above the national asking price for a property in the UK. Additionally, because listed buildings are usually made of rarer materials and cost more to repair if they are damaged, they will require a listed building home insurance policy to make sure they're protected. There are around 400,000 listed buildings in the UK, non-standard home insurance for a listed building would cover fire, flood and storm damage, vandalism, and theft, burst pipes, subsidence and damage caused by falling tress for example. Add ons can include options such as legal expenses, accidental damage, and unoccupied property insurance if your home is left empty for a period of time – usually 30 days.
Maintaining a listed building is incredibly imported, as it can help both keep the house in the standard it should be but also help reduce the risk of making an insurance claim. Simple measures can include:
Flood risk homes
There are around 5.2 million properties in the UK that are built in areas that are at risk of flooding. With the impact of climate change growing rapidly, it is highly likely this number will increase over the coming years. One way to check if your property is in a flood risk area is to check via the Environment Agency’s flood checker, where you input your postcode and it can inform you of the details.
Buying a property in a flood risk area would also require a non standard home insurance policy, and if you are considering purchasing a property in an area that has been hit by flooding in the past, you need to properly assess and understand how your property could be affected. Buying in a flood risk area obviously makes the cost of the non standard insurance policy more expensive than a standard policy. There are always steps you can take however to protect your home as much as possible and to fully understand the risks associated with the property. These include:
Renovating properties has becoming increasingly popular over the last few years, with many homeowners enjoying the idea that they can turn a property into their forever home and renovate it to their ideal specifications. However, if you are considering doing this, one aspect again to consider is the insurance side of things, and how a standard insurance policy would not be appropriate for a renovation project.
A standard home insurance policy would not cover major renovation works, because any renovation work increases the chances of something going wrong and you needing to make a claim. For example, accidents such as a collapsed wall, theft (if part of the property is exposed during renovation), fire or injury to those at the property, renovation insurance would cover the costs incurred. The types of renovation where a non standard policy maybe needed might include an extension, loft conversion or extension for example. The policy would cover elements such as the property being unoccupied whilst the renovations’ are ongoing, subsidence, damage to your property or that of a neighbours and theft of any materials from the site.
Nearly half a million people own a second home in the UK. However, it is often a surprise to many that if you are lucky enough to own a second home then it will need a non standard home insurance policy. The main reason it would need one and not a standard home insurance policy is because it will often be unoccupied for over 30 days. Additionally, a second home is viewed differently because you may rent it out as a holiday home or even on a long term lease. You should always make sure your insurer knows a second home is not your main residence as well.
Whatever purchasing journey you go on with the property you choose, always check your insurance details first so you are fully informed of any costs, and that you get the right type of policy suited to your needs. For some of the best policies on the market make sure you visit InsureMy.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post
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