Thatched Roof Insurance Explained

When you think of quintessential British properties, thatched cottages may come to mind. And while beautiful, these houses come with increased risk and higher insurance premiums. In this article, we are going to explore why it is more important to insure a house with a thatched roof with the right cover. Let’s jump into it!

What is a thatched roof property?

A thatched roof property is a property that has a roof made out of dried reeds and grass, rather than the more conventional tiles. Although they look cosy and quaint, thatched properties are more susceptible to risks such as fire, damage from extreme weather conditions and general wear and tear.

As well as this, birds and vermin often nest in thatched roofs, which – again – make thatched properties more at risk of damage.

What is thatched roof insurance?

Thatched roof insurance is a specialist insurance policy specifically for properties that have either a complete or partially thatched roof. Insurance for thatched roof properties covers you for all of the same things that standard buildings insurance covers you for, but also has additional coverage for the heightened fire risk, and to pay for the expertise required to repair or replace the roof.

You may also need specialist contents insurance. Getting a combined policy is usually a cheaper way of covering everything than buying separately.

Is thatched roof insurance more expensive than standard insurance?

Unfortunately, thatched roofs are more expensive to insure than other houses. Thatched roofs come with a higher fire risk, which increases the likelihood of significant damage compared to the more typical slate or tile roofs.

Additionally, cottages with thatched roofs tend to have a higher rebuilding cost compared to regular houses. This is because repairing or replacing them requires specialised materials and highly skilled professionals.

If you have a thatched roof, you may still be able to get quotes from standard insurance companies; however, you may discover that specialised thatched roof insurance providers offer more extensive coverage.

How can I reduce the cost of my thatched roof insurance?

Though thatched roof insurance is more expensive than regular buildings insurance, there are ways that you can help to reduce your premium price. 

Reducing your fire risk

One of the main factors behind driving up the price of thatched roof insurance is the increased risk of fire. If you have measures in-place to reduce this risk, such as a fire retardant spray on the roof, having smoke detectors and fire extinguishers fitted, and getting your chimney swept yearly, your provider may offer you a cheaper quote.

Paying for your home insurance annually

As with other insurance policies, it is cheaper to pay for your thatched roof insurance yearly, rather than monthly if you can afford to, as interest is usually added to monthly payments.

Paying a higher excess

Again, like with other insurance policies, you can save money on your regular payments by increasing your voluntary excess. Voluntary excess is the amount of money that you agree to pay out of your own pocket toward a claim, before your insurance provider covers the remaining costs. The higher your voluntary excess is, the less you will pay regularly. 

What are the requirements of insurance for thatched properties?

Often, specialist thatched roof policies will have specific requirements that you need to meet in order to be covered. These include stipulations such as:

  • The roof must have been inspected by a thatcher within the last 10 years
  • Chimneys must be swept annually
  • No naked flames should be present in the loft space
  • Two fire extinguishers must be fitted inside the property
  • The roof must be treated with fire retardant
  • The electrics in the property must have been inspected within the last 10 years

Failure to adhere to the conditions could potentially void your insurance, meaning you may not be able to claim if you ever need to. You will need to provide proof that you have complied, such as by showing inspection reports and receipts from required procedures.

How can Nest GI help?

At Nest GI, we can assist in providing non-standard insurance policies. We work with a range of different Defaqto-rated insurers which may be able to cover thatched properties. 

Contact us today to speak to one of our trained advisers and find a policy tailored to you and your property.

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