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Non-Standard Construction Insurance FAQs

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Non-Standard Construction Insurance FAQs

Non-Standard Construction Insurance FAQs

Below is a collection of some of the most commonly asked questions regarding non-standard construction insurance.

What is meant by non standard construction?

  • the answer may be best given by considering how a standard construction property is built;
  • if it has stone or brick walls, with a roof using either tiles or slates – it is generally considered to be standard construction;
  • in any other case, the building is likely to be considered non standard construction.

So what are some of the typical examples of non standard construction?

  • so called “prefabs” – erected in many parts of the country to help resolve the housing crisis in immediately post-war Britain;
  • listed buildings – even though, in this case, they may have brick or stone walls, with a tiled or slate roof;
  • timber or steel-framed buildings;
  • eco homes;
  • buildings with flat roofs or shingles;
  • houses and cottages with thatched roofs.

Why is it important if it is non standard construction?

  • if your home is non standard construction you might find it difficult to find an insurer, find one who is prepared to extend cover, or find one at reasonably priced premiums;
  • this reluctance on the part of many insurers has to do with their calculation of the risks involved – buildings of non standard construction are considered to be more likely the subject of claims, more often;
  • in fact, such an assumption may be quite false since you might think that a building with a thatched roof, for example, poses a particularly big risk – yet, according to the website Period Property UK fire brigades report that 1 out of every 360 standard buildings are razed by fire each year, but the figure for non standard, thatched buildings is a much lower 1 in 750.

If common insurers are reluctant to insure by non standard home, does that mean it has to remain uninsured?

  • the short answer is no;
  • if you limit your search to those insurers with no expertise or experience in arranging non standard construction insurance, you might well find that high premiums are the price you pay for that lack of experience;
  • but there are specialist insurance providers – such as us here at GSI Insurance – who have made it their business to arrange the particular type of insurance needed for a non standard building and to ensure that the price you pay for that cover remains very competitive

If it is specialist insurance, does that make non-standard construction insurance more difficult to get?

  • once again, the short answer is a definite no;
  • certainly, it is important to recognise that each non standard property is different – that is in the very nature of the subject;
  • but a specialist insurer is able to determine just how different yours might be – and therefore just what kind of cover you may need – simply by asking a number of key questions about the property;
  • the questions are designed to reveal as much information about the property and the nature of its construction, of course, so one of the most effective ways of providing this is to share any reports you have commissioned from surveyors about the materials used in the construction, building methods, and general state of repair of your home.
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