This article guides the reader through the assortment of insurance policies available for the home and the differences between standard and non standard house insurance.
Having your homefully insured is absolutely essential, and if you have a mortgage on theproperty, it will undoubtedly be required. While a standard insurance policywith relatively low premiums should provide adequate coverage for most people,there are others who have to take out a special policy due to increased risksor various other complications. Many buildings require a non-standard homeinsurance policy, but in some cases it might not be particularly obvious thatyour home stands out from the rest. Sometimes, you will need extra coveragewhich inevitably comes with higher premiums. For example, if you live in anarea where there is a relatively high risk of flooding or subsidence, you mightnot be able to simply get a standard policy. However, there are a whole rangeof possible reasons why standard coverage might not be suitable for yourproperty. The following takes a look at non-standard policies and the variousthings which constitute a non-standard risk property.
If your propertyhas a history of flooding, there have been any previous signs of subsidence orthere are any other specific environmental issues governing its safety, youwill likely need to opt for a non-standard policy. If your home is in an areawhere there is an increased risk of flooding, then your insurance premiums canskyrocket. Since the major floods which hit various parts of the UK in 2009,insurance companies have increased their premiums enormously in the areas wherethere is a higher risk. If you are not sure whether your home lies in ahigh-risk area or not, you should seek advice from the Environmental Agency atenvironment-agency.gov.uk.
Another majorfactor to consider is subsidence. Subsidence refers to moving earth beneath thefoundations of a home. Unsurprisingly, this can cause major damage, and ifthere is a history of this in a particular area or with a specific property,the insurance policies available for it will reflect this. Other relatedenvironmental issues such as coastal erosion or landslides will also have aneffect on your insurance policies.
If you run abusiness from your home, you will not be able to take out a standard insurancepolicy, since this will not cover you for any business-related features aswell. This rule also applies to farms. For farms and other businesses, even ifyou live on site, you will need to take out a suitable insurance policy. If yousimply work from home, then a standard policy should be fine provided thatother important requirements are met.
If you or anyoneelse living in the home have had a criminal conviction in the past, then youwon’t usually be able to get covered by a standard policy. Likewise, if you orany other residents have been declared bankrupt, your insurance premiums willalso be effective
Unoccupied orRented Properties
Unsurprisingly, aproperty which is left unoccupied for an extended period of time poses a higherrisk. A standard home insurance policy should cover you if you are away for nolonger than thirty days at a time. If, however, you spend a lot of time abroad,you only use the building as your second home or you rent it out on occasion,you will need to alert your insurance company. If you don’t, then you may findthat you are not covered in the event of a disaster. Home insurance policiesvary considerably with regards to occupancy, so you will want to look over theterms of any contract carefully.
Listed Buildingsand Specific Building Materials
For any listedbuilding, a standard policy is unsuitable. Listed buildings are protected to adegree from modification, and thus require a specific type of policy. Forexample, a listed building with a thatch roof requires a non-standard homeinsurance policy which specifically covers the thatch roof. Due to the factthat the building is listed (and thatch roofs are also at an increased risk offire or storm damage), you will never be able to use materials of other typesif the roof needs replacing. Wooden houses are also at an increased risk.
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