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Non-standard home insurance

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What is non-standard home insurance?

Non-standard home insurance, sometimes referred to as specialist home insurance, covers homes that aren’t eligible for standard home insurance.

This is usually because unusual or old-fashioned construction methods have been used. Any home that isn’t built from brick or stone with a slate or tile roof will likely fall into the non-standard category and require non-standard construction home insurance.

Examples of non-standard properties include:

Another reason why non-standard home insurance might be needed is if your house is in an area at high risk of flooding.

Personal circumstances such as bankruptcy or long absences from the property can also mean non-standard home insurance is required.

What does non-standard insurance cover?

As with standard home insurance there are 2 types of non-standard home insurance; buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Buildings insurance protects the actual structure of your home, as well as any fixtures.

Contents insurance covers all of your personal possessions inside the house.

You can also choose a combined policy to cover both buildings and contents insurance.

As non-standard home insurance is designed for the increased risk attached to your particular property type, your policy is also likely to cover:

  • Fire
  • Flood and storm damage
  • Theft

What do I need to get a quote?

When you get a quote for non-standard home insurance, we’ll need more details from you than would be the case for a standard home.

We'll need to know:

  • The materials your home is made of – walls and roof
  • When it was built
  • If it’s a listed building
  • Any nearby water sources, or large trees
  • Rebuild cost
  • Any previous subsidence
  • Flood risk

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Is non-standard home insurance more expensive?

Yes. Non-standard home insurance does tend to be more expensive. Plus, fewer insurers offer specialist home insurance compared to standard cover.

This is generally because insurers view non-standard homes as being higher risk than conventional properties.

Non-standard homes can need more maintenance and the use of non-standard materials or techniques by specialist builders might make repair or replacement more expensive. It may also mean the home is more susceptible to damage – for example, thatched roof homes have a higher risk of fire.

How do I calculate the rebuilding cost of my non-standard house?

It can be more tricky to estimate the rebuild cost of a non-standard house due to:

  • Materials being more difficult to find than for a standard home
  • Need for specialist builders who cost more than standard tradesmen
  • A longer, more labour-intensive rebuild process

The free rebuild cost calculator from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) could help you with your estimate.

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What our home insurance expert says

Non-standard homes can be more complicated to insure because they use different materials and construction to standard builds. And if they’re damaged, they can be more costly to repair. It's not just your home’s construction that counts as non-standard. You might need a non-standard policy if you've been declared bankrupt, or have a criminal conviction.
Jessica Willock home insurance expert signature

Jessica Willock

Home insurance product manager

After buying home insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 28304 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 17/10/22). Read our reviews