When it comes to insuring your thatched home, there is a misconception that the costs involved are prohibitively expensive. This theory is based on a notion that fire is a greater risk in homes of this kind but the facts prove that this simply isn’t true.
However, it may be correct to say that you need to find a specialist underwriter who understands this issue. Back in 2003, the Daily Telegraph highlighted the problems of Thatched Roof policies and while there has been little coverage in the press since the article was published, the findings are as relevant today as they were nine years ago.
The survey showed that Norwich Union, who are now known as Aviva, were loading their premiums for Thatched Roof Homes by as much as 125%.
“These properties tend to be older and therefore have older wiring which can start a fire. If a fire does occur, the damage is likely to be far more severe than to other homes,” a spokesman for the company said at the time.
However, these comments were dismissed by the Thatching Advisory Service (TAS) who delivered statistics to show that thatched roof owners were more likely to apply common sense in the way they heated their home and with the appliances that they used.
The TAS actually claimed that while one in 350 tiled properties suffers a fire, the figures for thatched homes extend to one in 750.
“These figures may be surprising but people do tend to be more careful if they live in a thatched home, compared to a tiled property,” the TAS said at the time.
Common sense plays a key role in preventing fires and if there is old wiring in the property then you should simply look to replace it. Another problem can come from faulty flues in the chimney and this is a particular point that the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have focussed on.
“More than 90% of fires in thatched properties are caused by faults in the flue or chimney. In other words, over 90% of thatched roof property fires are preventable,” the service advises.
“It is therefore extremely important that chimneys are maintained and checked prior to use by a registered chimney sweep to reduce the risk of fire.”
Coming back to the question of insurance and you may find that getting a quote isn’t as simple as it is for a standard construction property. Insurance comparison sites may have made many lives much simpler but they aren’t always suitable for homes of this kind.
One of the best approaches is to contact a local insurance broker who can help you find a specialist insurer for your thatched property. Bearing in mind that many of the traditional insurance companies load their premiums for thatched roofs, it is essential that you find a company who understand the issues.
Alternatively, a quick search of the internet will provide you with a list of those specialist underwriters. It may take a little longer to find your quote, but it could save you a lot of money.