Non-standard home insurance and why you need a broker

2 minutes

Standard and Non-Standard Construction

Standard construction is normally defined as a house being built of brick or stone with a tiled roof. So, any property that doesn’t fit this, may be seen as “non-standard”. It’s also not uncommon for modern homes to be non-standard as homebuilders look to build something a little different and more sustainable.

There is a myriad of insurers on the market, each with their own requirements, restrictions, and definitions of what is a non-standard property.  That’s why you need an insurance broker. We understand the value of a good policy and have a team of specialists who can help you navigate the non-standard home insurance market. Here’s how:

Making sure you have the right cover for your non-standard home

When it comes to insurance, the definition of ‘standard’ can vary greatly and often there isn’t a tick box that perfectly reflects a property. It may seem like a small issue at the time, but at the point of a claim it could become the difference between your claim being paid or not. It can be difficult to know if a home doesn’t conform to standard specifications. Here are some examples:

  • A modern timber-framed property is often indistinguishable from a traditionally built house, with the timber frame hidden behind non-structural brickwork. Not all insurers class modern timber-framed properties as standard. This is because repairs following a claim can be more expensive than a brick-built house. It’s therefore easy to unwittingly tick ‘yes’ to the standard construction question.
  • If you are adding sustainable features to your home, then you need to check your home insurance policy. For example, solar panels may be automatically covered under the definition of ‘buildings’ but you may need to increase the buildings sum insured to take into account the additional value of solar panels. Some home insurance policies have inner limits within the buildings sum insured, which may be less than the solar panel value. Other policies may not cover solar panels that are not on your roof or battery arrays in your garage. These principles would apply to wind turbines and other renewable energy systems.
  • flat roof may affect your home insurance. Even small parts of flat roof must be declared to insurers – this includes flat-roofed outbuildings and sometimes even sheds. Traditionally, flat-roofed homes cost more to insure as there is a higher risk of damage during wet weather. More modern flat roof techniques are much less likely to leak and if you maintain your roof to a high standard, we’ll explain this to insurers.

If you’re not sure if your home needs non-standard home insurance, please call us for advice, as if your home is non-standard and you have not declared this to your insurer, the insurer may reduce the amount of a claim paid out, or even decline paying a claim completely.

Making sure you are paying the right premium

It’s our job to make sure you pay the right premium and there are ways to reduce your premium – whether it be maintenance in the case of a flat roof, tailoring the policy conditions for a thatched property or simply having an effective broker to fight your corner and negotiate with underwriters.

Plus, we don’t just deal with one insurer and we don’t just offer a one-size-fits-all policy. We offer a range of policies from a selection of quality insurers and some of the insurers we work with will pay for an upgrade to make a home more eco-friendly following certain types of claims.

Why use Howden for your non-standard home insurance?

You’ll have a direct contact to look after you by phone, email, Zoom, Facetime, or however you prefer to communicate. We’ll take the time to listen to you, understand your property and then negotiate the terms of cover and premium on your behalf.

If your property doesn’t conform to standard specifications, don’t worry – neither do we!

To talk to us about your non-standard home insurance, call 020 8256 4901 or email