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How to find listed building insurance

Having a listed home can make finding a cheap home cover policy challenging, though specialist listed buildings insurance may be an option.

As most listed buildings are over 100 years old, they need to be restored using traditional materials if damaged. This is usually very expensive, so if your property is classed as a grade 2 listed building insurers will be wary of providing cover.

This is because they will see the potential for a big payout. Listed building insurance providers will therefore charge more for any cover in the expectation that any payouts may be larger.

What is a listed building?

Listed properties are usually of special historical or architectural importance, or cultural value. They can date anywhere from the medieval period through to the modern day.

The buildings that have this level of special value are put on a list to protect them from controversial redevelopments.

How to find out if your home is listed

The UK has a huge amount of listed homes. For example, the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) features over 500,000 buildings, with one building potentially featuring multiple homes. Therefore, if you live in a home in England that might potentially be listed, it’s worth checking.

If you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can ask your local council or check your nation’s respective list: the NHLE, Historic Environment Scotland, Cadw, or the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

If you are considering purchasing a property and believe it may be listed, it is a good idea to check this before purchasing so you can understand what the insurance costs and renovation obligations and restrictions may be.

What if my home is listed?

If your home is listed, you may find it more difficult to get home insurance. You may need to consider specialist listed home cover. It is also likely to be more difficult and expensive to renovate or repair your home if it is damaged.

You will usually need permission from your local council to make any changes to your property – even repairs. Your council will have to approve changes such as expanding the property too. 

Any repairs or renovations that you do make will likely need to be carried out by specially trained craftsmen using particular materials in order to uphold your properties historical, cultural or architectural status.

Do I need to buy listed building insurance?

Purchasing standard home insurance is unlikely to give you the cover you need. Specialised home insurance for listed buildings is likely to be the best way to protect your home.

Listed building insurance should cover your home for the amount required to repair or renovate a listed building, as listed buildings often require expensive or rare specialist materials or techniques.

What homes can listed building insurance cover?

Most buildings built before 1840 that are close to their original condition will be listed. Listed buildings insurance can cover buildings falling into these categories:

  • Grade 1: These are the rarest listed buildings, making up 2.5% of UK listed buildings, and are usually of exceptional interest

  • Grade 2: These homes will be the easiest to cover with listed building insurance as they make up the majority of listed buildings in the UK

  • Grade 2*: These important buildings are considered to be of more than special interest, and make up around 5.5% of the listed buildings in the UK

If you live in England, check the Historic England website to find out if your home is listed and what grade it is.

What details will I need to provide?

There is some information you should make sure you have to hand before you start to compare home insurance for listed buildings.

You will likely need to tell a prospective insurer: 

  • When the house was built

  • Your home’s rebuild cost

  • The date you purchased your home 

  • The value of your belongings, including details of any high value items

  • Your home security details

  • Any home insurance claims you have made in the last five years

Expensive homes

If your home has a high value along with being listed, specialist listed building home insurance may be especially valuable. A listed home is likely to be worth a lot of money or have a large number of bedrooms, which means standard home insurance may not be able to cover your property.

Expensive listed homes are usually categorised as having a value of more than £1 million or more than six bedrooms.

If your home fits this description, it will likely require a significant amount of cover in order to meet potential repair or rebuild costs. 

High value listed homes are also likely to need higher levels of contents cover to protect the possessions you keep in your home. Along with home insurance for listed buildings, some insurers offer high net worth home insurance specially designed to cover large homes and their valuable contents.

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