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Specialist Non-standard Home Insurance

If your property is uniquely constructed, built with non-regular materials, in a non-standard way, or is subject to increased risk such as flooding, you may require a home insurance policy that is specialised.

Having a specialist policy means that should a situation arise where you need to make a claim, you are sufficiently covered to make the repairs you need, which may be more expensive than with a more traditional or standard home.

What types of properties may need a specialist, non-standard home insurance policy?

  • Unoccupied properties
  • Houses with flat
  • Homes built from unusual materials, like steel, timber-frame properties or constructions that are -prefabricated
  • Listed buildings
  • Unusual risks to your home, such as flood risk areas, prior subsidence or areas that are subject to high theft
  • Properties with thatched roofs

The way in which you use your property, or your current situation may also require a more specific policy, such as, but not limited to:

  • Houses undergoing renovation
  • Properties in probate after an owner has died
  • Holiday homes
  • Second homes
  • Rental properties
  • Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) – properties shared by more than one household but where common areas exist

You should also consider a non-standard policy if your home holds high value possessions, like jewellery or art collections.

Unoccupied Property Insurance

Is your property unoccupied?

Unoccupied property insurance is a specialised type of insurance designed to protect properties that are vacant for an extended period. Standard home insurance policies often do not cover homes that are left unoccupied for more than 30 to 60 days, leaving these properties vulnerable to various risks.

This specialised insurance fills the gap, offering coverage for potential hazards such as vandalism, theft, fire, and water damage.

Whether the property is unoccupied due to being on the market, undergoing renovations, or awaiting new tenants, unoccupied property insurance provides peace of mind by safeguarding the owner’s investment against unexpected events.


Why do I need a specialist policy if my property is unoccupied?

Once a property becomes unoccupied, most insurers will limit cover to just fire, lightning, explosion, and earthquake after 30 days.  This can leave you financially exposed to events such as:

  • Theft
  • Attempted theft
  • Impact
  • Escape of Water
  • Flood
  • Subsidence etc.

All of which can carry a significant price tag.

We understand that some properties may only require short term cover and can therefore arrange 3-, 6- and 9-month policies. We can also seamlessly convert unoccupied policies into Landlords’ Policies, should you decide to rent it out.

What is non-standard construction and how does it impact insurance?

These are properties where the construction could present an underwriter with specific considerations.

For example, thatched properties come with a lot of responsibility to the homeowner, who will need to maintain and replace the thatch over periods of time. The obvious risk to an underwriter is the fire exposure and that they are prone to rot.

An additional consideration is that certain thatch materials are not readily available, and the craftsmen required to repair these roofs are limited. You will therefore find that a specialist is required to find you the right cover with an A rated insurer.

Other buildings that require special consideration are those of architectural interest and listed properties.  Again, they may require artisans of limited availability who can deal with the repair/reinstatement and the cost of rebuild will be significantly higher.

How do I find insurance for a property which is subject to flooding or has suffered previous subsidence?

You may find that if your property is in an area that has undergone extensive flooding, sourcing insurance that will include flood is becoming increasingly difficult.

However, the government launched a scheme, Floor Re, in 2016 and awarded certain insurers to cover areas that are deemed as a significant flood risk. The policy is administered by that particular insurer who have recourse to approach the government to pay for the flood element of the risk, after having resolved the claim with their client.

Carbon have access to this market and will endeavour to source a Flood Re insurer to provide you with adequate cover including the flood risk element.

Houses that have a history of subsidence is also a specialist insurance policy within the market.  We will spend as much time as necessary to go over the particulars of the subsidence issue and advocate your policy to a panel of insurers.

How does renovation work affect my home insurance policy?

Some but not all renovations can present higher risks to insurers.  Insurer’s can deem the property to be more exposed to theft – especially if you have moved out.  This is usually because builders are in and out of the property during the daytime and they could unintentionally leave doors unlocked and alarms off. 

Some renovations can leave the roof breached, meaning the property is exposed to weather, and indeed theft again.  Most insurers will exclude liability whilst there is extensive building work ongoing and will expect the builders to cover this element (e.g. leaving machinery in driveways that couriers or a postman could trip over, resulting in a claim being made).

What insurance do I need for a holiday home or second home?

Holiday homes and/or second homes will usually require a specialist policy. This is largely because the property will experience higher levels of inoccupancy than your first home.

We can help you with this and can also accommodate the property should you wish to rent it out on a short-term basis.

How do I make sure my high value items are insured?

Regardless of your property, if have invested heavily in jewellery, watches, artwork or collections you’ll need to make sure that you are adequately covered.

Most insurers will have a limit on valuables, and it is usually 1/3 of your contents sum insured e.g. a contents overall value at £75,000 will cover you up to £25,000 for jewellery, watches, and other valuables.

Some policies will have a single article limit which could be as low as £1,500, so you could easily fall outside of the internal limits.

We will identify the correct cover for you and can include risks outside of the home as well as accidental damage or loss.

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