Does your home have a thatched roof?
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Last updated: 23/07/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Thatched roof home insurance

Thatching is the oldest type of roofing in the UK and has been used for centuries. Often seen in the countryside, it’s no longer a very common way to roof your house. Although aesthetically very pleasing it’s quite an expensive way to roof your home. It requires special material, expert knowledge and skills to maintain and repair. Insurers see this as a high risk type of property to insure due to it being qualified as a non-standard type of home and what they observe as an increased fire hazard. This, in turn, can make it a more complicated type of property to insure and more expensive too. It’s always best to research and shop around to compare home insurance quotes and find a policy that suits your needs and is affordable.

In This Guide:

What is thatched roof insurance?

Thatched roof insurance is home insurance specifically for properties with completely thatched or a part thatched roof. It’s similar to a standard home insurance policy so will ensure you are covered against theft, floods, storms and accidental damage. However, what makes it a specialist insurance policy is its specific cover against issues that are specific with having a thatched roof property, particularly the increased fire hazard and also the expertise required to replace or fix the roof.  As this is a specialist insurance policy, not all insurers will provide thatched roof home insurance and those providers that do insure thatched roof properties will most likely charge a higher premium.

To ensure you have the best insurance for your unique home, using specialist insurance is a good idea. They could potentially offer you a cheaper home insurance policy and can give you expert knowledge.

Does thatched roof insurance cost more?

Thatched houses are built in a specialist way using unique skills and materials so the insurance can often be more expensive.

Damage – If your thatched roof property is damaged you will most likely need to find someone with the right expertise to fix the damage to the roof in the original method it was built and using specialist material. This will increase your insurance premium.

Fire – A large concern for insurers is the damage fire can do to a thatched roof property. Fire can easily spread so the damage risk is increased and can be more detrimental, thus increasing your premium.

Listed buildings – Thatched roof properties are often listed buildings. A listed building is a building of architectural and historical interest that is protected from certain changes to its interior and exterior. The older the building the more likely it is to be listed. Owning a listed building will likely increase your home insurance premium as there are certain rules and regulations when conducting any building work.

Reducing the cost of your thatched roof house insurance premium

All insurance policies differ, and insurers will charge varying amounts but there are things you can do to reduce your premium (the amount you pay for your insurance).

Fire prevention - take extra precaution and have several fire alarms installed throughout your house.

Use a fire-retardant spray on your roof or have a fire-resistant barrier such as an aluminium foil barrier installed under the thatch. Using these defence mechanisms may also be a requirement for some insurers.

Electrics - get a survey of your electrics to check for any dodgy wiring, it’s advisable to have an inspection every 5 to 7 years.

Clean the chimney - if you have a chimney get it cleaned regularly, at least twice a year.

Maintaining your thatch

Your thatch roof life span will be affected by natural degradation and can last anything from 20-50 years. But there are maintenance work and repairs you can make to increase the life of your thatched roof.

Keep an eye out - pay close attention to your roof before and after winter

Allow it to dry well – to give it the best possible chance to dry out remove any nearby trees and plants that might block sunlight

Grants – you may be eligible for a grant from the council to have your roof re-thatched. Some district councils have programs to protect listed buildings

Use professionals – if you need your thatch repaired or re-thatched make sure you do your research on professionals or companies who offer this service. This is a very old and specialist skill that you want done properly. You should also shop around and find more than one quote as prices will vary. It’s always good to find out from your neighbours who they used (if they have a thatched roof too).