Dedicated listed building insurance
Finding an affordable cover that also fully protects your listed property can be difficult. This is where CoverBuilder can help, you can protect your building and possessions with listed building insurance for an affordable price. We understand the rules and details involved in covering homes of architectural or historical importance. This includes taking into considering the extra attention needed during a claim to sensitively repair any damage to the property. You can be confident we understand the need to use appropriate materials and trade skills to restore the property to as close to its original status before any damage occurred. CoverBuilder works with a selection of well-established UK underwriters. This allows us to tailor our listed building insurance policy and the premium we offer.
Our listed building insurance policies include:
- Simple online quote, price and instant cover – no lengthy calls to make!
- Cover for your building up to £1.5million.
- Cover for up to £150,000 of your contents including valuables and art.
- Personal possessions away from home up to £40,000.
- Trace & access cover up to £5000.
- Accidental damage options.
- Legal cover included
- Outstanding customer service, average call answer time of under 1 minute
- 24/7 claims helpline
We can help with your questions
We have experts ready to help if you want to ask a question about listed building insurance. Our average call answering is under 1 minute so give us a call on 0333 358 3359. You can also chat with us online via our livechat option (bottom right).
Wide acceptance of grades and categories across the UK
When you quote for listed building insurance it is important to correctly group your property. This means that you will then get an accurate premium based on your home. We’ve provided the different levels of listing across the UK and Northern Ireland. There are also helpful links to provide more information.
England and Wales
1) Grade I listed: Buildings that are seen to be of very high interest.This listing is given to a select few properties and makes up 2.5% of all listed home.
2) Grade II* listed: Slightly less common, grade 2* buildings are seen to be of more than special interest. They make up 5.8% of listed home.
3) Grade II listed: This is the most common listing of residential properties, taking up 92% of all property registrations. Grade 2 listed properties are of special interest.
Listed buildings in Scotland are based on three key factors 1) age and rarity 2) architectural or historic interest and 3) close historical association.
1) Category A: An historic building of national or international importance, be that architectural or historic.
2)Category B: Buildings of regional, or more than local, importance or major examples of a particular period or style.
3) Category C: Buildings of local importance or which are slightly less impressive examples of buildings in category A or B.
If you would like to learn more about historic and listed buildings in Scotland then the Historic Environment Scotland has many helpful articles dedicated to this topic. This includes insurance and renovation. You can also search for information on Scottish properties here to check the listing of your property or the property you may buy. There are many rules and restrictions put in place on a building once it receives listing status. If you feel that your building should not be listed there is an appeals process (Scotland) to follow.
1) Grade A: Buildings of the greatest importance to Northern Ireland including both outstanding architecture and the least altered examples of each style or period.
2) Grade B+: Buildings which might have merited grade A status but for but have some kind of flaw, such as, an incomplete design or low-quality additions.
3) Grade B: Buildings which are of local importance – often good examples of a particular period or style. Certain imperfections can be acceptable in properties of this grade.
If you would like to learn more about historic and listed buildings in Northern Ireland then websites such as Department for Communities have many helpful articles dedicated to this topic.
6 vital factors to understand about owning/buying a listed property
1) You must conserve the building
It can actually be a criminal offence to alter a listed home without the correct consent in place. Get the go-ahead for any changes in plenty of time to avoid this. There are two main schools of thought when it comes to making changes to listed homes. One school of thought thinks that extensions should be as in keeping with the original building as possible. This will maintain the historical look. Others think that extensions should be different to the original building in order to easily see what is old and what is new. Whatever your thoughts, it is vital to make sure you use the right materials for the upkeep and change of your listed property. This is both for aesthetic reasons and to make sure you keep the planners happy!
2) Rebuild or reinstate
You should always get consent before starting any form of renovations. It is a crime to change a listed building without permission. This, therefore, stops the character of the property being lost. The intention is not to preserve it in a museum-like state! The Conservation officer will often pass plans, as long as they in keeping. In order for everyone to agreed they might need slight alteration. You also legally have to maintain the property in a good state of repair. You would be expected to restore the property in full if there were a huge incident such as a fire.
3) Understand the ongoing maintenance costs
Often, the materials and methods used in buildings of this type will have fallen out of use. General builders may not have the necessary skills or knowledge of the property type to carry out the repair within the listed status. These specialist skills do tend to come at a cost, due to the level of knowledge and technical work needed. Listed house owners tend to have higher repair costs as a result, compared to non-listed property repairs. The Heritage Directory provides a list of specialist listed building contractors and building suppliers.
4) The danger of unauthorised building works
It is critical to be aware that carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence and can open you up to prosecution. Your local planning authority will insist on any and all work carried out without consent being reversed – at your cost! Therefore, before any work is carried out to a listed building you should always talk to the local planning authority. Not reporting the works can lead to problems if and when you come to sell the property. Recently changes have been introduced to the way listed building consent can be given. This is explained on this page about the Enterprise and Regulatory Act 2013.
5) Previous unauthorised building work
This is the most important factor to understand if you are purchasing a listed building. If the current owners, or the ones before them, have made changes to the property this can cause problems. The local planners have the power to demand you reverse the works and return the property to its original state – at your cost! Examples include major structural changes, e.g. the knocking through of interior walls or the use of incorrect paints (plastic-based rather than lime). A fell survey before you go ahead with buying could save you a big headache and bill in the future.
6) Correct listed building insurance
As the building owner, it always vital you have a suitable home insurance in place. The listed status of a property makes it more complicated to buy a buildings insurance policy. You legally have to keep the property in a good state of repair, so must take out the proper cover to not be left with a big bill. Many companies will class this type of property as a ‘non-standard’ risk. It’s not your basic property made of brick with a slate tile roof.
What else should you think of with listed building insurance?
Working out the rebuild cost of your property
There are a number of reasons that listed buildings have a far higher rebuild cost. Not only can the materials used be more expensive, they can also be more difficult to find. This can mean extra cost due to delays. Any rebuilding is likely to require a specialist with knowledge and experience of the rare materials they are working with. Once again, their time is likely to demand a high price. Working out a building’s rebuild cost will need the use of a buildings rebuild cost calculator. Learn more about why using an appropriate figure for your rebuild cost is essential to avoid underinsurance. We have a direct link to the BCIS rebuild cost estimator in our quote system. This automatically suggests an estimated rebuild cost for you to use in your insurance quote.
The cost of alternative accommodation
Due to the multiple factors listed above, repairing and restoring a listed building can take a particularly long time. It will certainly be longer than a standard build modern property. Therefore it’s important to know that your listed building insurance policy has the right cover in place to give you somewhere else to live while any works take place.
Getting expert advice
It is important that the staff that you deal with when arranging or claiming on your policy is knowledgeable. You need them to be able to give you the right advice about your listed building. You want to deal with people that understand listed buildings and the rules and responsibilities that their owners have to deal with. Remember that your listed building could be an attractive target for criminals. The Crime Prevention website has excellent news, articles and advice to keep your house safe.
How to check your property listing status?
Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special interest. It protects buildings for future generations to enjoy by keeping them monitored. Generally, the property age is also a big factor in its listing status.
All buildings built before 1700 which are still in anything close to their original condition are listed, as well as most of those built between 1700 and 1840. There is a careful selection process for buildings from after 1945 and buildings don’t tend to be listed if under 30 years old.