What is specialist, non-standard home insurance?

There is an ever-growing list of situations that are being defined by insurers as specialist or non-standard. These are generally things that mainstream insurance companies find either too complicated or risky to offer reasonably priced cover for. That is if the cover is offered at all.

Why many insurance companies don’t like complicated risks

Insurance companies will evaluate how risky you or your property is based on the information you tell them. Generally, insurers like predictable and common risk types. This reduces the potential for them to have to pay huge sums at the point of claim.

This includes looking at things like the area in which your property is located and the materials used to build it. It also looks at the occupant themselves and their personal circumstances.


Examples of complicated or specialist risks

We’ve split the risks into two main groups; people and property. Any risk that falls within either or both categories will be deemed as a non-standard home insurance risk. A standard insurer will not want to insure the following:

Property risk types

Includes risk factors relating to the property such as geographical area, construction type.

If you have plans to conduct a home renovation project, you will need to consider revising your standard home insurance policy. This will ensure that you are protected from any damages caused by building work.

Your home can be left unoccupied for a number of reasons. You may be awaiting a sale or probate, or be planning an extended trip abroad. If this is the case, you will need to consider revising your household policy and inform your insurer if your property is vacant for more than 30 consecutive days.

Flat roof properties are seen to be higher risk than a pitched roof. This is due to their susceptibility to damage caused by weather and burglaries. When there is a large downpour of snow or rain, there is a tendency for excess water that is not drained to pool. This causes the roof to sag and eventually leak into the property.

If subsidence has ever been an issue for your property, you will know that it can cause a number of cracks to appear in the external brickwork and internal plasterwork of your home. Properties that suffer subsidence offer require underpinning to ensure its future stability. A previously underpinned property can raise alarm bells with most mainstream insurers, with some being reluctant to provide cover at all.

  • Unusual construction

Homes come in all shapes and sizes and whilst it’s good to have a property that is aesthetically and structurally different to the norm, you may experience difficulty obtaining home insurance. Insurers are dubious of the structural soundness and materials used during unusual construction. Non-standard construction can include examples such as Timber and steel frame properties.

  • Flooding

If your home is in an area that is prone to or has historically suffered flood damage, you may have difficulty sourcing home insurance at a reasonable cost. You, therefore, need to consider a specialist home insurer.

Other non-standard factors: