Insurance for properties of unusual construction
Although bricks and tiles are the standard materials to use when constructing a house in the UK, a large proportion of properties are built using materials that fall outside of this norm. These properties are often just as sturdy and stable as traditional builds but unfortunately, many standard insurers can be reluctant to provide cover for anything that is a little bit different. We aim to cover one of the widest ranges of property construction types on the market and have detailed below some of the unusual construction insurance policies we offer.
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Specialist non-standard construction types we can also cover
Such materials are still being used to this day within the building of modern, state of the art homes. Whilst they are characterised by their ease of building, their lightweight nature, and their affordability, steel frame constructions can be both difficult and costly to insure. This is because they can be very expensive to repair if things do go wrong. They are regarded as not being very flame resistant, meaning that if there is a fire the heat can cause the steel beams to warp and give way, causing substantial damage to the entire property structure.
BIFS houses are steel framed houses built by the British Iron and Steel Federation from 1946. Approximately 50,000 homes were built across the country, predominantly in pairs but there were terraces. There are a number of issue that can make insurance for BISF properties difficult, such as the fact that BISF house roofing contains asbestos which is extremely hazardous to health if disrupted. These properties can also suffer deterioration at the base of the steel structure, window surrounds and in rooms with humidity such as bathrooms and kitchens. BISF house insulation can also result in condensation. Carrying out rectification work would need to be done with the neighbouring property which can be difficult.
Many mainstream insurers often view a timber-framed construction as a complex or ‘non-standard’ property. The result is an increase in their prices to cover such a risk, especially when seeking insurance for an old timber framed home.There are number of reasons for this, including a wooden frame’s susceptibility to fire. Any wood frame building is susceptible to fire damage given the nature of the materials used during construction. Lightweight in density, timber homes in many instances are built with little or no foundations at all. With such implications in mind, shallow foundations can lead to cases of subsidence, whereby you may experience cracks in your external brickwork and internal plasterwork.
A prefabricated home is a form of home that has been largely manufactured off-site and is transported to a different location for assembly. Prefabricated houses largely came into widespread use after the Second World War, being erected as temporary accommodation following the devastation of the Blitz. Due to their nature of construction they can be costly to repair if damage occurs as whole sections of the property’s structure can need to be replaced. However, they are generally considered to be relatively robust and dependent on the materials used there are mainstream lenders who will provide a mortgage on properties of this construction type.
Concrete homes often also fall into the category of prefabricated buildings, as concrete is the most common material used in the construction of these. However, some properties are constructed from concrete blocks rather than preformed slabs, making them a slightly different risk. Generally speaking, concrete block properties will be easier to obtain a mortgage and insurance on than a prefab home but they can still be perceived as being a higher risk property type. This is because they can be more susceptible to water damage to the foundations and the steel foundations that are usually used in such builds can corrode and give way.
Cob buildings is a traditional construction style consisting of a natural building material made from subsoil, water, fibrous organic material (typically straw), and sometimes lime. The materials are then mixed together, often by foot, in order to form a malleable material. The construction method has barely changed in the history of cob houses. Unsurprisingly, insurance for cob houses can be difficult to obtain as it is very different to a standard brick and tile property. However, cob construction has proved to be very sturdy, with the oldest recorded building still standing at over 10,000 years old. Therefore, we aim to provide competitive quotes for cob construction insurance meaning no matter how your home was made you can make sure it is protected.
Clunch is another traditional building material that is made of chalky limestone rock. Unlike cob buildings, it is not a construction type that is often used in modern buildings but there are still some historic homes that are of clutch construction. Clunch buildings can be seen to be less durable than those made from standard building materials and for this reason can be more difficult to obtain and mortgage on an insure. We are able to provide cover for Clunch buildings dependent on condition and year of build.
Bungaroosh construction uses an assortment of materials such as whole or broken bricks, cobblestones, flints, small pebbles, sand and pieces of wood. These are places in hydraulic lime and poured it between shuttering until it has set. This construction type is most common among properties in the south-east, particularly Brighton. It was prevalent in these areas from the late 18th to late 19th century, meaning lots of older houses in this area are made from this material. One of the drawbacks of Bungaroosh construction is that is it perceived to have poor resistance to water, once again making houses of this type difficult to mortgage or insure.
If you own a property made from an unusual construction material and are looking for home insurance then CoverBuilder are here to help. With an online quote system providing an instant decision, as well as competitive pricing on a variety of construction types, we’re here to help you protect your unusual home.
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