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Thatched Roof Home Insurance - Thatched Holiday Home Insurance

Thatched Period Cottage Insurance - Detached or Semi Detached -

Thatched Roof House Insurance

If you own a Thatched Property you would have encountered a problem finding Insurance  at a reasonable cost. Most Insurers are reluctant to offer Thatched Roof Home Insurance cover for properties that can be Listed and normally well looked after. Claim costs have proved to be more than 90% more on Thatched Properties than on slate or tile Properties, many reasons why most Insurers refuse to Insure Thatched House.

Detached Thatched Period Cottages are normally easier and cheaper to insure, however our Underwriters will consider risks where the Cottage is either a Semi or mid terraced.

This type of Unique insurance is only offered by a small number of Specialist Insurers, so we at Crown Insurance have approached a selected number of Specialist Underwriters who we can direct our enquiries to. It can be a misconception that Thatched House Insurance is very expensive, but it many ways a Thatched Home Insurance is a better value policy than most normal House Insurance Policies. Policy cover is usually more Comprehensive and Underwriting can be more personal. We can in some cases offer a competitive quotation for your Thatched Cottage Holiday Home, which can include a Holiday Let Property.

Policy benefits of a Thatched Roof Home

Personal Attention Skillful Underwriting
Discounts for Larger Excesses
Claims Help Line
Legal Expenses
Sympathetic Claims Handling

Please call us for our Thatched House and Thatched Holiday Home and Period Cottage Prospectus and Insurance Proposal

For all your Unique Thatched Roof Home Insurance Tele: 01784 436262

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Thatched Home Fires

Aviva has warned Britain's 60,000 Thatched Home owners than since 1995 there have been 780 Thatch Fires in the UK - one a week - and last winter there were over 30 fires in Thatched Properties in the UK.

July 2011: 8 Thatched Property Fires in ONE Week!

A majority of Thatched Homes (80%) were chimney related and caused by the use of wood burning stoves or open fires, Aviva said. Other causes are bonfires & fireworks.

The Household Underwriting Manager at Aviva, said: “The use of woodburners or open fires in Thatched Homes can be a toxic mix. Many fires start in poorly maintained chimneys or due to faulty flue liners. It is vitally important that homeowners take sensible fire precautions to protect their homes and valuables. More modern wood burners are believed to be much improved than the older versions, so be sure to advise us of the make and age of any wood burning stove that you have. Some thatched property fires are caused by neighbouring properties, so a detached thatched house is likely to be easier and possibly cheaper to insure.

Thatched Roof Houses are still very popular in the UK today, and this is classed as non standard construction mainly due to the increased fire risk. There are various type of reed covering available for roofs and some insurers will charge extra depending on the type of covering used. The method of heating and age of wiring also play an important factor in rating and you should have this information at hand to obtain a quote.

Aged Thatched Properties

Given this remarkable longevity it's hardly surprising that Britain's 60,000 thatched cottages are now among the most prized and protected in the country: 75% have listed building status and woe betide anyone who makes unacceptable alterations or crowns their pride and joy with the wrong kind of straw.

Because of this uniqueness thatch tends to split the house-buying public straight down the middle. Some people will be deterred by the maintenance and regulations but others will be attracted by their individuality and character".

The upshot, is that one point of view counter-balances the other, making thatched cottages sought-after and desirable, but also ensuring that they do not carry the kind of excessive premiums that such unique buildings would normally command.

Buying a Thatched Home

In response to many queries the Thatched Owners Group has put together a fact sheet for prospective buyers, explaining the different types of thatch in use, what questions to ask before you buy, and advice on insurance, conservation, and maintenance.

First up is the thatch itself. The life expectancy of a thatched roof will vary according to several factors: regular maintenance, the quality of materials used, the skill of the thatcher, the proximity of trees, pollutants in the environment and even the geographical location as a high humidity level shortens the life-span of the thatching materials.

Types of Thatch


- Water Reed ( also known as Norfolk Reed ): 50-60 years.
- Combed Wheat : 25-40 years.
- Long Straw: 15-25 years.

Ridges (the capping or top part of the roof), whatever their design or type, have a life-span of 10-15 years.

Bear in mind that English Heritage is very keen, despite the protestations of owners and thatchers, to protect regional styles and resist the spread of the durable Norfolk reed across the land. Basically, says Frances, "check with your local conservation officer to find out what's required in your unique area and then get a quote from a thatcher".

Fire Safety and Insurance

Concerns about fire and high insurance costs are probably the two most common issues raised by prospective buyers. Fortunately thatch fires are nowhere near as common as some would have us believe.

These days there are fire retardant applications which can be put on to the thatch and to the internal timber work which further reduce the risk of fire. Practical measures - testing electrics every 10 years, ensuring that any wiring is housed in a vermin-proof environment, having chimneys swept regulary - should also help to keep the roof safe over your head.

That said, insurance can be costly, though there are now companies specialising in this market, so insuring your unique home & contents should not be prohibitive.


"Chimneys should be professionally swept twice per year and chimney brickwork and flue lining inspected regularly.

"There are also innovations, like chimney CCTV inspections, which are now widely available and a very effective way to detect any problems such as deterioration in chimney brickwork or problems with the condition of flue liners.” It is a market standard these days for the Chimney to be Lined.

Aviva pays, on average, around £10,000 to customers who have fires in homes with standard roof construction, such as tiles and slate, but this increases to more than £100,000 for customers who suffer fires in a Thatched Home.


What to Ask
Finally, when it comes to the delicate business of interrogating the estate agent, the following questions will ensure that you don't sound like a complete novice:

- When was the roof last thatched?

- Has there been any repair work carried out over the past 10 years?

- When was the ridge re-thatched?

- When was the roof last surveyed?

- Has the thatch had any coatings applied to it?

- Have any of the roof timbers been replaced or repaired?

- Is the chimney lined?

- Has there been any electrical wiring carried out recently in the roof area? If not, when was it last checked?

- Who was the Thatcher who carried out the work? ( sight of an invoice would be helpful).

- If open fires are in use, when was the chimney last swept?

- Is there a spark arrester ? When was it last serviced?

- Are there any types of fire resistant barrier?

- Have there been any vermin problems in the last five years?

- Is the property listed?

- Has the property been in receipt of any grant aid?

In addition: Check the chimney flashings.

- Check that the drain gratings are clear.

- Check the locality of trees to the roof.

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