What to be Aware of with Thatch Cottages

Thatch Cottages

Within the United Kingdom, there are an estimated 24,000 thatched homes. Of these, a mere 5% are new construction. However, as interest in eco-friendly properties continues to rise, this number is expected to climb.

Why do thatch properties cost more to insure?

Finding insurance for a thatched home can be challenging since they are often seen as being greater fire risks that non-thatched homes. Another factor that contributes to high insurance costs is the fact that most of these properties are extremely old, or that they are located in conservation areas. Likewise, making repairs on these older structures can be expensive, often requiring the work of specially trained professionals.

Here at Thatchedinsure.co.uk, we specialize in homes that are non-traditional in design and that may have higher rebuild costs. Thatched homes fall into this category. You may be surprised to learn that some standard policies will not only pay for accommodations for you and your family for up to three years while construction is taking place on your property, but will also cover up to £1.5 million in repairs.

Fire Prevention

Fire is one of the leading causes of problems in thatch cottages – see here for more info. Learning how to prevent fire in thatch cottages is a must.

  • One staggering statistic is that all but 10% of fires that occur in thatched homes are caused by defects with the chimney or flue. That means that 90% of fires in these homes can be prevented.
  • Sadly, because thatch is so good at repelling water, when fires do occur, they can be extremely difficult to put out.
  • Because of this, it is important that anyone who lives in a thatched property follow strict fire safety protocols.
  • The vast majority of fires in thatch homes start at the chimney. Regular chimney sweeping by a qualified professional can help prevent fires. Not only that, but homeowners should only burn dry, seasoned wood to minimize the amount of soot that is deposited in the chimney or flue. When properly installed, a steel liner can provide additional protection.
  • Finally, make sure that the chimney is tall enough. Ideally it should rise approximately six feet above the roof line in order to prevent sparks from falling back on the roof and causing fires.

Tips For Purchasing Thatched Roof Insurance

It is important to let your insurance company know whether or not your home is located on a conservation site, as well as if it is listed as a Grade 1 or Grade 2 building.

Check your insurance policy to verify that it provides adequate coverage for your home. Additionally, double check to makes sure that your insurer understands that you have a thatch roof on your home. Oftentimes there is a significant delay before repairs can begin on these types of homes, simply because they require the touch of a skilled craftsman.

With only 1,500 or so thatcher’s currently working in the United Kingdom, it is not uncommon for wait times for repairs to be two or more years. Because of this, these roofs are more costly to repair, and are thus more costly to insure as well.