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Listed building insurance

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What’s a listed building?

According to Historic England, a listed building holds ‘special architectural or historic interest’. Generally anything built before 1700 in similar to its original condition is likely to be listed, as well as most buildings from between 1700 and 1850.

Listed buildings are protected by local heritage organisations. Any alterations you have planned that may affect the building's special interest need to be consented by your local authority first.

Depending on where you live, there are three grades or categories:

  • Grade I, II or II* in England or Wales
  • Category A, B and C in Scotland
  • Grade A, B and B+ in Northern Ireland

What's listed building insurance?

A listed building’s age and construction can make them vulnerable to damage by things like fire, vandalism, damp or poor drainage.

Listed building home insurance can help you source specialist materials and tradespeople for renovation or repairs if you need to claim.

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What does listed buildings insurance cover?

Listed building insurance offers the same cover as standard home insurance.

It’ll cover the costs of repairs and replacements if your home’s damaged by something unexpected and unavoidable, like a fire, flood or burglary.

Buildings insurance – Buildings insurance covers damage to your home’s structure, and its permanent fixtures and fittings. This includes things like roofs, chimneys, walls and windows, but might also extend to sheds, outbuildings and the garden.

Contents insurance – Contents insurance covers your household possessions – things like furniture, clothing and electricals. Each item will usually only be covered up to a certain limit, typically £1,000. You’ll need to declare anything worth more than this to your insurer to make sure it’s covered.

Your home insurance policy will include some exclusions. They vary from policy to policy, but common ones include unoccupied properties, damage due to poor maintenance or damage and loss due to negligence.

What upgrades can I add to my policy?

Despite its advantages, listed building home insurance won’t cover all damages. You may be able to purchase additional cover for your home such as:

Accidental damage cover

Covers accidental damage such as carpet stains or broken windows. It probably won’t cover accidental damage caused by pets or poor workmanship.

Away from home cover

Standard home insurance only covers your possessions while they’re in your home. Away from home cover means you’re protected if your things are damaged or stolen when you’re out and about with them.

Home emergency cover

Protection for your boiler, plumbing and electrics. It’ll cover the cost of calling out a tradesperson and the cost of immediate repairs.

Legal expenses

Covers you for the costs of taking legal action, or if you’re sued. You might need it if someone’s injured on your property, or you’re having a boundary dispute with a neighbour.

Do you need home insurance for a listed building?

Although you’ll need to pay for maintenance and wear and tear yourself, house insurance could help with the cost of unexpected repair bills from things like floods, fire or vandalism.

If you own a listed building, you’ll need to keep it as close to its original state as possible.

Your local authority will have statutory powers to insist you carry out any work that’s needed to repair your listed building. If you don’t they can carry out the work themselves, then recover the costs from you.

Could you afford to pay significant repair bills without insurance?

If you have a mortgage for your listed building, your lender will insist you have buildings insurance as a condition of the loan.

Free £250 home excess cover, only with GoCompare^

If you need to claim on your home insurance - for example, if your building is damaged by subsidence or your possessions are stolen - your free home excess cover will refund up to £250 of your excess.

There’s no hidden charge. But you won't be covered for things like accidental loss such as leaving a laptop on a train or accidental damage, such as spilling wine on your carpet or drilling through a pipe.

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^UK residents and home insurance purchases only. Excess refunded after claim settled. Excludes accidental loss or damage claims made on your home insurance. Full T&Cs apply.

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Does it cost more to insure a listed building?

Yes, it’s likely to be more expensive to insure than a standard modern home.

This is because you’ll need to keep a listed building as close as possible to its original state, so you might need to source rare or expensive building materials and specialist tradespeople for renovations or repairs.

Most standard insurers will factor higher rebuild costs into their prices, or they may not be able to offer cover for listed buildings at all.

There are a few things you can do to cut the cost of your home insurance:

  • Increase security – burglar alarms and smoke detectors reduce the risk of your home being damaged and insurers might offer discounts if you have them
  • Only pay for add-ons you need – choosing legal cover or accidental damage cover on top of your policy will increase the cost
  • Pay annually – you’ll have to pay interest on top of monthly payments, which will mean your insurance costs more overall

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