Non-Standard Risk Insurance12 May 2010
Has your property ever suffered subsidence or flood damage? Have you ever been declared bankrupt? Has your property been underpinned or had its foundations reinforced? All of these factors are considered non-standard risks to insurers, and you may need added non-standard risk insurance as a result. Check out our non-standard risk insurance guide to see if non-standard risk insurance applies to your home.
There are certain property insurance risks – from previous subsidence or flooding problems, to reinforced foundations and underpinning – that are not covered by standard home insurance policies. These non-standard risks require homeowners to take out additional non-standard risk insurance. We take a look at these non-standard risks to help you determine whether you need this extra non-standard risk insurance cover.
Long-term vacant properties
If you plan to leave your home unoccupied for an extended period, you may need added non-standard risk insurance. Check with your existing insurer as to how long they are willing to provide cover for an unoccupied property before signing up for a separate non-standard risk insurance policy.
Bankruptcy, past insurance problems and criminal convictions
If the homeowner or any of the property occupants has ever been declared bankrupt, has been refused insurance in the past or has an unspent or impending criminal conviction, then non-standard risk insurance will be required. Once a conviction has been spent however, this does not need to be declared and non-standard risk insurance will no longer be required.
If your property has ever suffered flood damage, you will need to take out an added non-standard risk insurance policy. After the heavy flooding that has affected Britain, particularly Cockermouth and the south west of England in recent years, this means that non-standard risk insurance is now applicable to a growing number of UK households.
Homes situated within 5 metres of any trees that are taller than 10 metres are considered a non-standard risk to insurers, and an added non-standard risk insurance policy will be required for the property as a result.
Roofing and exterior wall materials and constructions types
If your property’s roof or exterior walls are built from certain non-standard building materials, then this may mean having to obtain a non-standard risk insurance policy. Any material that poses a higher risk to an insurer, such as timber, corrugated iron, asbestos and thatching as well as certain types of construction such as turnerised roofing and Essex construction, may mean a need for non-standard risk insurance. Check with your insurer as to which materials and construction methods they deem non-standard.
Subsidence, landslip and heave
Some standard home insurance policies do include cover for homes that have either show signs of any of these three property issues, or have ever been monitored for any of these issues. Check your existing policy to see if you are already covered, if not, you may need an extra non-standard risk insurance policy to properly insure your home.
Underpinning and reinforced foundations
Non-standard risk insurance is needed if your property has ever been underpinned or has had its foundations reinforced. It can be particularly difficult, or expensive, to get adequate cover for a home that has been underpinned, so you may need to seek out a specialist non-standard risk insurance provider or non-standard risk insurance broker in order to find cover.
The location of your property in relation to watercourses affects the need for non-standard risk insurance for obvious reasons. If your home is within 400 metres of the nearest watercourse then non-standard risk insurance will be required.