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A listed building is either a structure or property that is of special historical or architectural significance. A building is listed to celebrate its special interest and also to protect it from any future town planning or nearby development work.
There are two ways that a building can be listed in England. The first is to nominate a building to Historic England (the authority responsible for safeguarding our country’s history). The second is that Historic England chooses to assign a listed building status to buildings based on their own research.
Listed buildings are categorised into grades:
Listed building home insurance works in a similar way to standard home insurance with the main difference being that an older, possibly ‘period’ home is often subject to more deterioration, damage, and increasingly noticeable aging compared to newer homes made with newer materials.
The kinds of coverage you can receive will vary slightly from insurer to insurer, but we’ll go into greater detail on this shortly. For now, you can expect to receive two kinds of coverage - take a look and think about the specific areas you think might apply to your home.
You can be covered against the following:
Similar to regular contents insurance, you can be covered against the cost of repairs/replacements for the following:
There are countless add-on policies that are relevant to your needs, and plenty more that are perhaps not. Grade 2 listed building insurance will have slightly different coverage than grade 1 listed building insurance.
What you need to do is think about your property (e.g, how old it is, what condition it is in, and how well it has been maintained) and think about your lifestyle/other variables (e.g, do you have children, do you own pets, or does your property often experience extreme weather conditions).
Note that all building insurance won’t cover you for general wear and tear but you’ll be protected against unforeseen circumstances that you won’t likely have much control over.
Think about the following policies and whether or not you need them:
Though listed buildings are protected from development works by Historic England, they can still be involved in complex legal cases so you might want to consider coverage against legal costs. Legal fees are a common part of listed building insurance costs.
This can be extended onto any standard contents insurance plans and will insure your belongings outside your home (e.g, valuable jewellery or smartphones).
Without the proper upkeep, many listed buildings still have their original electrics or plumbing installed which have likely become outdated and, as such, potentially dangerous. Home emergency coverage protects you against things like electrical faults or pipework disasters and is a central factor in producing a residential listed building insurance quote.
If your property is at risk of subsidence (the gradual caving in or sinking of an area of land), then you can take out subsidence coverage. This applies to many older buildings, as well as buildings situated near a cliffside.
If you own a listed building but may not be able to occupy it for a certain period of time, unoccupied property insurance is a recommended option. If a property is unoccupied for longer than a month, plans like this should be considered.
An accidental damage plan simply covers you against costs related to unintentional damages (e.g broken windows, damaged ceilings etc).
Because the grade of a listed building often influences the cost of insuring it, there is no hard or fast rule regarding how much you might pay. There are also other variables that affect the cost, like a building’s age, its construction, and the cost of any rebuild work that is needed.
A general rule of thumb is that the insurance will cost more the older your listed building is. The further a building stretches back in time, the less familiar today’s construction professionals will be with construction and build methods.
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The best way to do this, especially with listed buildings, is to maintain the property as best you can. Not only will this preserve the magnificence of your property, but it will prevent you from making too many claims and consequently driving up the price of your insurance.