Thatched Property Insurance (Cottage, Home and Pub Roof)

Thatched Property Insurance

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Thatching is a very old practice, dating back to at least 10,000 BC. But as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Thatch roofs are found all across the UK, with an estimated 60,000 properties preserving the traditional style, with many being found in villages away from the larger cities. This tasteful traditional style does however come at a cost.

Average Cost Of Thatched Roof Insurance

Thatched property insurance

It’s hard to give an average cost for a thatched roof property insurance policy, as the premium will be dependent on other factors than just the roof. The average premium will reflect the average house price more than the average addition of thatch; however, as a rough guide, the thatch roof can increase the overall premium by as much as double that of clay or tile for a small or medium house. 

In addition to the upfront cost, you may have to watch out for hidden expenses, such as endorsements that require obligations on yourself to carry out risk prevention measures. These can include things like sweeping your chimney, installing anti-fire measures and chimney insulation.

Did you know? Installing several fire alarms could help reduce the cost of thatched roof insurance, speak with your broker for more details.

Is It Expensive To Insure A Thatched House?

Thatched roofs have an entire profession dedicated to their construction and maintenance. These thatchers are experts and charge more than regular builders for their specialised knowledge. Because of this and a few other reasons, you can expect to pay what some would consider an expensive premium.

Thatch is essentially straw or reeds bundled together to form a thick waterproof layer over your house. The traditional materials are naturally flammable, and so the fire risk is much increased. This hazard bears a significant premium increase on its own, in addition to the short life expectancy of traditional thatch roofs and the inevitable upkeep, premiums often end up being more than expected.

How Much More Does It Cost To Insure A Thatched Cottage?

The thatching material of the roof has a surprising effect on the premium, due to the fire risk, the chance of thatch repairs, vermin, or leak, the premium for a thatched cottage can be double that of a standard roof build. That is significant, observing that the bulk of the property and the contents do not hold much weight on the premium of the policy in comparison to the roof.

4 Tips to  reduce your thatched roof house insurance premium

Some or all the extra safety measures outlined below may even be mandated in a thatched home policy.

1. Fire Prevention : Get a professional to treat the thatch with a fire retardant spray. In addition, you should consider adding a fire retardant barrier, example a foil barrier under the thatch.

2. Fire Detection: Install multiple fire alarms and smoke detectors or sensors throughout the property

3. Electric Safety Check : Employ a professional technician to carry out an electrical safety inspection of all electrical wiring and equipment. This can be done annual basis  or every 3 years. 

4. Chimney :  Clean the chimney on a very regular basis

Grade 2 Listed Thatched Cottage Insurance

Thatching is the oldest and most traditional method of roofing in the UK. As such you can find them on some of the oldest buildings in England including grade 2 listed buildings, which are protected to preserve their special qualities, such as traditional construction methods and historical significance.

It's no surprise that these are protected due to the special interest placed on them. These protections often make the insurance process more difficult, although nothing that many regular home insurers or high net worth insurers won’t be able to handle. You may be turned away by some, but companies that insure grade 2 buildings will be able to provide reinstatement insurance, at least in part.

Many companies discourage insurance for the full reinstatement of a historical building, as a total rebuild will not restore the historical significance of the building. The thatch on a roof however is one aspect of a restoration that won’t be drawn into question, as the thatch is likely to have been replaced more than once over a century, even up to five times.

Can You Insure A Thatched Roof?

You can get a thatched roof insured, even today, although it's not as easy to get a thatched roof insured than it is a standard roof. This is due to the lack of modern knowledge and shift in preferences that has left the underwriting of thatch to be a niche only exercised by a few specialist insurers. These insurers, although not common, are not too hard to find; you may have to look online as opposed to using your local insurance provider or broker.

Thatched Pub Insurance?

Yes, as you can imagine some of the nicest old pubs are thatched and they are not the easiest to insure. That’s because on top of the usual considerations for a pub policy, such as alcohol licence, deep fat fryer, late night opening hours, vandalism, and the like, the physical hazard of a flammable roof is far from ideal when housing the drunkest members of society.

Thatched Home Insurance Companies

As a non standard home insurance policy, the thatched roof buildings are best insured by a non standard insurer. These are commonly high worth and specialist insurers, some insurers even focus solely on thatch properties. Some comparison insurance websites will give you a list of insurers that can give you quotes for your thatch properties.

Thatched Roof FAQ's


What type of thatch is cheapest to insure ?

The cheapest type of thatch to insure is made with Norwich reed, which is the hardest wearing type of thatch. 

How long will my thatch last before it should be replaced?

Thatch on a roof can last anywhere from twenty to sixty years before needing at least partially replacing. This depends mostly on the quality of the materials used, as well as the quality of the thatchers that installed the roof. 


How can I reduce my thatch properties’ insurance premium?

There are measures you can take, such as agreeing not to use an existing wood fire, installing high-end smoke detectors, and updating your electric certificate. Other measures can be talked about and negotiated with your insurer. 

Is House Insurance More Expensive With A Thatched Roof?

Thatched home insurance shoppers will expect to pay more for a thatch roof home insurance policy, than their slate or tile roof counterparts. That is a simple fact that comes down to a few key factors that make thatch roof houses more likely to incur a loss or for that loss to cost a bit more. Some but not all factors at play are the flammable materials, expensive labour costs and the requirement of extensive maintenance. 

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