This is an archive post dated 2011. Therefore the values provided, may no longer be accurate.
Non-Standard House continue to receive reports regarding rising building insurance costs and inflated quotes for BISF properties..
Whilst we are aware that household insurance costs are rising in throughout the UK, we have been astonished to hear that some insurance companies have been subjecting BISF home owners to seriously some roof raising price increases.
We decided to conduct our own research into building renewal quotes using the price comparison service Go Compare. It should be noted that when using any price comparison site, the quote given is NOT necessarily final, until you have supplied all details that the insuring body requires.
For our research, we chose to insure a BISF House in Birmingham with an estimated resale value of £180.000 & a re-build value of £151.000.
Our fictitious homeowner is a Full Time Retail Sales Assistant. The property is in good condition and has central heating together with 5 lever mortice locks fitted to front and rear doors. The property also has a garage / outbuilding and the owner has no previous claims in the last 9 years. The area is in a neighbourhood watch area but no alarm is fitted. No voluntary excess has been selected.
More importantly the below quote is for a pre-fabricated non combustible house with a steel tile roof. (Not Corrugated Asbestos Sheeting).
Below you will see the cheapest 7 quotes based on the information we supplied.
We then conducted the exact same search, changing only the roof construction type from Tile to Asbestos sheeting.
There was a considerable difference in the prices quoted.
Even more staggering was the highest quote of £483.71, which was offered by Kwik Fit insurance, with an added policy excess of £200!.
Not to be put off, we conducted the exact same search via Compare The market.com and found the lowest quote for a BISF Asbestos roofed property to be £149.72 offered by Autonet Home Insurance. (beware opting to pay via instalments added an extra £15.00 to the price quoted.
We then conducted the exact same search but this time we stated that the property was of traditional brick & mortar construction, with a clay tile roof. The quotes received were were substantially lower when compared to our fictitious asbestos roofed BISF property, but only around £27.00 cheaper than our BISF property, with a tiled roof.
During this comparison, we found that the quotes supplied for a prefabricated house with a Tiled Roof‘ were indeed more expensive than their traditional brick counterparts but the price gap was surprisingly less than we had anticipated. Taking the lowest quote from Budget into consideration there was a price disparity of approximately £30, which on the surface ,shows only a minor perceived liability from those insurers who were prepared to insure properties of non-standard construction.
Prefabricated properties with a ‘Asbestos Roof‘ were considerably more expensive to insure, possibly due to a higher perceived element of risk for the underwrites. Risk, is of course, the driving force behind any insurance companies quotation and corrugated asbestos roofing does indeed have inherent risk issues, simply due to the nature and age of the material.
What we were not prepared for in our first test was the further 6 pages of search results from GoCompare, listing companies who state that they do not insure, pre-fabricated non combustible properties.
Even more surprising was the fact that when searching for providers willing to insure the asbestos roofed property, only 13 companies provided a quote.
As always, it appears that shopping around is the best option, but we stress that you should check and double check all quotes received to ensure you are fully covered. Do you own research and always telephone the insurer to confirm that they understand the property is a Pre-Fabricated, Non Combustible Property.
We have heard of cases where the insure has stated that they are aware of the construction type, yet the customer has received policy documents that wrongly classified the building as being of Traditional Brick construction.
It is up to you to check your construction type is correct. Not doing so could render your insurance void in the event of a claim.
When requesting a quote from comparison sites. the majority of people fail to enter the correct re-build cost for their property. The re-build cost is not the same as the current sales value and is often considerably lower. Many assume the opposite and enter a re-build value that is much higher than the current market value of the house. This will only increase your premiums!
You can obtain a rough re-build value through the BCIS The Building Cost Information Service.
It is a free service with a very simple registration process and could well help you save on your insurance costs.
We list below the some of the insurance companies who state, according to GoCompare, that they do not insure Pre-fabricated buildings, as this information may be of benefit to some.
Please share with us any of your own insurance experiences below or via our new forum. You will find a link at the top of the page.