Thatch FAQs

Basic Thatch Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Thatched properties come with special challenges. Here’s our thatched cottage insurance FAQ, designed to answer the most commonly asked thatch insurance questions.

If your question isn’t answered here, feel free to contact us for a no-obligation discussion about insuring your beautiful thatched home.

Q: Are thatch properties more expensive to insure?

Answer:

Yes. Many thatched homes are old and insurance is typically more expensive than for modern tiled houses. This is due to increased claims costs. There are 2 main reasons for this:

  1. Cost of repairs:

Material is more expensive for thatched roof than standard tile/slat roofs. Also, labour costs will be higher given the specialist skills required to repair by much sought after Thatcher’.

  1. The (perceived) increase of fire risk.

The reality is that thatched homes are no more likely to catch fire than conventional homes. However, when they do catch fire, the results can often be a lot more spectacular and cause severe damage given how quickly the fire can spread.

Although insurance is higher than for standard private homes, it should not be exorbitantly so. The best advice is to speak to thatch insurance specialists (like the staff in Thatchline!) who will understand your needs a lot more than standard home insurance providers. At Thatchline, we are thatch broker who can do other home insurance products.  Most other personal lines insurance brokers are home insurance providers, who may be able to do thatch insurance.  That could be a crucial difference in getting a suitable and value for money thatch insurance policy.

Q: Can I burn solid fuels?

Answer:

In certain scenarios, yes. Please speak to our experts for more info as certain conditions will apply.

Q: What advice do you have for chimney maintenance?

Answer:

If you do burn solid fuels, you should have your chimney swept at least twice a year. Once in Autumn before winter usage and again within 6 months. Some providers will also insist that the height of the top of the chimney above the ridge must be at least 1.8 and that the chimney is lined with a suitable material – for example, rigid metal, fire resistant concrete, ceramic including clay & pumice.

Q: What thatch roofs do you cover?

Answer:

We cater for properties that are fully (or partially) roofed in a full range of thatch roof constructions including water reed, wheat reed, long straw and fibre.

Q: Must I get my thatch roofs inspected?

Answer:

Yes. The thatch roof must have been inspected within the last 10 years by a qualified thatcher.

Q: What about electrical inspections?

Answer:

After chimney related issues, electrical faults are 1 of the leading causes of thatched fires. Some insurers insist on an inspections every 10 years and some 5. Either way, take precautions with the likes of aerial leads and supply cables ensuring they are spaced at least 30 cm from the thatch. Any wiring should be fitted by qualified electricians.

Q: Should I purchase spark arrestors?

No. they can become clogged and so be a fire hazard in themselves

Q: What other fire precautions do you recommend?

Answer:

Examples include (but not limited to)

  • Having heat or smoke detectors on each level of the property;
  • Ensuring property is always connected to a mains water supply;
  • Having dry powder type fire extinguisher in the kitchen. A fire blanket in the kitchen and additional fire extinguishers on each level of the home would also be prudent.
  • Avoid outside bonfires and barbecues. At the very least, ensure they are more than 100 metres and 5 metres respectively away from the property.

For further precautions, you should get advice from the fire service – Make your home safe from fire – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)