When is your house classified as non standard?

Posted 13th January, 2015

Non standard house insurance

We often get asked, when is a house classed as non standard for insurance purposes? Here are some examples:

  • If your house has over 20% flat roof.
  • If your home has been previously flooded or is in a flood area.
  • If you have one or more claims in recent years.
  • If your property is unoccupied or you have a business attached.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but if your property is non standard and you haven’t disclosed it to an insurer, you will have a major problem when/if you make a claim.

When claims for non standard property cover goes wrong.

The below is an example of how the non disclosure of a non standard part of your property can potentially spell disaster:

Joan Smith (not her real name but all other details are correct) had serious flood damage in Limerick last year, with over €80,000 worth of damage done. We helped her with her claim, moved her into emmergency accomodation, put her in contact with independent loss assessor etc. The claim was moving along fine, until the insurance companies assessor noticed that Joan had over 20% flat roof on her home and hadn’t disclosed this to her insurer. They contacted the client to say the claim was being rejected for non disclosure.

Luckily for Joan, we discovered that she had an old policy with her insurer, which never gave mention to flat roof on the proposal form and we were (eventually) able to secure the full claim on her behalf. If she had taken out a new policy in the last 5 years I don’t think she would have been so lucky. Moral of the story? Home insurance can be a minefield of terms & conditions, always disclose everything to your insurer at the outset or contact a specialist broker.

Not all non standard house insurers are the same.

Most ‘standard’ insurers will not quote when your property falls into the ‘non standard’ bracket & it will cause considerable heart ache at claim time if your company believe you have not given them the whole picture. Here are a few tips to make sure you stay on the right side of your insurer:

  • If your home has any sort of flat roof, measure (or get a builder or friend to help) the size and compare to the overall diameter of the roof. Disclose this info to your insurer and if they refuse to cover you, contact us (we can arrange cover for up to 100% flat roof homes)
  • Disclose all property claims to your insurer (even if the claim was on a totally different property, it still needs to be disclosed)
  • Find out if your home is in a flood or subsidence area. If your area has been changed to a flood area in recent years, this needs to be disclosed.
  • Ensure you inform your insurer of any unusual aspects to your home. Do you run a business on or near your property? Do members of the public often meet at your home for any reason? Do you have a windmill or solar panels attached to your house? These all need to be disclosed.
  • If you have a non motoring conviction in your near or recent past, this needs to be disclosed to your insurer, irespective of the length of time that has elapsed.

If you believe your home to be non standard for any reason, contatc the experts on 0818919699 for a quotation today or vist our home insurance page for further details..