“A very old roofing method… now the choice of affluent people who desire a rustic look for their home, would like a more ecologically friendly roof or who have purchased an original thatch abode”
That, in part, is the definition of thatching according to Wikipedia, but there’s one thing they’ve missed. It should go on to state that here in the UK, at least, thatch has one other attribute; insurers are apparently increasingly unwilling to provide any kind of cover for buildings with thatch roofs.
It’s said that it is the spiraling cost of claims that’s behind their reluctance, with damage caused by fire in particular the main cause for concern. That doesn’t mean, however, that owners of thatched property need go to bed at night with afire extinguisher under the duvet because their home, garage, stables, outbuildings and so on are no longer insurable. Actually, insurance IS available and affordable.
While mainstream insurers may say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to anyone who asks about cover, CGA Protect see things differently and are among the leading providers of cover for thatched buildings. Indeed, we’ve been arranging thatch insurance since 1940 and have developed a body of knowledge and expertise which has proved of great assistance in the years since then.
Even before that, as far back as 1893, the CGA – with the wellbeing of the rural community at its heart – regularly published articles in its Estates magazine about the care and maintenance of all manner of structures, including thatched roofs.
As a result of this history, we’ve been able to build a close working relationship with a number of highly respected underwriters whose own track record and commitment to the thatched property market are second to none. That means that premiums for the cover we put into effect are both competitive and as economical as possible. Also, any claims that arise are dealt with promptly, efficiently and sympathetically.
Do these policies impose any extra conditions on the owner of the property? Not really, there are just a few common-sense steps which owners need to take to help minimize any risk to their home. These are the kind of steps which many home owners, whether they live in a thatched cottage, a Victorian townhouse or a modern estate house will take away. These include:
- Having the chimney swept regularly
- Having a valid electric certificate (normally valid for 10 years but this can vary, and insurers will go by the date of the certificate)
- Lining and insulating wood-burner and multi-fuel stove chimneys
- Installing smoke detectors along with fire extinguishers and fire blankets.