Thatched Roof Home Insurance

Finding an insurer for homes with thatched roofs is a difficult task due to the increased risk of fire with a highly flammable roof, non-standard and ancient construction methods, and the age of the property. Thatched roof houses may be built by bricks, full – or part-timber framed or wattle and daub – an historical construction method using wooden stakes secured with a varying mixture of clay, sand, straw and even dung, whitewashed to increase its resistance to the elements.

These days, thatched roofs are usually made from water reeds, long straw or combed wheat reed, although other materials are possible. There are more thatched houses in the UK than in any other European country and have been used for the roofs of houses since the Bronze Age, since thatching was economic and easily replaceable by local resources such as broom, grass and flax.

The single major risk to a thatched roof is that of fire – once a fire takes hold of a thatched roof it is incredibly difficult to extinguish. Given that many thatched properties are in rural areas which can be several miles away from the nearest fire station so owning a thatched property requires a great deal of care and responsibility as well as increased insurance premiums. The most commonly reported thatched property fires are caused by wood burning stoves and chimney fires. Old properties are also prone to electrical hazards due to ancient wiring. Most thatched roof insurance policies will warn of other potential hazards such as naked candle flames and burning bonfires in close proximity to the property. Specialists in this type of insurance include Playle Russell, Thatched Owners and Reedways.