Protect Your Listed Building and Valuable Assets: 8 steps to secure the right policy for your historic property.

Do you own or have you recently purchased a listed building, or are you considering it? If so, you may need to consider talking to someone about buildings insurance that will specifically cater for the listing status. Listed buildings often require special insurance cover due to their unique features, construction, and heritage status.

What is considered a listed building?

A listed building is a building or structure recognised and preserved by the government due to its special architectural or historical significance. These buildings are legally protected from unapproved alterations, demolitions, and other modifications that may damage their structural integrity.

The structure must have been constructed before 1700 in England and Wales, 1840 in Scotland, and 1750 in Northern Ireland to be eligible for listing. The age criteria may also vary depending on local authority guidelines.

Listed buildings fall into 3 areas:

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest.
  • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
  • Grade II buildings are of special interest – the majority of listed buildings.

What are the risks associated with listed buildings?

The risks associated with owning and maintaining a listed building are varied and complex, as it requires careful consideration of the care and preservation of the structure. Listed buildings can be susceptible to damage from external factors such as weathering, water infiltration, or pest infestation if regular maintenance isn’t performed. Such damage can often be expensive to repair and may require specialist help in order to restore the structure’s original condition.

Burglary can also be an issue for owners of listed buildings due to their value and age. The loss or theft of important items such as antiques or high-value artwork could result in devastating losses that insurance policies might not cover. As such, all owners must take appropriate security measures to ensure their property remains safe and protected.

Furthermore, specific regulations concerning listed buildings must be obeyed to maintain the building’s historic quality. Owners must inform the relevant authority before undertaking any repairs or alterations on the property, including replacing windows or repairing walls.

Owners also need to be aware of potential subsidence issues due to ongoing changes in ground conditions over time, such as increased moisture levels below the building’s foundations, causing structural instability. Qualified surveyors should regularly undertake specialist surveys to identify potential problems before they become serious for owners.

Finally, owners should consider carefully how best to insure their listed property in light of its unique characteristics and associated risks; this will involve obtaining an insurance policy tailored specifically for listed buildings that consider their requirements.

Why is it important to find the right insurance policy?

Insurance for your listed building is an essential form of protection and is a key part of ensuring that your property is adequately protected.

When looking for insurance for your listed property, selecting a policy that meets all the requirements set out by your local authority is essential. This may include additional covers such as public and employer liability protection or accidental damage, which may not be included in standard home or building insurance policies. You should also check whether the policy covers any unique features or materials used in your listed building, including ancient woodwork or rare decorative details.

Eight things to think about before obtaining insurance for your listed buildings …

1. Inspect the Property: Regular inspections of your listed property are essential to identify any potential repairs or maintenance needed to maintain its condition and reduce any further risks. You should conduct a full survey of the building inside and out, checking for signs of wear and tear on structures, pests, and other damage that could be costly if addressed. It is also essential to understand the property’s history to ensure your insurer is aware when selecting an appropriate insurance policy.

2. Make Repairs: If any issues have been identified during inspection or surveys, it is essential to make repairs as soon as possible to protect the condition of your listed building. This will help reduce any further risks associated with owning a listed property while allowing insurers to provide adequate cover should something go wrong. 

3 Ensure Regular Maintenance Checks: Regular maintenance checks should be conducted throughout the year to spot any signs of wear and tear on structures as well as pest infestations which may cause issues down the line if left unaddressed – this could also reveal any previously unidentified risks which may influence decisions regarding insurance policies or require additional precautionary measures prior installation such as installing fireproof materials throughout where applicable or extra security elements around vulnerable areas like windows/doors etc..

4. Install Security Measures: Installing security measures such as window locks, burglar alarms, CCTV systems, and motion sensor lighting can help reduce the risk of theft or vandalism and should be considered. Additionally, these measures can act as deterrents for criminals, which could prevent future incidents from occurring in the first place. 

5. Follow Local Authority Guidelines: When making repairs or carrying out any work on your listed property, all guidelines set by local authorities must be strictly followed to maintain its historical nature and value. Failure to do so could put you at risk of being unable to claim insurance if something went wrong or even see harsher penalties applied due to failure to abide by legislation specific to listed properties.

6. Choose an Appropriate Insurer: When selecting an insurer for your listed property, choosing a broker and insurer who understands all aspects of its history and structure is important to offer suitable cover.

7. Review limits on sums insured: Most policies will have limits on sums insured, which should be carefully considered before taking out a policy – this will ensure that your insurer provides adequate cover should something go wrong. It is essential to cover your listed building for the appropriate reinstatement amount – guidance on how this can be calculated should be provided by your broker.

8. Additional Cover Options: Depending on the listed building you own, additional cover options may be available that provide more protection than standard policies due to their age and complexity – these would need researching thoroughly before finalising any policy.  

At Riskworks, we have been assisting clients with insurance for their listed buildings for over 20 years. We have helped many clients when they want to purchase a listed property or want to review their existing policy or during the claims process when reinstating a listed property can be more complicated.  We have access to a wide range of specialist policies to ensure you have the required cover for your needs.  

To talk with us about your insurance needs for your listed property, contact Emma Patrick on 01625 547754 or email