The Fixer: Thatched cottage insurance

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Dear Fixer,
My wife and I are buying a gorgeous, thatched cottage in a small village not too far from our current home.

I can't wait to live in it, but we are finding it hard to find an insurance company that will offer us buildings and contents insurance.

Our current insurer has refused to cover the cottage due to fire risk and a quick online search has not proved very fruitful.

I am planning to ask the current owner what insurance company he uses, but do you have any advice on finding insurance for a property of this kind?

D Hawkins, Exeter

Dear Mr Hawkins,

Thatched cottages scare insurers because the cost of repairing damage caused by a fire can up to 10 times as much as for a home with a tiled roof.

However, you can get so-called non-standard buildings insurance for properties of this kind.

This cover is broadly similar to the buildings element of ordinary home insurance. But you will probably face the added expense of paying a surveyor or professional valuer to calculate the rebuild cost of your cottage - just in case.

You may also find that the policy comes with a higher excess, which means you will pay more towards the cost of any claims you make.

That does not mean you can't shop around for the best deal, though. There are lots of insurance companies offering non-standard home insurance policies, so contact as many as you can rather than simply plumping for the insurer used by the current owner.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.
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