What Is Listed Building Insurance?

antoine fruchard Antoine Fruchard  updated on July 23, 2020

Owning a listed building is like experiencing a bit of history all to yourself; but finding home insurance for such a place can leave you feeling a little bit fossilized. If you’re looking for listed building insurance, but not sure what you’re looking for, where to start, or which insurance provider or policy is best for you, you’ve come to the right place.

Check our definitive guide below that will help you learn everything you need to know to ensure you’re making the right decision.

What is a listed building insurance?

A listed building tends to be defined as a building that holds some kind of national or historical importance in a country’s history. This includes buildings that were built before the 1700s, but censuses state that most listed buildings were built between the years of 1700 and 1840.

These buildings are important because they show the history of a country and where they came from, for historians and the public to enjoy or to learn from. Therefore, listed building insurance is a type of insurance policy that aims to comprehensively cover this kind of building in many different ways.

What properties can be listed buildings?

There are a selection of building ‘types’ that could be deemed as a listed building, but the main idea is that if a building or property holds historic importance or is of national interest, then the building will be listed.

For example, monument buildings, protected wreakages, parks and gardens, and areas of battlegrounds will all tend to be listed places. Also larger buildings, such as old theatres and stadiums or arenas will probably be listed buildings.

In terms of residential properties, if you have a property that was lived in by a famous person, such as Shakesphere or a King or Queen of England, a prince, or some part of the Monastry, then these buildings will be listed.

How to check if my property is a listed building?

If you want to check if your building is listed, you’ll need to contact your local council or branch of government.

  • If you live in England, you’ll be happy to know that every single listed building in the country can be found on the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE). If you want to see if your property is on it, just head over to the list and look it up. You can find the NHLE list here. All you’ll need is the postcode of the property, a keyword, such as the name of the property, or a Listed Entry number if you have it.
  • You can also contact your local council and they’ll be able to tell you more information on the property and the rules in your area. This is especially important if you want to work on the property and need to acquire planning permission, which can be very complicated for a listed building.

If you’re looking for a listed building in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you can check on their websites. To make things easy, each list of listed buildings works in the same way!

Another thing to remember, in Scotland, the grades are very much the same as in England, except the grading system is A, B, and C, rather than 1, 2, and 3. 
In Northern Ireland, the grades A, B+, B1, and B2 are used. Only the most special and most important buildings are given the A grading, whereas B1 and B2 grades are usually given to properties with low alterations or some kind of imperfection.

Do I need listed building cover? 

If your standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover you for certain aspects of your home (see below), then yes, you’re going to need listed building cover. Since most listed buildings require special repair and maintenance processes, and original materials to match their listed guidelines, this costs more, thus a special policy is needed.

Since listed buildings require that the building remains the same way as it is when it’s listed, this is more expensive and more time consuming.

What’s more, listed building property owners have a responsibility to maintain their buildings to prevent them from falling into disrepair. It’s highly recommended by the NHLE that you undergo regular maintenance on your property to reduce the risk of major damage and the need for major repair works due to damaged structures. This all costs money, and your insurance plan will be there to help you cover the costs.

What are the different grades of listed buildings?

To help you understand the breakdown the grading system of listed buildings;

  • Grade One – A grade one listed building is of exceptional historic or national interest. Making up around 2.5% of all listed buildings, if you live in one of these buildings, that’s a very special house indeed!
  • Grade Two – A grade two building is made up of around 5.8% of all listed buildings and has significant value to historical and national importance.
  • Grade Three – The chances are you live in a grade three listed property since this makes up around 91.7% of the listed buildings register.

To check out the prices of your property, check out our comparator, or our guidelines table below!

Why is home insurance different for listed buildings from standard home?

While traditional home insurance policies usually cover things like your belongings and the cst if something breaks, like a pipe or fixture, listed building insurance adds extra coverage to things like the structural properties of your building, and extra coverage against things like flooding, fires, storms, and theft.

In short, listed building home insurance is pretty much the same as typical home insurance, except it’s designed to help protect you from the costs of things that could happen to an older home.Since your property is older, it’s more likely to be weaker and need repairs that traditional home insurance policies won’t cover.

In some cases, you can also receive insurance against the cost of original materials your property may use, as well as covering the costs of the building methods that may need to be used during repairs or maintenance.

How much does listed building insurance cost?

The price of a listed property insurance policy will depend on one main thing; the grade of the listed building.

There are three grades that a building can be listed under, and each one will determine the rough cost of your premium. However, we can’t say a definite price since the premium will depend on your individual property and the variables surrounding that.

As a rough price guide, we’ll use a three bedroom property with standard locks, multiple door entrances and somebody home all the time and no problems with the occupants acquiring insurance.

  • For a standard house, a home insurance policy will cost you around £180 per year, with contents cover.
  • For a listed building equivalent; a Grade 2 listed building home insurance policy will cost you around £250 per year.

What extra policies can I add to my listed building home insurance?

In addition to the standard policies that most listed buildings insurance policies offer, there are a few optional extras you may or may like to add. These will tend to affect your insurance premium, but they can be invaluable if and when you need to claim on them.

Extra Policy FeatureDefinition of Feature
Accidental DamageIf you break something or ruin something in your home by accident, this kind of policy will cover you for the cost of repairs or replacement. These can include situations like breaking a window or ruining a carpet with red wine or paint.
Emergency Situation CoverIf your property is subject to an emergency situation, such as a burst pipe, electrical fault, and sometimes structural damage.
Personal Belongings Cover (Contents Cover)Personal belongings insurance is much like the coverage from a traditional home insurance policy, and covers your belongings, including mobile phones, computers, and jewellery. These belongings are covered even when they are outside the home.
Legal Expenses CoverageIf you need to cover any legal costs, this is the coverage for you. If you have a property dispute, or someone gets injured in your home, this coverage will help manage the costs, or will cover them completely.
Unoccupied Property CoverIf you’re leaving your property empty for around a month or more, traditional home insurance policies can become void, so you’ll need this extra to ensure you’re covered.
‘Heave and Subsidence’If your property is at risk of either heave, subsidence, or both, then remember than normal home insurance doesn’t tend to cover this, and you’ll need this extra to cover costs.
Extra coverage – Listed building policies

Is listed home insurance more expensive?

Typically speaking, yes, home insurance listed building premiums are more expensive than traditional home insurance policies, but this is for a number of reasons. For example, the cost of repairs, the materials used, and the way the repairs are carried out tend to be how the listed building requires them to be carried out, which aren’t the most modern methods.

These usually cost more, thus home insurance for listed building premiums are higher. Since most listed buildings are also hundreds of years old, they’re more prone to damage, whether that’s just structural integrity or risk of damage from the weather.

All this combined means the chances that you’re going to claim on your insurance policy are much higher, and the cost of the premiums will reflect this.

What are the best listed building insurance? 

To help you find the best listed building house insurance policies, check out our table below. All prices are to be taken as a guideline only, and your individual price will depend on the details of your individual property.

Insurance ProviderQuote PriceDetails
homeprotect logo£383
  • Covered up to £588,000 rebuild value
  • Includes Legal Cover
  • Includes Content Cover
  • Includes Home Emergency Cover
  • Includes Replacement Locks & Keys
  • Includes New for Old and Freezer Contents Cover
  • Includes Alternative Accomodation Cover
logo budget 1£392
  • Covered up to £588,000 rebuild value
  • Includes Legal CoverIncludes Content Cover
  • Includes Home Emergency CoverIncludes Replacement Locks & Keys
  • Includes New for Old and Freezer Contents Cover
  • Includes Alternative Accomodation Cover
logo dialdirect£426
  • Covered up to £588,000 rebuild value
  • Includes Legal CoverIncludes Content Cover
  • Includes Home Emergency Cover
  • Includes Replacement Locks & Keys
  • Includes New for Old and Freezer Contents Cover
  • Includes Alternative Accomodation Cover
magnet logo£703
  • Covered up to £588,000 rebuild value
  • Includes Legal CoverIncludes Content Cover
  • Includes Home Emergency CoverIncludes Replacement Locks & Keys
  • Includes New for Old and Freezer Contents Cover
  • Includes Alternative Accomodation Cover
quoteline logo£984
  • Covered up to £588,000 rebuild value
  • Includes Legal Cover free for the first year
  • Includes Content Cover
  • Add Home Emergency Cover for £39.95
  • Add Replacement Locks & Keys for £18.85
  • Includes New for Old and Freezer Contents Cover
  • Includes Alternative Accomodation Cover
intelligent insurance logo£1029
  • Covered up to £588,000 rebuild value
  • Includes Legal CoverIncludes Content Cover
  • Includes Home Emergency CoverIncludes Replacement Locks & Keys
  • Includes New for Old and Freezer Contents Cover
  • Includes Alternative Accomodation Cover
Best listed building insurance

Prices are quoted for a Grade 1 listed building with a rebuild value of £550,000 and Contents Cover up to £50,000.

Do I need specialist cover if only part of my property is listed?

In short, yes.

Even if only part of your building is listed, you’ll need listed building insurance. Even in seemingly small cases, say the roof, or even just the roof fixtures of your property are listed, you will still need specialist listed building insurance to cover you since traditional home insurance policies won’t cover repairs, damages, or maintenance costs.