If you need coach house insurance – or insurance for any type of outbuilding that has been converted into a dwelling -then you may be wondering what cover is available to you and at what cost.
At Emerald Life we pride ourselves on being able to offer house insurance for lots of situations that don’t quite fit the regular home insurance mould and coach house insurance is one of them.
Our Coach House Insurance:
- Buildings and contents for coach houses and abodes above garages
- Buildings insurance can include cover for garages underneath coach houses even if they are leased out. For that it is best to speak to an adviser
- Contents cover for coach houses and contents in garage underneath.
- Tailored to you – are there other things we should know about your property? Older property? Listed? We’ll try to provide the right cover for you.
- Coach house insurance for unoccupied second and holiday homes and landlord insurance.
What Is a Coach House?
The definition of a coach house can vary. While strictly a coach house is a home above a row of garages where the owner of the home is usually also the freeholder for the entire building, converted stables or other mews buildings are often called ‘coach houses’.
Picture historical buildings where the household’s horses would be kept in stables underneath the property – or even in them at one time! However, even with new modern home buiders the space-saving design has made them popular as a type of new build homes.
Mostly, coach houses aren’t in new developments. Lots of old mews houses in cities are also above garages. So if you have an older city central flat, that could easily be classed as a coach house and require the right insurance, if the flat owner also has the obligation to insure the freehold.
The freeholder that lives within the property will generally have the use of one of the garages, with the others potentially being leased to the surrounding properties.
While there are plenty of advantages to this design there are some obvious issues that need to be considered, especially with matters like insurance when you have to consider how the responsibility for different parts of the building is distributed across all the various parties.
Tell Your Home Insurer
If you live in a coach house – or any property where parts are used by different people – it is very important that you inform your insurer. It would be very easy to make the assumption that you live in a flat and not to mention the garages underneath, which may mean that the freehold is not insured.
However, if you did have to make a claim and you had told the insurer you at insuring a flat rather than a coach house then there is a risk your claim could be refused as you would have likely taken out contents cover rather than buildings and contents cover. Coach houses may be treated as standard houses, but particularly with older properties thay may have a different risk profile and so the insurer needs to know so that they can provide the right cover.
Find The Right House Insurer
A lot of insurers don’t even provide coach house insurance. It can be a non-standard form of home insurance and so often requires a specialist. Lots of big players in the insurance market won’t deal with small specialisms as they focus on insuring lots of simpler properties, with a customer service level that matches.
At Emerald Life we pride ourselves on insuring all sorts of non-standard situations – unoccupied home insurance, holiday home insurance, probate property cover – and coach house insurance is one of the products we can provide.
But whichever insurer you choose to go with, it is likely that you will need to call them and talk about your situation. Online quote forms may be quick and easy but may not always take account of non-standard situations like yours. And if you think that you should have let an insurer know something and yet it wasn’t asked in the online journey, then you need to call the insurer. Any policy may be invalid if there was something that you feel you should have told the insurer but didn’t.
Make sure you also get confirmation that the insurer understands the property you are describing. Insurance call centres often handle a huge variety of different products but will often have just a few scripts to work from. Call centre staff are hardworking and committed, but human error is only natural and just you stating “coach house insurance” may not register with them that they need to consider further questions or a different type of cover. You can’t tell if you’re getting a new trainee or an experienced manager – or if indeed either of these have been trained in non-standard properties.
At Emerald Life we have trained underwriters on hand who are experienced in catering to non-standard situations including coach house insurance.
A good specialist home insurer should have insured lots of homes like yours and know all about how the policy works. Do you know what a Peppercorn Leasehold is or have any idea about the liabilities of the freeholder? Your policy must also include a rebuild value for all the garages which form part of the building, on the buildings Insurance Schedule for them to be covered in the event of claim.
Your insurer should have a deep understanding of this and should be able to help you understand the type of coach house insurance available to you.