While the Government and activists are actively campaigning for greener building processes, there are still many limitations that can put off some people from embracing the idea of living off the grid in a fully sustainable house. A few years ago it was almost impossible to get a mortgage and sort home insurance for a proper eco-home. Gradually, it is becoming easier but the bad press that eco-homes were receiving during the 90s still has its echo.
In this article I want to dispel the doubts and show you that you don’t have to be afraid of eco home insurance and mortgages. From the technical point of view a green home is still a non-standard construction hence you won’t be able to shop for your home insurance on a high-street. Many of the companies that are advertising on TV will just politely turn you away. However, in Britain there is a long tradition of so-called niche home insurance companies, which will be happy to welcome you as their client.
Besides, non-standard construction varies significantly from one project to another. More than one million homes in Britain come under the classification of “concrete pre-fab homes”. Those were built in the 50s in order to provide cheap housing for the war-ridden country. No-one expected them to last more than 10 or 15 years, after which, new better homes would have been built. As we all know, it never happened and, miraculously, the concrete pre-fabs are still standing. Not that the mortgage companies are too fond of them!
However, eco-homes, although still considered non-standard construction, will be always looked at differently. Very few home insurance companies will have objections against a properly built timber-frame building. You will struggle with a straw bale house or one that has a traditional thatched roof. People are yet to be convinced that straw bale houses, if built properly, are as fire-proof as wooden buildings.
Generally, eco-house owners pay more for they home insurance but not a lot more and in some cases the policy terms are pretty much the same – you just have to shop around. Your best friend in this search process is Yellow Pages or Google. Just remember that ALL financial organisations in Britain (including home insurance companies) are regulated and authorised by Financial Services Authority (fsa.gov.uk). Check the FSA Register section and search for the company you wish to take the policy out with before you sign any documents!