The Importance of Non-Standard Building Insurance for Care Homes

The importance of finding the right non-standard building cover for your care home

As providers of insurance and risk management solutions to the social care sector for forty years, Towergate Insurance understand how difficult the last 18 months have been for health and social care providers.

As providers of insurance and risk management solutions to the social care sector for forty years, Towergate Insurance understand how difficult the last 18 months have been for health and social care providers, with the tightening of Insurers’ underwriting requirements across the sector, together with the obvious problems and risks raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Insurers that offer cover to the care sector, are beginning to apply significantly increased premiums and conditions to premises that are considered non-standard construction, such as homes with cladding, flat roofs and timber framed constructions. Because timber constructions burn with an increased heat release, they are extremely difficult to extinguish and are often unable to be saved, making fire a significant risk for insurers. This in turn, has a negative effect on insurers’ losses, which they base rating and capacity on.

About the author

Carolyn Baker Mellor Care Insurance Articles AuthorCarolyn Baker-Mellor is a respected industry leader with over 35 years' experience within the care insurance sector. She works across a wide spectrum of insurance product and policy development, delivery and optimisation for care industry clients, including managing global corporate accounts, working closely with trade associations, and helping clients in protecting their businesses and personal assets.


The rise in premiums for non-standard building insurance

We are seeing the premiums for such premises increasing in excess of 100% from last year, with insurers sometimes only offering cover for 50%, or less, of the premises, meaning brokers are having to source cover from other insurers, to make up the 100% protection required.  We are also seeing the requirement for increased excess for non-standard constructions, typically £5,000 for claims for damage to the premises, and a further requirement beginning to emerge of approved fire suppression systems for the kitchen, which can typically cost thousands of pounds to install.

This is an ever-evolving situation, and some insurers may be more likely to apply this approach far more regularly than others. At Towergate, we work closely with a range of specialist markets, so we are likely to have options and solutions that we can discuss with you, should you be affected by this.

Care home insurance from Towergate

We hope that you find this general guidance of use. However, there will, no doubt, be times when more specific guidance is required for your care home, and we will be pleased to assist you when it comes to arranging your insurance.

To find out more, please contact Carolyn Baker-Mellor on 07940 447532 or email

Specialist policies for home care services, hospices, charities and many other care providers are available too. See the related policies section in this guide or view the care and medical insurance section on our website.

As well as great insurance, our care home customers have access to all these useful features free of charge.

CyberHR - Online care-specific human resources management tool.

24-hour legal advice line - Giving you access to industry-specific qualified solicitors and barristers for impartial advice over the phone, at any time. You don’t need to have a claim brought against you, so even if you suspect on might be raised, contact them for advice on how to handle the situation.

Bespoke legal expenses - Protects you and your business in the event of legal disputes and provides cover for the costs of solicitors, barristers, expert witnesses and court proceedings.

24-hour stress helpline - The care industry sees a high level of stress amongst staff. Our free, confidential service offers employers the resource to provide their duty of care. This can prove a vital tool in helping your staff cope and keeping up your standards.