Coach house insurance is a bespoke and niche type of insurance policy tailored to specifically include freehold and leasehold garages underneath a residential, coach house property. There are some slight, but crucial differences between coach house insurance and ordinary home insurance.
Standard buildings and contents insurance policies do not allow for leasehold garages – and therefor would not pay out in the event of a claim.
If you managed to set the policy up online, or by telephoning a call centre by referring to the type of property as a flat for example, it is very likely that if you submitted a claim the insurer would simply decline – because you do not live in a flat. It could be perceived you have failed to tell the insurer of the true type of property, or that when you received your policy documents referring to the building as a flat – you failed to tell them that there was an error. Having not paid the correct premiums to reflect the correct risk, you could end up having a claim declined. What is certain, a call handler in a call centre can assure you that it’s all okay during a telephone call, but you should insist on the insurer confirming in writing that they understand the garages are forming part of the building, and must be covered under the buildings insurance schedule. You also must make sure that your type of property is correctly described as a coach house.
Without that guarantee, you could end up being uninsured and not knowing about it until you put a claim in. Insurers are not obliged to pay out when the facts on the original application are incorrect.
The best course of action would be to seek out a bespoke and specialist insurer that insures coach houses as part of their business – and not as a one-off. You are more likely to speak to advisors who know and understand how things work – they know what a peppercorn leasehold is, they understand the liabilities of the freeholder. Your policy paperwork will be exact and you will have peace of mind that you are adequately insured for every eventuality!
Your policy must note all the garages which form part of the building, on the buildings insurance schedule for them to be covered in the event of claim. Therefore most high street insurers, banks and building societies, and online providers do not insure coach house properties. The liability of insuring the garages is too complex for standard online policies and requires more and more in-depth underwriting, and claims handling. The cost of providing coach house insurance is too high and specialised for most insurers to get involved in. You must talk to a specialist to make sure that your liabilities as the owner, are fully covered.