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Listed Buildings Insurance in the UK from Intasure

Private dwelling granted Grade II or
Grade II* status. In Scotland, buildings
granted B and C status. Listed buildings
to be of:

  • standard construction
  • wattle and daub
  • lathe and plaster
  • timber framed
  • cob
  • Very competitive rates
  • All risk cover
  • Underwritten by Lloyd's of London

Listed Buildings Insurance

Listed Homes

Within the UK there are approximately 500,000 homes which have been listed by English Heritage either directly or indirectly. A listing places strict legally enforceable restrictions on any internal or external alterations, planning, change of use and maintenance undertaken by the current listed property owner. The regulations also cover demolition and extensions. To obtain official permission to undertake any of the above works the listed building householder must apply to the Conservation Officer at their local district council to obtain “Listed Building Consent” LBC. The penalties for failing to obtain listed building consent can be severe. At the very least a court may order the property owner to return the building to its pre altered state. At its most draconian the property owner may face criminal charges.

Historically, the system of state protected structures was formalised with the introduction of the “Ancient Monuments Protection Act” in 1882. Historic and culturally important structures such as Stonehenge were protected by this act as a “scheduled ancient monument”. However, it was the aftermath of the Nazi World War 11 aerial bombing campaign which accelerated the development of building protection. It began in earnest post war with the combined efforts of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and three hundred members of the Royal Institute of British Architects appointed and supervised by the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments.

Today, overall responsibility for the English system of Listing lies with the Secretary of State / Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Their powers have been invested in a body known as English Heritage. The relevant statutory law from which their authority is derived is the “Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Different systems and procedures have been devolved to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Wales the official listing authority is the CADW In Scotland it is Historic Scotland and in Northern Ireland it is the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency

It is not just houses which can be listed. Other examples include seaside piers (approx 80), bridges, sculptures, factories, public houses, theatres, monuments, war memorials, cemeteries, churches (approx 45% of Grade I listed structures) and even milestones and mileposts. As a general rule, properties or structures constructed prior to 1700 and in original condition will be listed; structures built before 1840 will generally be listed; properties built after 1840 may be listed if English Heritage consider them to be of special interest or an exceptional example of a specific build type. Furthermore, other important criteria would be structures built by well known and notable architects; buildings which present important examples of different building techniques; buildings of special historical interest linked with a notable historic figure or event. For example John Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool is now owned by the National Trust. Lastly, a collection of buildings may have a “group” architectural value such as a famous square, terrace or model village. As the Gestalt psychology movement advocated – sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.


The English Heritage and CADW listing system is categorised as follows:

GRADE IStructures of Exceptional Interest.2.5%9,300Buckingham Palace, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Palace of Westminster,Royal, Albert Hall, York Minster
GRADE II*Structures of Particular Importance and of more than Special Interest.5.5%20,500Coliseum Theatre, Battersea Power Station, Broadcasting House
GRADE IIStructures of Special Interest warranting Preservation.92%343,000Alexandra Palace, BT Tower, Whitechapel Bell Foundry


The listing system in Scotland has been devolved and is administered by Historic Scotland . It gains its powers from the “Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997. It is categorised as follows:

CATEGORY ABuildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic.8%Forth Bridge, Edinburgh Castle, Craigellachie Bridge
CATEGORY BBuildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular periods style or building type which may have been altered.60%Harbourmasters House at Fife, National War Museum of Scotland
CATEGORY CBuildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style or building type, as originally constructed or altered; and simple, traditional buildings which group well with others in Category A and B or are part of a planned group such as an estate or an industrial complex.32%Statue of John Knox, War Memorial to Dundee City Police


The Listing system in Northern Ireland has been devolved and is administered by the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency Its authority derives from Article 42 of the “Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. It is categorised as follows:

GRADE ABuildings of National Importance and superior examples.Bangor Abbey, Grand Opera House, St Columb’s Cathedral
GRADE B+Buildings of regional importance or buildings that would qualify on Grade A but for lower quality design or subsequent additions.Dundarave House, Necarne
GRADE B1Buildings of local importance.Campbell College, Linen Hall Library
GRADE B2Buildings of local importance but of lower quality than Grade B1. 

Conservation Areas

A Conservation area is an area of special architectural or historical interest. The difference between a Conservation Area and an English Heritage Grade listing is that Conservation Area Consent is only concerned with the exterior appearance and the materials used whereas a listed building has restrictions placed upon both the exterior and the interior of the building.

General Information:

For new listed property homeowners it is particularly important to check that any previous works carried out on the property have adhered to the correct bureaucratic procedure. Listed Buildings Consent should have been obtained from the Conservation Officer at the local district council. Otherwise the dreaded expression Caveat Emptor rears its head. In other words, the current occupier will be legally liable for any further works deemed necessary by English Heritage and this may include returning the property to its original condition prior to the unauthorised work. Bearing this in mind, It may be advisable to employ the services of an experienced listed building conveyancing Solicitor during the purchase process. Quote Desk are also looking to develop a clause in our Legal Expenses Insurance to cover such events should they arise. It is also good practice to take photographic evidence of the listed property at the point of occupation in case visual evidence is needed at a future point in time. Please also bear in mind that the listing order often includes the property’s curtailage which is defined as the ground and its surrounding area and may include walls close to the property.

There are many restriction put in place to safeguard the appearance and integrity of a listed building. Permission under Listed Building Consent LPC which at the present time is usually free may be needed before a variety of tasks including ordinary maintenance tasks are undertaken. For example these include, alterations to staircases, panelling or fireplaces; painting over brickwork; change of use of the building; changing the windows or adding Velux, dormer or skylight windows; interfering with the external property surfaces; moving or demolishing internal walls either load bearing or non load bearing ; erecting satellite dishes or aerials. If in doubt it is best to check with your local Conservation Officer.

A Listed Building Consent LPC application is fairly detailed and would involve obtained a detailed site plan, ordinance survey map, a full and detailed description of the works and a full set of architectural scale drawings detailing the commencement position and the end result with internal building footprints, floor plans and changes to elevations. In the event of an official declinature from the Conservation Officer there is an Appeals process which is handled by the Secretary of State for the Environment. Anecdotal evidence suggests this can be a lengthy process.


The Listed Property Show is scheduled to take place at Olympia in London from February 20 – 21 2010. It will be open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 20th and 10am to 4pm on Sunday 21st. Further information can be obtained by visiting or by telephone on 01795 844919.

There are a number of useful web based advice centres aimed at the Listed Building owner. Two very informative sites are (the Historic Building Advisory Service) and (the Listed Property Owners Club). Information available on these sites includes advice on available grants, loans available for listed property and VAT / tax issues.

Intasure ® is a trading name of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909.

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