Thatched roofing is sustainable, beautiful and provides a traditional rustic charm, but it can cause problems when it comes to trying to insure a property.
Outside of building a home in a cave or other natural shelter, thatched roofing was one of the earliest known roofing materials, but was also one that remained popular in the UK for thousands of years, through different eras, civilisations and cultural epochs.
It only finally stopped being used as agriculture began to decline at the end of the 19th century, but remained a traditional roofing style with specialists who would repair existing buildings, and has come into vogue again as sustainable building materials have been prioritised.
With that said, thatched buildings have a very particular set of needs compared to other materials such as slate and shingles, and so either specialist thatched housing or thatched pub insurance will be needed to ensure full coverage.
The main reason for this is that thatch, made primarily of straw in the UK, is a dry biomass material that is exceptionally susceptible to catching fire, and although thatched roof fires do not spread quite as quickly as one might expect, they are at a higher risk of catching fire than, for example, slate or metal.
As well as this, birds, rodents and insects can cause damage to a roof, it lasts half the lifespan of a slate roof without constant maintenance and any damage caused to the roof requires expensive repair due to thatching being a labour-intensive process.
The angle of the roof also needs to be steeper than normal, because if the roof angle is not steep enough, rain and snow will remain on the roof which can speed up the rotting process or even cause it to collapse.
Because of this, a specialist thatched insurance will be contingent on a different set of requirements, such as having adequate fire precaution measures, a pledge to keep the roof well cared for and restrictions on what kinds of heating systems you are allowed to use.