The cost of insuring a Victorian property has risen almost three times faster than comparable costs for a modern home, says financial expert Peter Sharkey.

Anyone who has ever tackled a seemingly straightforward DIY task with the intention of finishing it in double-quick time will understand the latent truth of a mantra regularly voiced by my brother: “There’s no such thing as a five-minute job.”

Jobs undertaken in older houses invariably take longer, probably because there’s always a possibility you may expose something which is likely to take at least twice as much work to rectify.

The risk of exposing old plumbing, electrical wiring or discovering your attic is damp as a result of it not being properly ventilated can be expensive to remedy, which explains why so many insurance companies consider period properties a greater risk than the modern variety. This is reflected in the comparative rise in home insurance premia for properties of different ages.

For example, home insurance costs (combining building and contents) on newly-constructed homes built rose by less than 4% between 2021-22. Premiums on properties built between 1955-70 increased by 7.5% over the same period, whereas properties constructed primarily during the immediate post-war era incurred an 8.2% increase in insurance costs. The rise in insurance costs for properties erected during the Victorian era (1837-1901) soared by 11.6% during the period June 2021 to June 2022.

Ken Carter, head of insurance services at personal finance website Moneymapp, warns that a property’s age is not the only factor insurers taken into account when insurers calculate your annual premium.

“There are a number of factors insurers consider,” says Mr Carter. “For example, detached homes present a different type of risk to terraced or semi-detached properties, while annual insurance on apartments is usually organised by a management company.

“Remember too that insurers will also require details of any area of your roof which happens to be flat. If the area is quite large, insurers will levy a higher premium because they consider the risk of water-pooling and the likelihood of subsequent damage to be much higher than if the roof were pitched.

“Finally, don’t forget that the materials used in your property’s construction will also be taken into account by your insurer. People living in homes with thatched roofs will appreciate this – and confirm that due to fire risk, their annual insurance premiums will be higher than if they had a traditional slate or tiled roof.”

Research undertaken by suggests that as a result of rapidly-increasing labour and material costs, building insurance premiums rose by a further 5% during the second half of 2022 – a visible and potentially expensive confirmation that inflation will be with us for some time.

Fortunately, it is possible to keep a tight rein on home insurance cover costs, as Mr Carter explains.

“The first port of call for people renewing their buildings or home and contents insurance should be to websites such as,” he advises.

“Here, homeowners can compare costs and details of dozens of insurance companies in the knowledge that there’s a good chance they could save significant sums of money. At the beginning of March 2023, average home insurance savings exceeded £140.”

With inflation proving a lingering annoyance, it seems probable that property insurance costs will continue to test new highs this year. However, as Mr Carter confirms: “We all have the opportunity to compare and save on our buildings insurance with just the click of a mouse.”

This too is unlikely to prove a five-minute job, but as prices rise, it’s an opportunity we should take.

For more financial advice, check out Peter Sharkey’s regular blog, The Week In Numbers.

This column is for general information only and cannot be relied on as financial advice for individuals. Consult your professional adviser.