Many people find on the purchase of a listed building that they encounter a number of problems when it comes to the arrangement of insurance. Firstly, on telephoning many of the major UK homeowner insurance companies, a request for a quotation is met with a” sorry, we don’t insure listed buildings”. We are often asked why are listed buildings discriminated against by many home insurance companies. The simple answer is that in the event of a claim, insurers are concerned about the increased costs and time factor in having to seek approval for works to be carried out. In the cases of many properties, repairs have to be carried out by specialist companies using sympathetic materials which may come at a fairly hefty additional cost. On top of this, it’s the old adage, time is money. The longer an insurance claim takes to settle, the likelihood is, it will be more expensive. With restoration and reinstatement work having to be referred to the relevant authority to keep within the bounds of the law, some works are often delayed by a considerable time.
As well as the cost and time factor, many insurers do not like some of the building techniques employed in the construction of listed buildings, wattle and daub, timber frames, weatherboarding, all of these are alien concepts to many home insurance providers.
The good news is, there are still a number of providers that are prepared to offer insurance for listed buildings and premiums should still be reasonable. When applying for your listed building insurance quotation, the insurer or broker will need to know the rebuilding cost of the property. If you are accepting a mortgage on the property or are having a professional valuation and survey carried out, the rebuilding cost should be fairly accurate. However, the valuing for insurance reinstatement purposes on this type of property has always been a contentious issue. Most surveyors agree that valuing a listed building for insurance purposes is a complex affair, it is widely accepted that repair costs following a claim are more expensive than for a usual property taking in to account the cost of the building materials involved.
Certainly any work on a damaged listed building can be complex. Demolition work can be lengthy as existing structures have to be taken down carefully and all efforts made to salvage the damaged parts with the view to reusing them in the restoration work. Another consideration is the necessity to factor in additional amounts of money to allow for upgrading of the property to meet current health and safety legislation.
The upshot of this all is that owners of listed building should not attempt to “guess” at a sum insured by perhaps taking the market value and adding a bit on. If you do not have a valuation for insurance purposes from a lender, then a survey from an organisation versed in valuing listed buildings for insurance purposes should be sought.
For a Listed Building Insurance contact Assetsure.