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Accurate Sums Insured For Listed Properties

Published: 16/02/2017

Accurate Sums Insured For Listed Properties

by Jim Tuhey, Flint Claims Manager

At Flint, as a professional insurance broker, it is our top priority to properly advise our clients on the full extent of their insurance needs. This is especially important in respect of insurance on Listed properties.

Specialist advice and cover

Having a dedicated team to handle high value homes means that Flint works with the full range of quality high net worth insurers. This includes specialist insurance providers who have the required experience to deal with Listed and unusual properties.

Realistic sums insured on a Listed property is essential

Sums insured must be set at level which will protect the property owner in respect of the substantial financial outlays that would be placed upon the owner of a Listed building in the event of a disaster such as a major flood or fire.

The very fact that a building is ‘Listed’ means that two important factors come into play.

  • The property has a special design and/or construction that will require specialist design, materials and workmanship to repair or re-instate.
  • The statutory constraints and obligations placed on an owner of a Listed building requires that any damaged property must be preserved and re-instated.

With a combination of these two factors, in the event of an insurance loss, high costs are incurred due to the specialist materials and skilled workmanship, coupled with the need to preserve, often uneconomically, structures and building elements. Additional professional fees are also incurred.

All of the above will impose a much higher rate of expenditure over and above that which would have been incurred on a standard type construction with an unlisted building.

Jim comments

“In my own claims experience, with a severely damaged, unlisted building it has usually been the case that it is more economical to demolish and re-build in a cost-effective way as a complete new build.

“A major advantage of this is that temporary propping and shoring costs are diminished and a major factor is that when this property becomes a new build, then VAT is zero rated on a domestic property.

“Similarly, I have had extensive experience on Listed properties where the damage has been so extensive that in normal circumstances, demolition and clearance would have been the most economical way forward. However, the constraints imposed by the various ‘Heritage’ authorities have meant that remaining structures have to be temporarily propped and supported and in many cases, fire damaged elements such as timber beams etc. have to be re-used over and above the cost of replacing with new. Because the property is now an extensive repair, the additional costs are compounded by the fact that repair attracts VAT and a large percentage is added to the claim costs.

“Flint Insurance has recently been advising a client with a substantial Listed property estate and we recommended to add an additional overall cost for temporary propping, shoring and support, with an extra 20% for the VAT on all costs.

“On further external search, we were pleased to find that the professional bodies advising on insurance re-building cost assessments were of the same opinion, especially in respect of the addition of VAT to cover any additional costs of repairs.

“Ultimately we must recommend proper independent specialist valuations on all properties and this is particularly pertinent with respect to Listed buildings.”

Flint Insurance works with insurers and other professional partners able to provide this service and would be pleased to direct you to one of these for a building valuation.

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