Listed Buildings are considered to be a precious part of the nation’s heritage, and often, a unique building will need some form of unique cover. Listed Property owners can experience problems finding cost-effective insurance, especially when dealing with policy restrictions that may be very difficult for them given the type of property.
A Listed Building is a property considered to be of historic significance that should be protected. Listed Buildings fall within grades, which vary to some degree whether the home is in England, Wales, Scotland, or Ireland. Just because a property is listed, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a manor house, mansion, or castle, and a small cottage can just as easily be considered for Listed Property status.
It is usually a requirement that original materials and traditional building methods are used when carrying out a repair, which can make the cost of putting things right considerably higher than with a more modern build. For a relatively small amount of damage, where you might normally pay for the cost yourselves, you might find the expense on a Listed Building may push you towards contacting your insurance company instead. It is essential therefore that you work with a provider who fully understands the nature of a Listed property, and can advise you accordingly.
Many Listed Buildings have unique characteristics to them, which is the main reason why they are earmarked to be preserved in the first place. It is important that their status is disclosed, so the insurer is aware of this before they even take on the risk. If a potential insurer is not aware of the status, or if their question set does not seem to ask, it may leave you in a position where your claim is not paid. Insurance policies usually have a condition where non-disclosure of a material fact can affect the policy cover, so it never hurts to double-check that your provider is aware, especially if you don’t remember being asked about it.
Depending on where your property is situated will depend on which public body is responsible for looking after the environment in your area. It is worth studying the information on their website, as it may have some implications as to your requirements if your home does incur a loss. For example, Historic England will expect full reinstatement of the building if more than 40 percent of the historic fabric survives a loss. Even if your intention might have been to just cut your losses and move on, stipulations such as this can result in a significant cost to you as the homeowner, again making it extra important that your home insurance is able to cover suitably.
Also, given the increased materials and labour costs associated, the cost to rebuild the property compared to a more typical house could be significantly higher, as well as being difficult to predict. There are several free calculators online that allow you to estimate a rebuild cost, but generally, they can’t be used for Listed Buildings, which need to be considered on a more case-by-case basis. We recommend a specialist quantity surveyor be used to provide your valuation, and that you update it every few years to ensure your cover is sufficient.
Lastly, it is worth partnering up with a specialist insurance provider to ensure that your needs are met. Listed Buildings are a very different proposition to a lot of modern buildings, and even if the building materials used are fairly recognizable, there will still be other characteristics to consider. GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. are experts in dealing with non-standard constructions, Listed buildings, and a combination of the two. Our team of experienced advisors is on hand to ensure that the cover meets all of your requirements, as well as keeping within a reasonable budget.
Give us a call on 0800 612 9376 to discuss the requirements of your unique property, we would love to help!