Home Insurance

Signs your home may be underinsured

country house

Are you underestimating how much your bricks and mortar are worth?

Many of us are accustomed to estimating the value of our contents when reviewing our home insurance, but how confident are you that you’ve correctly estimated the costs for rebuilding your home? Unless it’s your profession, it may not be something you’re very familiar with, but it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure the chosen insured amount is enough to cover the cost of a disaster.

This is known as the ‘sum insured’, and it’s the maximum amount that an insurance company will pay out. In the event of needing to rebuild part, or all, of your property and the sum insured is too low, you could end up needing to make up the shortfall, which could stretch to several thousands of pounds. And particularly for high-value, larger or more unusual homes, calculating an accurate rebuild sum can be challenging.

So how can you make your way to a confident rebuild sum?

Some of the things to look out for and consider to avoid underinsurance on your building:

1. The insurance value isn't based on a mortgage valuation or a % of market value – neither of these are indications of what it will cost to reinstate the property and are therefore likely to be an inaccurate estimate for rebuilding costs.

2. Listed buildings status or a conservation area, which may require additional permissions and specialist craftsmen and materials, could result in a higher sum insured being required.

3. The property’s construction materials - for example, stone or non-standard materials such as ‘green or high tech’ can be unique and difficult to obtain.

4. Extensive outbuildings, garages, store sheds, brick walls, courtyards, driveways and even tennis courts need to be included in the valuation.

5. The age of the property.

6. The fixtures and fittings within the property and any recent extensions, alterations or refurbishments.

7. The location and access to the building and site.

If you are in any doubt as to the accurate rebuild value of your property, please consult a surveyor.

NFU Mutual Bespoke Insurance is specially designed for those with high value homes with contents valued over £150,000, offering a tailored approach to protecting your property and cherished possessions.