country house


Signs your home may be under-insured

Homes are often under-insured due to circumstances that may not be obvious

Living in a listed building is a privilege which gives property owners a fascinating insight into the country’s rich heritage.

Listed buildings can be historically important or may include architecturally important features – but whatever the reason for its listing, there are some important things to consider when it comes to insuring your home.

One of NFU Mutual’s building insurance valuers, Barrett Corp & Harrington, specialists in listed and heritage buildings, reports that many of the private homes they assess for buildings insurance valuations are underinsured.

Should your listed property be damaged, there can be additional factors beyond what would be involved with a non-listed building that need to be taken into account when predicting rebuilding costs.

Listed buildings must be repaired or rebuilt using the same materials and building techniques originally used. For example, using stone from a particular quarry can be more expensive.

Specialist contractors with the necessary expertise may be needed and these also tend to be more expensive.

Ten signs your home may be underinsured:

1. The insurance value is based on a mortgage valuation

A mortgage valuation provides a value for lending purposes and is NOT an indication of the cost to reinstate the property.

2. The property is a listed building and/or in a conservation area

Work on properties of special architectural or historic interest will require Conservation Officer approval and may require specialist craftsmen and materials.

3. The building is made from stone

In many cases, the stone may be unique and difficult to obtain which adds to the expense.

4. The property has extensive outbuildings

Garages, store sheds, brick walls, courtyards, driveways and even tennis courts need to be included in the valuation.

5. The building was built before 1920

Older buildings were built to last, however better quality means higher costs.

6. The property has recently been extended, altered or refurbished

Has the property been re-valued since the work was completed?

7. The building has never had a proper valuation

This would suggest the sums insured are based on guesswork which is never a good measure.

8. The building is ‘green’ or ‘high tech’

Eco friendly properties are often of a non-standard construction so are more expensive to reinstate.

9. The location of the building

Some properties may have difficult or restricted access, making working more difficult which increases costs.

10. The insurance valuation is based on a percentage of the market value

The market value has no correlation with the insurance value therefore this is not an accurate method of calculation.