Grade I and II listed buildings are unique properties, presenting a wide range of non-standard risks.
Yet many owners are unaware of the complexities involved, resulting in many properties being under-insured. So how can you make sure your listed building is properly protected?
The FIRST STEP is to arrange an accurate valuation from a specialist chartered quantity surveyor. Specialist is the operative word, as many valuations are determined by simply viewing the exterior construction. This is not appropriate in the case of a listed building, where the inner structure may have been built at an earlier date. It may also contain historic features that would require restoration by specialist craftsmen in the event of damage.
The SECOND STEP is to take advice from (your broker) about reinstatement costs. You need to determine the most important features of your property (which may well have resulted in it being awarded listed status), and how much it would cost to rebuild the entire building. In the event of fire, flood or other damage, building materials such as bricks and tiles would need to be carefully matched, requiring specialist or period materials, which could substantially increase rebuilding costs.
The THIRD STEP is to actively manage risks. Listed properties are particularly vulnerable to fire and theft, and it is essential to keep wiring up to date and arrange an inspection from a registered electrician every five years. You should also ensure your property is as secure as possible to deter forced entry, without compromising its historic integrity.
Collecting and maintaining documentation about your listed building is vital, as this will help in the speedy resolution of any claim and subsequent rebuilding.
An experienced insurance broker will be able to advise on such areas as risk management, valuation and rebuilding costs, and arrange appropriate insurance cover, with specialist underwriting if necessary.
For more information please do not hesitate to contact ourselves