Insurance Reinstatement Valuations – Do I Need One?

When applying for buildings insurance, you will be asked to enter a rebuild cost of your home. Having the right buildings insurance in place is essential to ensure you will be covered in the event of your home being destroyed, for example, by fire, flood or a storm.

When filling in a quote for insurance, you will often be presented with a rebuild cost estimate. Although helpful as a guide, this is unlikely to account for many factors that could affect the potential rebuild cost of your home.

Here we look at some of the issues around rebuild costs.

What is the problem with an inaccurate rebuild cost?

As the property owner, it is your responsibility to insure for the right rebuilding cost value. If you underestimate the rebuild cost of your home, your insurance provider may not cover the full cost of repairs in the event that it’s later destroyed.

On the other hand, over-insuring your home is likely to mean paying a higher premium.

In both cases, it’s definitely worth trying to obtain an accurate figure to use when taking out buildings insurance provider.

What about if I live in a flat?

If you live in a leasehold flat, the building owner or management company will be responsible for calculating the rebuild cost of the building.

However, if you live in a freehold flat you will need to calculate the rebuild yourself. As there would be likely to be other parts of the building that need rebuilding, the professional opinion of a surveyor would be helpful.

What might affect the rebuild cost of my home?

There are many factors that might affect the rebuild cost of a home. Over time, the cost of materials and building works increases, and this may have a significant impact on the overall rebuild costs. Simply replicating the rebuild cost from your previous year’s insurance is therefore unlikely to offer sufficient cover.

Listed buildings or heritage homes with original features will always carry a much higher reinstatement cost than a ‘standard’ home as specialist materials and labour would need to be sourced to rebuild and restore.

Similarly, where a house has distinctive features, like a thatched roof, or if your home is made from non-standard materials – for example, walls made from timber or concrete, rather than brick – rebuild costs may also be higher. If you have made any significant changes to your home from its original layout – such as adding an extension or conservatory, or having a loft or cellar conversion – the rebuild cost will increase.

Other less common factors would be if the property has a particular historical significance, or was built by a well-known architect.

In any of the above circumstances relating to unusual homes or homes that have been significantly altered, it is worth speaking to a Chartered Surveyor about obtaining an Insurance Reinstatement Valuation.

What is an Insurance Reinstatement Valuation?

An Insurance Reinstatement Valuation is report that is designed to provide property owners with an accurate rebuild cost to use for the purposes of obtaining insurance. To reach their Valuation, a specialist RICS Registered Valuer will inspect, assess and undertake calculations, using their specialist knowledge and building cost data, to provide a figure that would be adequate if the property needed to be rebuilt from scratch.

To instruct Matthew Parkinson Surveyors to conduct an Insurance Reinstatement Valuation, please contact us. Our Chartered Surveyors work throughout Lancashire, Cumbria, South Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales.