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Special insurance considerations
Historic Buildings require special insurance considerations and normal buildings insurance is often not suitable. If reinstatement is required, additional Listed Building consents, together with traditional materials and trades will be required to reinstate correctly.
Listed Buildings and Historic Buildings of significance generally require specialist insurance and we are going to explore the why.
Getting the right cover
Restoring a Listed or Historic Building
In normal buildings, if the worst were to happen, say a Flood or Fire, the insurer would appoint a loss adjuster whom basically is there to minimise the claim value on behalf of the insurer and agree the works and cost.
However with a Listed Building it would be an entirely different scenario and the Conservation officer / England Heritage, would be involved in deciding how it is to be rebuilt / repaired, which materials and which methods are used. They have no interest in how much it is going to cost or who pays but they have the backing of law to ensure the building is re-instated to its previous condition.
It is therefore essential that appropriate cover is provided to allow for these additonal stakeholders and costs. Remember – work on these buildings using traditional materials and skills will normally be more expensive. For example , if you have a Timber Frame, Brick or Cob Listed Building, all of these materials will be more costly that reinstating “modern” materials.
Is it listed?
What if your Historic Building is not Listed?
The same principles apply and just because it is not Listed you may well require it to be repaired sympathetically in a like for like fashion.
We have recently repaired and reinstated a Grade 1 Listed Jacobean Manor House which suffered Flood Damage using all like for like traditional materials. Luckily the owner had appropriate Insurance that allowed for the specialist works to be covered under the insurance policy.
Some Insurers will provide Insurance cover for any unlawful modifications to the building undertaken by previous owners, provided you were not aware of them. If there is risk of unlawful modifications, then this Insurance may be suitable for you. However caution should be exercised as it often states as a proviso you were not aware of the modifications.
Often mainstream Insurers have “standard types” of construction they insure. What if your property does not fall into these types of construction ? What if it is Thatched, or Cob, or Timber Frame. You may well need someone whom specialises and understands in these construction types to offer you a proper level of cover on these types of buildings.
Modern window and door locks are usually a requirement of mainstream Insurance. Whilst it is sensible to have where possible good security, some older windows and doors are simply not capable of taking modern locks. For example try fitting a modern multipoint mortice lock in a Georgian Ledge door – you can’t. A specialist lender can be realistic about what is achievable and what is not and provide insurance on that basis.
Jacobean Ceiling Repair
A flood badly damaged this Jacobean ornate ceiling. The ceiling below was repaired with a matched clay and straw base coat, with plaster of Paris mouldings. A job that required specialist materials and finishes and was taken care of by specialist Listed Building Insurance.
Get in touch with the Heritage Consulting team today
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