Listed Properties - know your insurance obligations

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Listed properties – what are your obligations when it comes to repairing them?

Did you know that if your listed property is damaged, you are still subject to the same strict planning and building controls as if you just want to make changes to your property? As a result, you are not entitled to rebuild the property in a different style or with different materials unless you have been given express permission to do so by your Local Planning Authority.

At the very least, if you have made modifications to your home without the appropriate Listed Building Consent, you can experience problems when you want to sell it. At worst, you may have to reverse the changes made, and in some cases, individuals can be prosecuted (making unauthorised changes is a criminal offence).

Tight controls and strict regulations regarding repairs aren’t the only thing to worry about if you own a listed property. Many owners have invested in ‘off the peg’ insurance policies, often traded on-line or direct with insurers, and find their policies leave them wanting in the event of a serious claim.

Your home should be insured for the cost of re-instatement should it be totally destroyed, including an allowance for site clearance and professional fees. The rebuild and associated costs of repairing a listed building are generally significantly more than for a contemporary property - the cost of using traditional materials, replacing historic features, and engaging specialist trades people all add up. If your Sum Insured is inadequate and your property is seriously damaged, insurers may apply average and reduce the claim settlement in direct proportion to the amount of under-insurance – potentially leaving you with a very large bill.

Calculating the correct re-instatement cost of your property is essential, and whilst there are some online tools to help with this, they are only intended to provide guidelines, and are not suitable for older or listed buildings.

In order to ensure that your property is appropriately insured, we recommend you seek specialist advice when purchasing insurance. We can ensure that the policy you buy will suit your requirements and provide comprehensive cover in the event of a claim, as well as put you in touch with specialists who can ensure that your home is correctly valued.

If you own a listed property, or are thinking of purchasing one, and have any questions on how to insure it correctly, call us on 01285 885885 or leave us a message using the form below. We’d be happy to help.