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2 - 6 OCTOBER 2024


2 - 6 OCTOBER 2024


3 - 11 MAY 2024

Property and Home Insurance for Completed Projects

12 May 2024

Property and Home Insurance for Completed Projects

JCT Insurance Stand: B51

Some building project policies include a period of grace at the end of the construction period to allow building control to sign the work off, and for permanent cover to be arranged.

Expert Insurance Group can advise you on the best cover for your completed building project. From a simple extension to a property using standard construction techniques and materials, to the more esoteric and unusual. Whatever type of property you have built, it’s important to get the cover for buildings and contents right.

Standard Construction

If you have simply used traditional construction materials and any existing building is also made of standard construction materials, you will normally be able to insure these using a standard home or property owners’ policy.

Insurers consider a standard construction to mean walls built from stone or brick and roofed with tiles, metal, or slate.

Note that a flat roof is not standard construction and will need to be specifically declared to underwriters. In most cases, you will find it easier and cheaper to get insurance if you have a structural warranty or guarantee for the new flat roof.

Non-Standard Materials and Cladding

Properties that use less traditional materials such as hempcrete, hay bales, timber, wattle and daub, thatch and the like are insurable, but you will need to tell insurers specifically about them.

Since the Grenfell Fire, cladding has become a construction method that can make a building difficult to insure - even for small areas. The problem is more acute if the building is multi-occupancy and insurance becomes more difficult to obtain the higher the building rises from the ground.

Insurers are just as concerned about the flammability of wooden cladding as they are about composite panels.

It will be very important to obtain information from your contractor and/or architect about any cladding that is being used and its fire retardancy rating as insurers will want to know about this.

Interesting and Unusual Features

If you are hoping to insure your property using a standard insurance policy, you need to be very careful to tell insurers about any interesting or unusual features you’ve used in your design. This could be an internal feature such as a crystal, helical staircase, or an industrial cold room.

These types of features are not what insurers would “expect” to find in a standard home and for this reason, you should tell your insurers about them, even if they don’t ask. Better to be safe than uninsured.

Of course, you might have an interesting feature on your site - the presence of water or trees close by, or a public footpath running through your land. All these things change the risk that your property presents to insurers.

Think carefully too about any outbuildings on your land whether used or not. The rebuilding cost of these, and features such as dilapidated follies, should be included in your proposal to insurers.

A Grade listing will in most cases increase the rebuilding cost of your property, even if it is only part of the building that is listed.

Construction Date

When telling insurers about the age of your property you should tell them the original construction date, as well as the date of the more recent refurbishments.

Calculating the Rebuilding Cost

Insuring the building for the correct value is important. You might have a good idea of how much the building project has cost, but inflation will apply to the work as it has progressed, so you may need to cover it for a higher value than you paid for the building contract. 

Remember the rebuild value is often different to the market value, as it does not include the cost of purchasing the land, but does include the cost of demolition, clearance, architects, and surveyor’s fees.

It is always best to get a professional RICS surveyor to provide you with a valuation, although your Builder, Quantity Surveyor, Project Manager or Architect might be able to help you with working out a rough figure.

Property use

If you are simply going to live in your grand design after you have completed it, you can simply insure the property as your home. Be careful to ensure that it is fully covered if it will be unoccupied or unfurnished for a period of time before you move as some insurance policies include exclusions and conditions that will mean the cover doesn’t apply whilst unoccupied or unfurnished.

You might have to take specific precautions, like turning the heating on, or the water off, and draining down the supply whilst the property is waiting to be occupied.

Unoccupied Property

If you are planning on letting out all, or some, of your property then you may need to make special arrangements to insure it as being unoccupied until your tenants move in. This will cost more, but typically you will receive a return premium when the building is occupied, and the risk reduces.

Insurance cover for an unoccupied property might be restricted by insurers. It is not unusual for property underwriters to reduce the cover to “FLEA” perils only on an unoccupied property. This covers incidents arising from Fire, Lightning, Explosion or Aircraft Impact only and will not be suitable to meet the terms of most mortgages.

It is possible to extend the cover to wider perils, including storm, flood, theft, escape of water, malicious damage, and subsidence but you need to specifically ask for this. Expert Insurance Group can help you arrange this.

Often Insurers will require regular inspection visits to be made to the property whilst it is unoccupied.

Security Features

You should tell your insurers about the security measures in place at the property, such as alarm systems, locks, and security cameras. If you are prepared to use these, you should receive a discount for doing so.

Type of Cover

Buildings Insurance comes with several cover options. The widest cover available is accidental damage cover. In addition to loss or damage caused by perils such as storm, flood, theft etc, Accidental Damage cover includes damage to the property that is caused accidentally - for example drilling through a pipe.

Commercial and Residential Property Owners cover will have an option to include subsidence and terrorism cover. Homeowners cover normally includes both covers automatically.

If you are letting your property out, you should include cover for loss of rent. You should think how long it has taken you to do the work and use this as a yardstick estimate how long it might take to rebuild your property. Rent cover is normally for a period of three to five years and your sum insured should reflect the amount that you will need for the period it will take to rebuild. Insurers will want to know the occupation of any tenants that you take on.

If you are going to live in the property you will need cover for home contents, and you might want to include cover for personal possessions that you take out of the home and any high-value or high-risk possessions that you own. You can normally include accidental damage cover for your contents. Accidental damage cover will protect you against incidents like spilling wine on a carpet.

For property owners, you might need cover for the landlord’s contents - carpets, flooring, washing machines and fridge etc, or for contents in common parts - carpets in stairs and hallways for example.

Optional covers include Legal expenses cover and emergency expenses. If you are a property owner, you might want rent guarantee cover too. This is not the same as legal expenses cover, which rarely covers the cost of evicting a tenant.

Get a Quotation

Expert Insurance Group can help you insure your home or property portfolio. For a quotation, help or advice call JCT Insurance Expert on 01825 745 410 or email enquiries@eig.email



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