Why you shouldn’t guess a property’s rebuild value

 In Probate

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Is there any way of checking a property’s rebuild value without undertaking the cost of a full or desktop survey?

Association of British Insurers rebuild calculator

One way to set the rebuild value of a property and getting an indication of what this may cost is by using a tool such as a cost calculator. You can locate this cost calculator on the Association of British Insurers website, by looking under tools and resources or by following this link Rebuild Calculator. The website is also a really good source of general information for all things insurance-related.

The site is designed for personal use, and you will need to register, and you can use it up to 4 times over 12 months. Once you’ve signed up to the site it contains full instructions on how to use the calculator. It will ask you to provide:

  • >the gross external floor area, which you learn more about on the ‘measuring your home’ section on the site (and also see the ‘Property Checker’ link below – which can show you the square footage of the property).
  • >the type of property, approximate age and construction of the walls and roof.
  • >how many bedrooms and bathrooms the property has, so you may need to do some research beforehand.

Once you have entered all the information, it will provide you with an indication/estimate of the rebuilding cost for your property based on this input, as well as provide a range for the cost depending on the spec of your home.

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As with a desktop survey, it will not be aware of the £50,000 specialist designer kitchen or the solid oak flooring you have throughout the entire property and it’s only as accurate as the information provided. So, if you have calculated the square footage incorrectly and put the point in the wrong place, your rebuild value may not be entirely accurate. If you treat the tool accordingly – it can provide a good guide or indication of the value of rebuilding your property.

Contact a surveyor

If you want an accurate rebuild value, you can only get this by contacting a surveyor. Otherwise, the risk is that underinsurance is only discovered at the point of a claim being made, at which point it is too late. If the home is made from non-standard materials, has special architectural features, or is a listed building, you may also want to contact a chartered surveyor for advice.

Property checker

Another useful tool for finding information concerning the property is the Property Checker website. This pulls information from HM Land Registry, and you have the option of paying for additional information if you wish. Not all properties are shown, and information varies, but it does normally show the year of build, property type, habitable rooms and also the square footage for the property.

Not all insurers are the same

We don’t ask you to provide a rebuild value at Unoccupied Direct at Vasek – which can help reduce the risk to you/your client

We provide a blanket cover of £1 million for the rebuild of the property, with a maximum of 7 bedrooms and £10,000 of contents, with the option to increase that if required.  Sorry, we can’t offer any assistance concerning the sum insured for the contents! We do see things differently as an insurance provider though. Imagine you are a giant and you could tip the property upside down and give it a real good shake! What falls on the floor are contents and hold a replacement value of ‘new for old’ in our eyes. Insurance is not based on a resale value.

If you have any questions or want a demonstration of how quick and easy we are to use as a provider, I’m more than happy to arrange to have a chat through the details of how we differ from the usual provider. To discuss our product further or get a quote, call me on 07833446070 or email wayne.shinn@vasek.co.uk.

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