Property insurance is based on the reinstatement cost of your building following damage. If your property is destroyed, the insured amount should be sufficient to pay for the full cost of rebuilding or repairing the damage.

Our strategic partner, Barrett Corp & Harrington (BCH), takes the guess work out of setting the building sum insured for your property, and can provide you with an accurate property reinstatement valuation for insurance purposes.

The cost of rebuilding your premises or replacing equipment after a major incident can be more than you think. In fact, 77% of the properties surveyed by our valuations partner are underinsured by 55% of their actual value. These buildings are usually insured for their market value, when they should in fact be insured for the cost to rebuild the property.


Underinsurance can lead to Company Directors being sued by shareholders. It can also lead to businesses going under and employees losing jobs. Reinstatement assessments can be used to assess all types of commercial buildings including factories, warehouses, industrial units, office, shops, hotels, farms and estates, historic and listed buildings.

Most assessments require an on-site inspection to note the building materials, take measurements and evaluate specific location factors. However, it may be possible to prepare a desk-based review using data from the web and information provided by the property owner.

Blocks of Flats

We can arrange reinstatement assessments for anything from individual blocks of flats to large portfolios. Our partnership means we can offer very competitive rates and can invoice on a per-unit basis for large portfolios. This can enable managing agents to charge each flat owner on an equal basis.

In the event of a claim, being correctly insured enables all to focus on rebuilding people’s homes as quickly as possible. As managing agents or portfolio owners you do not want to have to face questions about underinsurance and your professional advice. If you have concerns about flats under your management, please feel free to call us.

Private Homes

If you live in a large house, one which has undergone several extensions or expensive refurbishment, is listed or constructed of materials other than brick, you could well be underinsured and benefit from a reinstatement cost assessment.

Owners may have guessed the rebuilding cost of their home based on market value, or relied on an inappropriate mortgage valuation. None of these are ideal. BCH can visit your home and spend time measuring and gathering information on the type of construction and consider any other special factors which might impact on the rebuild cost.

If you have a major fire and are not correctly insured, an insurer may impose a penalty whereby you would receive less money than required to rebuild your home. This is where families can find themselves in financial difficulties. Insuring correctly eliminates this risk. If you are concerned you may be under or over-insured, please contact us for a quotation.

Risk Assessments

Barrett Corp Harrington work directly for a number of leading insurance companies providing risk surveys for their high net worth clients. In the main, intended for larger, unique homes, these surveys provide:

  • A Reinstatement cost assessment
  • A review of the current level of general contents cover
  • A security assessment
  • Fire protection assessment
  • Commentary on storm, flood and subsidence risk
Why does the recommended sum insured have to be so high?

All high-value buildings insurance policies cover not just the main house and the drives, paths, patios, gardens, boundary walls and fencing, but also all the outbuildings and other features such as swimming pools and tennis courts. In many cases, the extra cost of rebuilding these additional features can be very high. For example, there have been cases where the cost of rebuilding boundary walls actually exceeded the cost of rebuilding the main house.

Generally speaking, rebuilding costs tend to be far more expensive for older properties-particularly those that are listed buildings. At the same time, insurance policies have to allow for rebuilding to the same specification as existed prior to the claim, with all the work being carried out in accordance with current building regulations.

As you’ll appreciate, this can prove expensive. As an example, a house built of stone may cost as much as 50% or more to rebuild than a house built of brick. Moreover, with many older properties having been built on inadequate foundations compared to today’s standards, policies have to allow for the cost of new, regulation-compliant foundations.

Policies can also provide cover for the cost of demolitions, debris removal and architects and surveyors fees, all of which must be factored into the rebuilding costs, thus raising the sum insured to higher-than-standard levels.

Why can’t I apply the BCIS reinstatement rates to my house?

For many years, the rebuilding costs for domestic property insured in the UK have been calculated using data provided by the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS).

However, while the BCIS data provides a very useful guide and benchmark for most ‘standard’ homes, it’s apparent that, for many high value or unique properties, BCIS’s recommended costs do not match the sums required for the reinstatement of expensive refurbishment work and interior design schemes introduced by property owners. BCIS bases its costs on standard models. High-value and unique properties often have higher levels of specification that need to be taken into consideration.

I have contacts that suggest I could rebuild my property for a lower figure than you suggest. Why can’t I insure at that level?

The rebuilding costs used for insurance purposes have to allow for the cost of demolitions and debris removal. If you built or have re-built your property, you may not have included this within your calculations.

Equally, if your property is listed or has a number of heritage features, it can often be very expensive and time-consuming to record, photograph and even label the fabric of the building to ensure the correct reconstruction.

How do you arrive at a reinstatement assessment?

Costing data is obtained from a variety of sources, but suggested rates are not used without referring to other evidence found on site. Building rates applied take into consideration a range of factors starting with the type, size and quality of materials found at your home. Allowance is made for special features found in each property, for vernacular materials where relevant, and for architectural details.

Outbuildings and hard landscaping are also included in the assessment. If particular features, such as a conservatory or tennis court, have been added, these costs will be factored in.

Other points, including the specific location of the building, will also be factored into the cost analysis. If, for example, your home is in a rural location and some distance from key suppliers, or if access is restricted in some other way, there will be an increase in materials delivery costs, which will have to be taken into consideration.

At Adler Insurance, we go to great lengths to understand your personal circumstances, goals and aspirations, as this will enable us to recommend the most appropriate solutions for you. The suitability of certain services will depend on various factors. There are many different types of products and cover available and, through discussion to understand your individual needs, a broker will identify what product or combination of products most suits you.

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