Listed Building Insurance
Obtaining Insurance for a listed building or listed home can be difficult and an often time consuming exercise. Many insurance companies, simply turn down building insurance applications as soon as they find out that the property has listed status. The reason why cover is often refused are fairly straight forward. For one, listed buildings often employ building techniques that are no longer in vogue or use materials that are not readily available, as a result, an insurance company could face a higher claim in the event of a loss. Often listed buildings are timber framed, the walls may be timber or made of wattle & daub for example. In the event of a claim, materials may be more expensive to obtain and a craftsman used to listed building restoration may have to be employed to carry out the restoration work. Certainly any reinstatement work will need approval and have to be sympathetic to the existing or reaming structure. Approval has to be sought from the relevant authority and this will lead to delays in settling any claim. Delays, mean increased costs, especially after a serious loss when perhaps the occupiers of the property are having to be temporarily re-housed whilst the repair work is carried out.
Thus if you are looking for a listed home insurance quotation for a listed building you will have to approach an insurer that is happy to accept the risk and the potential increased costs following a claim. When applying for your quotations, it is essential to provide the insurer with all the relevant information, the construction of the property is vital as this may affect the insurance premium.
What is a listed building?
A listed building is a building of special architectural or historic interest recognised as being worthy of protection under special legislation. Such buildings are then entered on a statutory list; hence the term 'listed buildings'. A listed building is often not especially large, beautiful or in excellent condition: Itís historic interest is often more important and worthy of preservation than its architectural quality. Sometimes a building is chosen as it was occupied by a famous person, or was perhaps the scene of an important event or is located in a prominent part of a community. Listed Buildings are recognised as being of National Importance, part of our heritage and the need to conserve them for future generations, is vitally important as is choosing a good listed building insurer.
The listing process began in Britain in 1947, partly as a result of extensive damage caused during the Second World War Nowadays; the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for compiling the list of over 500,000 buildings thought to be of special value or interest. The older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed. All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most built between 1700 and 1840. Between 1840 and 1914 only buildings of 'definite quality and character' are listed if they are of 'outstanding quality and under threat' After that date, the criteria become tighter with time, so that post-1945 buildings have to be exceptionally important to be listed. Often it is members of the public that bring special buildings to the attention of the secretary of state and their role is vital is preserving our heritage. Its worth remembering:-
Buildings are listed so that their particular qualities can be protected by legal safeguards.
The listing of a building brings to its owner a degree of responsibility for part of the nation's heritage.
Any works to a listed building including any form of demolition, alteration, extension, internally or externally which in anyway affect itís special character will require listed Building Consent before work can commence. The are fairly severe penalties including hefty fines and even imprisonment for any person who does obtain the necessary consents
What are the various types of Listed Building?
Listed buildings fall in to three main groups, the listing are different in Scotland & Northern Ireland.
Grade I buildings are regarded as being of exceptional interest. (2%)
Grade II* listed properties are considered to be particularly important examples of special interest buildings. (4%)
Grade II listed buildings Ė by far the most common - are considered of special interest and therefore all steps should be taken to preserve them. (94%)
In Scotland & Northern Ireland, buildings are listed are Grade A, B, C.
How to check if a property is listed?
When a building is first listed, the owners and occupiers are notified and the listing is entered into the Local land Charge Register. If you are not sure whether you building is listed you can check with your local authority, they will put you through to the relevant department.