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News on House Insurance

A new online service allows people to calculate the cost of rebuilding their houses. This will help those renewing their house insurance, which is based on rebuild costs, not the market value of a property.

RICS Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) cost calculator tells you approximately how much it would cost to rebuild your house if it was destroyed by fire or an act of God. The site asks a few simple questions about the age, type and quality of the property. The only thing that the owner may have to check is the external floor area within the external walls, excluding the garden. (See instructions in notes below).

93% of homeowners have household buildings paying on average £173 a year. After the Lewes floods in 2000 the district council found that 20% of local residents were underinsured by up to £15K.

Joe Martin, BCIS director, said:

‘Many people will find they are paying too little house insurance and some may find they are paying too much. Few people realise that insurance on buildings is driven by construction inflation rather than market prices. Most have ideas about the rebuild costs of their homes which are way out.

‘Rebuild cost are not always proportionate to size and market value. It is possible that a highly valued, new-build house in Mayfair will need to be insured for less than a Victorian terrace in Bridlington. The cost calculator gives people a starting point to check they are paying the right home insurance.’

Jane Milne from the Association of British Insurers, said:

‘Home buildings insurance is an essential protection, ensuring that life’s unexpected emergencies can be managed with out incurring debts. But it is vital that the correct rebuilding valuation is used when buying insurance to make sure any claim can be paid in full.’

Source: (a news article about house insurance)



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