One of the main insurance considerations for owners of any historic building or period property is whether your policy will enable you to restore the building’s special character in the event of a catastrophic fire or flood or other sudden accidental or deliberate damage.
You have a legal obligation to carry out work to restore and reinstate the character of the building but where there has been serious loss or damage, planning authorities are usually happy to work with you to devise the best way forward.
Typically the rebuild value of a standard home is less than its market value but for period buildings the reverse is often true and if your home is a Protected Structure then you are legally obliged to restore it to is original status
If you need to repair or restore a Protected Structure you will need to use specialist ‘like for like’ materials (identical to the original) and in many instances employ craftspeople to undertake the work. While this approach ensures that your home’s character is preserved, repairs are often more expensive as a result. This means the re-build value must be calculated accurately, based on your home’s Protected Structure status and reviewed regularly to make sure that the building is not underinsured.
If you underinsure a Protected Structure in Ireland, by not taking account of additional re-build or reinstatement costs, the insurer can reduce the cost of the claim by the same proportion and the money you receive may not cover the full cost of the work.
If you already own or are thinking of buying one of Ireland’s many heritage homes it is important that you have the right Protected Structure Insurance in place so if the unthinkable does happen you and your home are properly covered.