How Can I Work Out the Cost of Rebuilding My Home?
When applying for a home insurance quote, you are usually asked to give the rebuild cost of your property, which means the overall cost of building the house from scratch, including materials and labour. This will vary according to the age, type and size of the property. If you have recently bought the property, an up-to-date rebuild cost will be included in the deeds. If you don’t have this information, there are other ways to calculate the rebuild cost, which we’ll come to. And it’s vital that you get it right. Overestimate the cost and you will be paying too much insurance. Underestimate it and you won’t be properly covered in the event of a payout.
First, it’s important to understand the difference between what the property is worth to the market and what it would cost to rebuild. The costs associated with rebuilding an older house from the ground up are astronomical. The cheap labour and skills used in building, say, a Georgian townhouse simply don’t exist any more. If you live in a modern condo, the rebuild costs would be significantly lower, even if it’s in an area where property prices are high. The Allianz Your Cover website details the difference between property and rebuild costs.
To ascertain the rebuild cost of your property, you can either hire a chartered surveyor or use a rebuild calculator. A surveyor will cost around £200. They will take detailed measurements of the property and produce a professional rebuilding assessment. A surveyor will give you the most accurate rebuild cost, but you can work it out for yourself, for free, using the rebuild calculator on the Association of British Insurers website. To do this, you will need to measure all floors in the property. If each floor is differently sized, they need to be calculated separately. Once you’ve entered this information and answered a few questions, the rebuild calculator will produce an approximate rebuild cost. The drawback here is that any inaccuracy could end up costing you in the long term, dwarfing the cost of paying for the services of a surveyor.
Rebuild calculators are only good for certain types of property:
- Detached houses
- Semi-detached houses
- Terraced houses
- Detached bungalows
- Semi-detached bungalows
For other types of property, like maisonettes and flats, a chartered surveyor is the only way to go. Do some background research on potential surveyors to make sure you’re getting a properly qualified, registered professional with a good track record. Shelling out the £200 might save you hundreds in insurance overpayments, or better still, ensures you are covered in the unlikely event of a rebuild being necessary.
The Allianz Your Cover website details the difference between property and rebuild costs. You can find out more about rebuilding costs here: www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk.