This is not an exhaustive or a complete subject. It is likely to change over time, with edits, additions and deletions, and is simply a collection of my thoughts based on many years of experience. You should follow your instincts, and you must always seek your own professional advice.


As soon as you exchange contracts, you will be expected to have adequate Buildings Insurance in place.  The recommended sum insured is normally quoted on your mortgage valuation for a non-Listed Building.   However, the situation is different and can be far more complicated for any historic and Listed Building.    There is no ‘right answer’ and in practice many people are probably ‘over-insured’ in that the sum insured would more than cover the cost of a total rebuild, fees, VAT etc.  However, you would put yourself at risk if you are substantially ‘under-insured’ or have no insurance at all.  The online calculator provided by BCIS is not suitable and should not be used for any historic or Listed Building.

The sum insured is not related to the market value of the property.  Sometimes, the sum insured can be considerably higher than market value – which is often a surprise for those homeowners.

The procedure of accurately establishing a reasonable sum insured is called a Day One Cost Reinstatement Assessment.   This should ONLY be undertaken by a suitably experienced and qualified person.   Most surveyors and architects would not be able to do this and you should locate specialists yourself elsewhere.

For higher status historic and Listed Buildings (Grade I and Grade II*) it would be sensible for you to request that your chosen Buildings Insurer make their own site visit and Day One Reinstatement Cost Assessment of the whole property as soon as possible and certainly within six months of Completion of the purchase.   Most will charge a fee for doing this service.

There are some variations in how insurance companies will determine the sum insured.   Some will include VAT, others don’t.   Some will include site clearance and professional fees, other don’t.   There are many other potential variables and these will have an impact on how the sum insured is calculated.    You should seek advice from your chosen Buildings Insurer.

Insurance on Listed Buildings of this nature and indeed anything slightly unusual can cause problems regarding obtaining insurance.   Thatched roofs are a good example of this.   Some regular buildings insurers, that you might be familiar with, will not cover a property with a thatched roof.  Those buildings are very much into the specialist end of the insurance market.


Disclaimer:   Anything posted in this Blog is for general information only and it is not in any way intended to provide any advice, legal or otherwise, on any general or specific matter that you can rely on.  You should always seek your own legal and surveying advice.