Many Period Properties in Ireland are Underinsured
Most people who live in a period property are passionate about their home and want to look after it well but the legal framework which protects protected structures does have a financial impact on owners.
When you repair or restore a building which has special architectural value you are required by law to use the same materials and reinstate it exactly as it was - unless you have gained planning approval for alterations. In contrast to a modern home the re-build cost of a protected structure will usually far outweigh the market value because specialist materials and skilled craftspeople are required to restore it.
Despite this many people mistakenly base the insurance value of the their period property on the mortgage value (usually the minimum insurance requirement for a modern building) and as a consequence, many protected structures are underinsured.
Underinsuring your home can be a major problem when you need to make a claim which is of course when insurance matters most.
If you have undervalued the re-build value of your property your insurer is entitled to apply an average. This means they can reduce their settlement by the equivalent percentage that the building was underinsured by, and if this happens you will not receive the full settlement to reinstate your home.
If you are considering the re-build value of a protected structure it is essential to think about what the real costs of materials and work would be if staircases, iron framed windows, fireplace surrounds and other decorative details had to be reinstated following a fire or flood, this is in addition to the architectural structure and garden. If you think the re-build value is wrong speak to your insurer and a professional surveyor who understands period property.