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Preparing a Reinstatement Cost Assessments (Insurance Valuation)

Thursday, 14th March 2019 | by: Steve Hobbs

The process of preparing a Reinstatement Cost Assessment involves a site visit to inspect the property, take measurements and site notes detailing the type and quality of the accommodation, a calculation of the likely reinstatement cost of the property based on the information gathered during the inspection, and the recording of this information in a formal report for use by the client in setting their insured sum.

The assessment is essentially an estimate of the cost of rebuilding the property in question. It is made on the assumption that the property is completely destroyed, or damaged to such a substantial degree that it will require demolishing and rebuilding in its entirety.  The same assumption extends not only to the building in question, but also to the grounds of the building, including boundary features and services within the grounds, such as drainage.

There are numerous factors for the surveyor to consider during their site visit, each of which will impact, to a greater or lesser extent, the quantum of the assessment. The surveyor will need to assess the age of the building and the materials and methods used in its construction. They will note whether there are any location specific factors which might affect the demolition and rebuilding of the property, such as access to the site and space to place materials and erect scaffolding. The surveyor will need to consider the situation of the building in relation to adjacent premises and whether temporary protection might be required, for example, in respect of party walls. The surveyor will also need to consider whether there are likely to be any deleterious materials used in the construction of the existing building that might increase the costs of demolition and site clearance.

During in his site visit the surveyor will take notes and photographs and produce sketches to record the layout and extent of the accommodation and site features. Details are likely to include a schedule of accommodation, a summary of the building’s structure alongside details of any different types of construction, a schedule of finishes and any fixtures and fittings to be included in the assessment, a summary of the building’s services and a summary of the external areas including boundaries, outbuildings and the like. The surveyor will need to measure the premises in question, making a note of the floor areas of the building and also noting elements such as ceiling height alongside the areas of outbuildings and external features such as drainage runs, fences, walls, porticos, balconies and paving.

The rebuilding cost is typically calculated using software produced by the Building Cost Information Service (a subsidiary of the RICS). The software produces a base estimate by multiplying the floor area of the building by a suitable per square metre rate for its reconstruction, and also includes rates for typical adjustments such as the extent and type of accommodation (ex: number of kitchens and bathrooms), service installations, number of chimneys, outbuildings, external features and drainage runs etc. Once the calculation is complete, the surveyor will produce a report detailing the property being assessed, the relevant considerations, and of course including the estimated rebuilding cost.

If you need some advice on the cost of reinstating your property please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7183 2578 or by email.

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