Social Housing landlords across Wales are being advised to make sure the reinstatement value of their property is right up-to-date or risk losing out should it end up being destroyed.
The warning comes from Aled Jenkins at Bruton Knowles’ Cardiff office, who says that relying on an old reinstatement value and adjusting it year on year according to inflation is risky - and could result in discrepancies between premiums and actual cost of rebuilding.
Aled’s alert follows a catastrophic fire that ripped through a student apartment block in the centre of Bristol.
Aled said: “With Cardiff city centre and other university towns experiencing a proliferation of student accommodation and blocks of flats, the incident in Bristol brings the need to have a regular assessment into sharp focus.
“Social landlords should ensure their insurance premiums truly reflect the re-build cost should their property need to be demolished and rebuilt.
“It’s vitally important landlords constantly adjust the reinstatement value of their property. The fire in Bristol shows what can and does happen. Luckily no one was hurt in the fire but the cost to restore the building could be considerable.
“As a landlord, if you haven’t kept your reinstatement value up-to-date then the difference between the insurance and what it will cost to rebuild your property might have an adverse financial impact.
“Conversely, if the property is overvalued then landlords will be paying above the required premium for their insurance.”
Some social housing insurance policies are still based on historic valuations and are not reflective of the current portfolio which may have increased or decreased.
“Bruton Knowles undertakes individual and stock reinstatement valuations for residential, care, and commercial properties on a regular basis, and advice would be to undertake a full assessment every three to five years and supported by an annual online update.
“It’s vital that landlords and commercial tenants protect their assets, otherwise they risk spending more than they envisaged in the event of damage.”