The Liverpool car park fire in January and Nottingham station fire a week or so later is a stark reminder for all commercial landlords and tenants to make sufficient provision to cover themselves against potential disaster.
That’s according to Ian Le Grice from Bruton Knowles’ Plymouth office, who said empty warehouses and offices are particularly vulnerable to damage and fire risk when left unattended.
Ian said: “It’s not just a question of dilapidations. Potential fire could result in landlords or tenants having to pay out large sums if their insurance premiums don’t cover the reinstatement value of their properties.
“In recent years, it also seems the UK has been subject to more and more adverse weather conditions and makes buildings susceptible to damage.
“The storms which ravaged the UK back in November and early January should act as a stark reminder for policy holders to double check their policies to ensure the premiums will cover all damage caused.
“If they don’t make sure the reinstatement value of their property is right up-to-date and covers the re-build costs should it need to be demolished, then it could mean they lose out and pay the difference themselves.”
Ian said relying on an old reinstatement value is risky - and could result in discrepancies between premiums and actual cost of rebuilding.
“Conversely if the property is overvalued then the policy holder will be paying above the required premium for their insurance.
He added: “Our advice would be to undertake a full assessment every three to five years which is 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 we saw following last month’s storms and fire.”