Ever tried to understand the fine print in your insurance papers? No? You’re not the only one. Insurance documents are complicated and full of insurance industry jargon like the ‘average clause’. But here's the thing when it comes to insuring your property – understanding the average clause isn't just helpful; it's vital. Get it wrong, and you could find yourself in a world of financial strife.
What is The Average Clause in Insurance?
Usually hidden among the nitty-gritty of buildings insurance papers, the average clause is the insurer's way of guaranteeing that they only pay what they are required to pay, and not a penny more.
If you're underinsured, this tricky little clause could reduce your claim payout significantly if your property is damaged or even destroyed. But by being on the ball and ensuring that the amount you’ve insured your property for matches its true value, you’ll know you’re safe if the worst were to happen.
For a quick explanation, you can watch our "Ask Amy" video below, and for more details, just keep scrolling.
Why a Rebuild Cost Assessment is So Important
A lot of property owners assume that the market value of their home is the amount they should insure the property for. But when it comes to insuring your home, it’s the actual rebuild value that matters, and that’s where the average clause comes in. The average clause is a big deal in the UK, and is catching a lot of property owners out. In fact, we’ve done the math:
9 out of 10 UK Properties Might Have It Wrong!
Recent research done at RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com shows that a whopping 81% of UK properties could be underinsured. And another 14% might be paying too much, effectively overinsuring their properties. That's right, 9 out of 10 properties are missing the mark!
Obviously, being underinsured could mean you're left with a much smaller claim amount than you expected. But there are other financial reasons to get the formula right. Many residential and commercial properties in the UK are overinsured. This means there could be room to save on those hefty premiums!
With the right rebuild cost assessment (RCA), whether you're a homeowner, property investor, or commercial real estate mogul, you can be sure you’re paying the right premium and getting the right cover.
Why Underinsurance is Such a Big Deal
It’s pretty simple: Being underinsured means there's a gap between what your property is worth and what your insurance covers. This could leave you in a pickle if things go wrong. Underinsurance often happens by accident through:
Getting the figures wrong: Homeowners and businesses sometimes shortchange themselves, underestimating the rebuild or replacement costs of their properties.
Saving on insurance costs: It's tempting to save on premiums by insuring your property for a bit less than its value. But imagine the worst happens – that saving could end up costing you, big time.
Ups and downs: As time rolls on, properties can go up or down in value. Market shifts, property improvements, inflation – they all play a part. Regular insurance health checks can prevent underinsurance and protect your assets.
The gap between actual value and insurance coverage is a growing problem around the nation. It's time to ensure your property doesn’t become a statistic.
Calculating The Average Clause Underinsurance Formula
So, what do the average clause and underinsurance have to do with each other? Here’s the gist:
When you're underinsured, the average clause means you don't get a full payout. The average clause lets insurers adjust their payouts in line with your underinsurance.
It’s important to understand the potential financial impacts for your property, so let’s break it down below:
Average clause calculation: Although insurance documents are rarely simple, the average clause calculation (or ‘average clause underinsurance formula’) is fairly easy to understand. It all comes down to the actual rebuild value (as opposed to the market value of your property):
(Amount Insured / Actual Rebuild Value) x Claim Amount
Still not sure what this means for your property? A couple of real-world scenarios will make it easier to understand.
Real-World Average Clause Insurance Examples
Using the formula for the average clause that we’ve just tackled, let’s take a look at some real-world examples of the clause in action:
Example 1: Meet Sarah, a savvy commercial property owner. She's insured her place for the market value of £400,000, thinking that had her covered. But after a fire breaks out on her property, she's staring at a rebuild cost of £800,000. With damages at £150,000, the average clause means the amount paid by her insurance company would equal a mere £75,000, thanks to a 50% underinsurance. That's a tough day at the office.
Example 2: Then there’s James. He regularly updates his residential property's value and has invested in a reliable rebuild cost assessment. His last check put his home's rebuild cost at £750,000 and so, he adjusted his insurance policy to reflect this. Facing a similar £150,000 damage, James is in the clear, with the full amount of his damages claim paid by his insurer.
Wrapping Up the Average Clause in Insurance
The average clause is a bit like the small print you find in any contract – easy to miss but oh-so-important. For all property owners, whether you’re a homeowner or a commercial property bigwig, it's important to be aware of this little clause. And regular, reliable, and accurate rebuild cost assessments are your best bet against potential hiccups.
Don't play the guessing game. Whether it's personal memories or professional stakes on the line, a spot-on rebuild cost assessment (AKA reinstatement cost assessment) is your safety net. Dive in deeper and get the ball rolling here.