Brokers, Insurers, Project Professionals

From iconic buildings in the bustling City of London to the dramatic Highlands of Scotland – commercial renovation projects across the length and breadth of the country this year have been supported with a Renovation Underwriting policy. From new builds and the refurbishment of listed buildings to the renovation of country estates; we’ve ensured these complex, high-value contract works projects are wholly protected throughout the renovation journey.

Here are just a few examples of some of the unique and interesting commercial projects that we’ve covered in 2023. Each has been insured with Renovation Asset – our extensive project Owner Controlled Insurance (OCIP) policy designed for commercial property owners and developers in the UK engaged in renovating, refurbishing, extending existing properties, or undertaking new builds.

Introducing five key commercial ventures that have breathed new life into buildings and locations this year – with the peace of mind being provided under a Renovation policy during the whole contract works period:

#1: From listed country estate to RAF headquarters and now luxury homes

We’re part of a project to renovate a £3.8m historic estate housing a disused Grade II listed house in 16 hectares of grounds. The early-19th-century castellated house in Tudor style was partly destroyed by fire in 1907 and the estate eventually became a RAF base.

A £2.9m project sees the property being converted into 8 smaller houses. Due to a change in contractor, we have insured the project part way through, so extra consideration has had to be given to the nature of works already undertaken and making sure those works have otherwise run smoothly. Our policy would not retrospectively provide cover against incidents which had already occurred.

Our competitive premium also reflected the project as a whole, rather than just what was remaining, because the values in the event of a loss are at their highest towards the latter stages up to Practical Completion.

#2: Writing a new ‘storey’ in the life of a London apartment block
A full refurbishment and the addition of an extra level to a 6-storey block of flats and the renovation of a Mews House in W1, London delivered impressive new homes in this sought-after area of London. The £14M existing property needed over £13M of works to complete the project. Additionally, policy cover also included for £10M of JCT 6.5.1 Non-Negligent Liability to give the client the most comprehensive protection available in relation to damage to third-party property, alongside the all-risks insurance for their own property and new work. The case also included £5M Property Owners’ Liability insurance (POL).

#3: Meeting the demand for aparthotel accommodation in Auld Reekie
The development of a new aparthotel in Edinburgh called for a specialist commercial project policy, ‘Renovation Asset’ for the conversion of this Grade A listed townhouse.
The change of use into a hotel involved £2m cover for the sensitive renovation works of the £5m existing property structure and the redevelopment is expected to take between 12-18 months to complete.

#4: Refurbishing a ‘quintessentially English’ hotel in the Cotswolds
In an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s no surprise that discerning guests demand luxury accommodation – and this Cotswolds Hotel was no exception. With £15m of works to be undertaken to this large, £28.5M Grade II listed hotel, the completed project will be exceptional. The project was able to benefit from the Renovation Asset policy due to the property being closed during the works period, and we included optional cover to protect the Employer (the developer) for Advanced Loss of Earnings (also referred to as Delay in Start up costs (DSU)). This provides additional cover protection where following a valid loss under the policy the business cannot reopen on the planned business operational date, up to the point the business would receive income once again.
As part of arranging quote terms for the project, we also agreed to incorporate a survey at the property, without additional cost to the client, to ensure that the reinstatement value of the existing property was accurate.

#5: Gin! Gin! Bringing ‘juniper juice’ into the heart of Scotland
Gin remains one of the UK’s most popular alcoholic tipples, so creating a gin bar and cafe in the heart of the Scottish Highlands is not as crazy as it first may seem! Converting this commercial property valued at £800k required circa £500k of works and the end result will be the perfect backdrop for a stunning new commercial enterprise. In addition to the cover for the existing property and the new works, the client has full project-specific Public Liability cover of £5M, and JCT 6.5.1 Non-Negligent liability cover of £1M. Additionally, they also required an element of Hired in Plant cover in respect of a small excavator and a dumper that were on site.

One single insurance product, supporting multiple commercial renovation projects:
Our commercial project product, Renovation Asset, sat at the heart of each of the 5 projects shared here; including cover options under a single policy for:

  • Contract Works and Existing Structures in Joint Names
  • Property Owners Liability/Public Liability
  • JCT 6.5.1 Non Negligent Liability
  • Delay in Start Up for the benefit of the Owner/Employer

The Asset policy also offers a comprehensive solution to challenges faced by property owners in the past, when policies restricted contract works after a certain threshold was breached.

It really is critical that properties undergoing works or new build works are wholly protected, and our products are designed to do just that. As the leader in single project contract works, our expertise spans the whole renovation sector; working with private client and commercial brokers to support end clients, liaising directly with commercial developers and holding close partnerships with project professionals too. If there’s a contract works insurance solution to be found, we pride ourselves on being the underwriters who can do it.

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