As clients struggle to improve both the space and value of their properties in crowded inner city areas it has become common to consider basement creation or conversion.
These vary in size and complexity dramatically, being simple waterproofing of an existing cellar space to the creation of complete underground networks over a number of floors. With an increase in complexity comes an increase in potential liability for your client and the need for Party Wall Liability is essential.
You can read more about basements and the insurance requirements if you log and go to the CPD section on basements and facade retentions.
We can cover properties that are having basement works under our policy subject to full information. If the works are complex then additional information may be required, however this will be available from your client’s project professionals. Extra rating or terms may be applicable which could include monitoring of the existing structures.
It is often the case that older unlisted properties in conservation areas just don’t allow the flexibility required of an ambitious renovator, however it may be possible to remove the innards of the property and build a new structure within to accommodate their specifications. When this happens your clients will need to make facade retentions to hold up the outer walls of the existing structure and to provide support to the buildings either side in the case of a terraced scenario.
Facade retention brings new challenges to the existing structure and party wall insurance for underwriters and detailed underwriting is paramount. As the retentions become more ambitious it will be necessary to include movement monitoring to make sure that as the ongoing structural works happen the facades remain structurally sound. These schemes often also include basements and a good deal of underpinning so a rounded approach to understanding the sum of the exposure is only something that comes with experience.
We are experienced in insuring facade retentions and basement works over many years in London and other major cities in the UK.