EVS - Information Paper 1/13

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1 EVS - Information Paper 1/13 ASSESSMENT OF VALUE OF INSURED DAMAGE 1 Introduction 2 Scope 3 Definitions 4 Recommendations 5 Assessment Methodology 6 Other Issues 7 References 1. Introduction 1.1. This information paper is intended to be a general guideline in assessing the cost of damage to, or losses on, real properties. There will frequently be more detailed country specific regulations and various conditions laid down by the insurance company This paper bears a direct link to EVA 4 "Assessment of Insurable Value" and sets out the procedures to be followed after damage has occurred An insurance contract is a business contract. As such, it is a legally binding agreement between the parties and the basis of cover rests on the terms of contract. The valuer will assess the cost of repairing damaged or destroyed buildings or properties as a basis for determining the amount the insured shall be compensated in case of damage or destruction A contract of insurance is a contract of the utmost good faith (uberrimae fidei). Any factors known to the insured, likely to affect the cost of repair in case of damage or destruction, must be disclosed, unsolicited. Failure to reveal details which could influence the valuer s ability to assess a correct amount of compensation may allow the insurer to repudiate the contract Unless the insurance contract explicitly removes the maximum liability of an insurer through full value coverage, the limitation of the compensation will be the sum insured, even though this may not represent a full indemnity. In the event of a total loss the

2 insurers would only pay out, as a maximum, the amount insured. It is, however, not a part of the valuer s assignment to consider contractual limitations on the coverage In the event of a partial loss (as where only part of a building is damaged or destroyed), insurers will conventionally only pay out, as a maximum, an amount that reflected the sum insured as a percentage of the proper insurable value. This is known as average or an average clause. The valuer will assess the cost of reconstruction and thus contribute to determining the relative share of the insurable value Where the basis of cover is to be full reinstatement, the valuer should assess the full extent of any prospective loss, normally by reference to reinstatement of the damaged property essentially an assessment of cost rather than of the value of the property. As such a loss will usually concern damage to buildings, the valuer must have a proficient knowledge of buildings and construction techniques, constraints and costs alongside appropriate valuation skills in order to make an accurate assessment of the cost of reinstatement Notwithstanding the limitations to compensation outlined in points 1.1 through 1.6, the compensation will, under given circumstances, also be assessed on the basis of market value. This will occasionally occur when rebuilding is not permitted by law or special public regulations or for other reasons beyond the control of either of the two parties In some cases the valuer will also assess the market rental value of comparable premises for temporary use by the insured. 2. Scope 2.1. The scope of this Information paper considers the assessment by a valuer of the assessment of damages which are objects of compensation, usually the cost of repairing damages on insured buildings or properties as the basis of assessing the liability of an insurer of the buildings or the properties or the compensation if the buildings or properties have been destroyed Depending on the coverage the valuer will in some cases also consider the incurred cost covered under other insurances that may be needed, for instance the risks arising from the damage or destruction or the associated disruption of business or those other insurances commonly handled by those managing property. 2

3 3. Definitions 3.1. The definitions in EVA 4 are also largely relevant to assignments to assess cost of repairing damages or replacement after destruction of properties. These definitions are not repeated in this information paper unless directly and primarily relevant to such assignments Where reinstatement is the basis of the assessment the principle is to replace what might be damaged or destroyed as it was before the event. It is not to cover improvements or extensions, save where such changes are required at the time by law or regulation. Reinstatement, where property is destroyed, means the rebuilding of the property in a condition that is equal to, but not better or more extensive than, the condition of the property when new. Reinstatement where property is damaged means the repair of damage and the restoration of the damaged portion of the property to a condition substantially the same as, but not better or more extensive than, its condition when new Rebuilding, repair and restoration within the context of reinstatement means replacement by methods or with materials that satisfy current building, fire and other regulations or legislation. It shall also include the cost of demolition, site clearance, shoring and proppingup, together with all professional and statutory fees that will be incurred in the reconstruction Property means land and buildings on, below or above the surface including pipes, cables and other installations that connect to property Damage means physical damage to, loss of or destruction or damage or loss of use of tangible property, including conversion, trespass, nuisance or wrongful interference with the enjoyment of rights over property. 4. Recommendations 4.1. It is imperative that the valuer, in addition to his qualifications as a valuer under the EVS, is conversant with the methods employed in this type of work and that he is in possession of the necessary expertise (knowledge and understanding) and has the experience to carry out such assignments. Minimum recommended qualifications are listed in the following, and the valuer is expected to possess a sound knowledge of the topics including: Building costs Local building regulations Legislative regulations 3

4 Local planning constraints Insurance Contracts Insurance Coverage and Limitations Market values Rental rates 4.2. Matters that have, entirely or partially, been excluded from cover, or been given limited cover or alternative cover, can, as far as appropriate, still be considered in a damage report and, in the report, explicitly excluded, or limited, when determining the compensation. However, in some countries only items covered by the insurance policy are to be included in the report. In the following, examples are given as to procedures adapted in some countries. Practice can vary from one country to another and the insurance policies will vary from company to company. Some countries have legislation covering the minimum requirements in an insurance contract, whereas in other countries contents of insurance policies might not be limited by legislation. Examples of recommended control points to detect conditions that would imply that certain elements could be entirely, or partially, excluded from cover are given below. The list is not complete. asbestos and other deleterious materials (in some countries deleterious materials will, by law, always be included in the insurance policy); damage from flooding, especially if the premises are situated within a flood plain and may have suffered flooding in the past; storm damage to fencing; the condition of all roofing as insurers might exclude storm damage where the standard is poor, which in turn can lead to a reduction in the compensation; fire damage may be excluded if the electrical system has not been certified or if there is insufficient fire protection (e.g. extinguishers). Usually such a limitation must be a part of the insurance contract and should be valued and be included in the valuers report premises with sprinkler systems, water damage will, in some countries, be excluded unless sprinkler leakage cover is purchased; in areas prone to subsidence problems, subsidence cover may be excluded, while normally such secondary damages will be included in the policy; earthquakes can be an excluded risk in some areas; loss of rent, and costs for providing alternative accommodation and associated risks, are normally covered but must be verified by the valuer before being taking it into consideration; the valuer must assess whether building regulations change constructional details resulting in extra cost; 4

5 erroneous information by the insured and the financial implications of holding back information or giving erroneous information; deceit and the possibility of losing all rights under the insurance policy; 4.3. Unless there is firm evidence to the contrary, or specific instructions have been issued to the valuer, it will be assumed that the nature of the building and the ground conditions of the site would not give rise to the need for any special construction techniques, such as raft foundations, piling, etc. and that there are no contaminated ground conditions that might add to the reinstatement costs. It is recommended that a statement to this effect be included within an assessment report Where VAT would be due on the reinstatement cost, it is good practice to show it as a separate figure, in addition to the reinstatement cost net amount of VAT. It is for the client to establish how far it may be able to recover VAT In respect of apartment buildings, unit owners have a financial interest in the entire building, as well as the building elements within their unit. Whilst a unit owner should not need to insure the entire building, insurers of an individual unit require an adequate level of indemnity. Local regulation or tradition may determine the extent of cover required beyond the assessment of insurable value of the specified unit of accommodation. It is recommended that details of the insurance policy be reviewed to ensure that cover is provided in accordance with the requirements of the insurer. It is also recommended that valuers make enquires relating to any specific requirements of insurers where flooding of any block of property may impact on the individual unit, irrespective of whether the fabric of any unit is affected by flooding Where an entire property comprises more than one unit of occupation and all units are insured within one policy, including common areas and ancillary accommodation, the valuers should ensure that assessment of cost of repair accurately reflect different values that may exist within the total area and the impact that perils such as flooding may have on any part of the property. 5. Assessment Methodology 5.1. In case of damage the valuer must carry out an assessment report of at least the following points according to the damage: General information regarding the location of the damaged property as well as the address of the beneficiary of the insurance contract The space, number of floors, services, and access. Internal and external facilities including a record of construction detail, dimensions, fittings and use, supported by a comprehensive photographic record. Specific regard 5

6 should be made to materials or features not commonly found in similar property or where the replacement costs would be higher than normally incurred. Relevant planning permissions, licenses and approvals The condition of the property, including an assessment of any deterioration arising from damage, age, defects or overdue repairs will in some areas result in deductions in the insurance assessment. The cause of the damage must be stated. However, fire and arson etc. is a criminal matter and must be considered by the police or other appropriate agents. The underlying causes of the damage need then not be reported, while the fact that this is under the investigation by other agents must be included in the rapport. Extent of the damage Repairs and cost of replacement and contractual conditions regarding market price for construction work necessary to repair the damage. The specification of reconstruction costs together with necessary additional costs associated with reinstatement. The cost of Improvements must explicitly be stated in the report or, alternatively, explicitly be excluded. In cases where the insured is unable to recover input VAT charges the valuer must clarify whether it is possible under the insurance policy, or national law, to increase the assessed costs correspondingly The cause of a claim for total reinstatement may be a catastrophic fire or explosion. Provision therefore needs to be made for the demolition of the existing structure as well as any work needed to protect adjacent and adjoining buildings. Depending on the nature or extent of the damage, the demolition process may be more dangerous than might otherwise be the case and in extreme cases the foundations may also require removal Breach of safety instructions, identification, causation and in some instances liability and regress Reservations and mandatory limitations 5.2. The calculation of building costs, necessary to assess the compensation for a particular damage, is based on different practices of measuring building areas. Practices will vary between net and gross external areas, depending on national practice and type of building. Guides that provide typical building costs for each different form of construction are frequently published on national basis. A valuer must ensure that the basis of measurement undertaken is consistent with the basis adopted by authors of any recognised guide and the practice adopted in the country concerned The conventional purpose of insurance cover is to make good the loss caused by damage. An assessment of cost of reinstatement should be based on the full cost of replacement, rather than Market Value or any other basis, unless the insurance contract specifically 6

7 states otherwise. In such a case the damage report should make clear that the value given is not an assessment of the cost of reinstatement and the actual basis shall be stated To make an assessment report on the cost of reinstatement the valuer shall take into consideration that the rebuilding cost will be influenced by a number of different factors including the type of property, the type of construction, the quality of construction and the location of the property, particularly in the context of the proximity of surrounding property and any restrictions relating to building activity within the boundaries In the case of rebuilding the valuer must take into consideration that the site may be constrained by other buildings already on site and other surrounding buildings which have since been developed. Any building is attached to another property may need to be supported temporarily and protected from the weather. When making his damage report the valuer shall include such additional cost in the cost of reinstatement In calculating the cost of reinstatement the valuer shall include the cost of removing any rubble and other waste material from site prior to rebuilding. The valuer must be particularly aware of the fact that the costs associated with depositing in landfill or waste sites have increased substantially over recent years, particularly in respect of deleterious or contaminated materials In his damage report the valuer shall take the cost associated with improving the energy performance of a qualifying building into consideration. Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU requires improved energy performance in the event of major renovations, defined as those where the total cost of the renovation related to the building shell and/or energy installations such as heating, hot water supply, air-conditioning, ventilation and lighting is higher than 25% of the value of the building, excluding the value of the land upon which the building is situated, or those where more than 25% of the building shell undergoes renovation 5.8. If the reconstruction of properties involve the use of architect s, surveyor s, engineer s and other relevant services, the valuer shall take all such fees into account in his damage report, together with fees and costs associated with planning permission and building regulation approval. 6. Other Issues 6.1. In the event of total loss, it would be unrealistic or perhaps unnecessary or uneconomic to rebuild the structure as it existed. This might arise where the insured property had been constructed using materials that would not now be used or by methods or to standards that are now outmoded. An example would be a building built with traditional materials 7

8 and designed to accommodate outdated processes. In such instances, there may be no need to rebuild the structure as it was and it may be cheaper and more appropriate for rebuilding to meet the current and foreseeable requirements at the time of assessment with contemporary methods, materials and standards. The valuer may be asked to provide a valuation based on the concept of Depreciated Replacement Cost. Frequently the insurance contract will also provide alternatives provisions for calculating adequate alternatives for compensation The Cost Approach (or the Contractor s Method) is used to assess the new replacement cost and the depreciated replacement cost (see EVS2) When the valuer uses the method of Depreciated Replacement Cost, allowance should only be made for the depreciation arising from physical deterioration, but not functional or economic obsolescence as the objective is to replace what may be physically lost. The assessment of depreciated replacement cost depends, inter alia, on the building s age, its expected remaining life, its construction, its use and maintenance A damage report does not need to include underlying land unless it is subject to an identified risk covered by the insurance policy (for example, flooding, contamination or a mudslide). In some countries such damages are under separate coverage Any assessment of insurable value of listed or heritage buildings require specialist knowledge of construction detail, appropriate replacement costs and requirements of a government agency or planning authority. Unless the valuer is recognised as a specialist in this area, any assessment should not be completed without assistance from an expert in the type and design of the subject property. Both the client and the insurance company must agree to the appointment of such assistance. 7. References 7.1. The scope of this document is closely related to the scope of EVA4. In some instances there is an overlap. It is thus important that in such cases the text in this document and in the EVA4 is consistent. When applicable, some of the text has been copied from the EVA4 and appropriate adaptions have been made To a certain extent this paper recommends related papers in three organisations recommended for further reading. These organizations are: CILA - The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters UK. FUEDI - The European Federation of Loss Adjusting Experts. NTF - The Norwegian valuers and surveyors organisation. May

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