norhamFor many halls their insurance premium is their biggest single annual cost. As a consequence it is important to get it right by making sure that insurable risks are covered but that expensive, unnecessary protection is not purchased.  There are a number of insurance brokers and companies which offer services to village halls where various types of insurance cover (buildings, content, public liability etc.)  are packaged together often giving good value.

Some companies offer discounts:

  • for being members of the Consortium
  • for halls which have attained a Hallmark standard
  • for no-claims
  • for agreeing longer term contracts

In spring 2013 we conducted a short survey of 5 specialist companies inviting them to tell us what discounts they were currently offering. The summary of the results, together with their contact details, can be found here. If you are seeking quotes, this would be a useful place to start.

It is good practice to test the market by regularly seeking quotes from several suppliers. Please bear in mind that a high percentage discount on a high initial quote might not be such good value as a smaller discount on a lower quote.  Please note that companies’ inclusion does not mean that the Consortium is endorsing or recommending their services. Lorinda Whitaker of Allied Westminster (Insurance Brokers Ltd) gave a presentation to us in 2011 which provides very useful background to insurance issues. More recently Louise Currie of CAN spoke to us about frequently raised aspects of hall insurance in a presentation titled Why Insurance matters? This can be downloaded here.

Re-instatement Valuations

It is important that management committees recognise the danger of underinsuring their halls. If you are unfortunate enough to make a claim and the insurance company calculates that you are currently underinsured by say 30%, it will only pay out 70% of your claim for loss. Until recently, halls needed to instruct professional surveyors to undertake a re-build valuations for insurance purposes to make sure they were adequately covered, but often found the fees charged prohibitive. Over the last 18 months a number of insurance companies have introduced their own valuation services sometimes requiring halls to provide photos, drawings etc to help reduce costs. Some appear to be particularly good value – see Allied Westminster’s.  The usual condition is that you will have to be insured through them to take advantage of this service.

If you need to know more about why regular valuations are important , please read these notes. It is recommended to obtain a rebuild valuation every 5 years to protect trustees from unnecessary risk.

Photograph: Norham Village hall