Robert Williams Estate Agents, Exeter

These two values are indeed very different things. The market value of a property is what you would aim to sell it for, whereas the insured value is what it would cost to rebuild it in the event of a major fire, accident or subsidence, for example.

The market value is almost always higher because the insured value doesn’t need to consider the value of the land on which the property sits. However, in the case of listed buildings, properties made from non-standard materials, or those with special architectural features, the rebuild cost could actually be higher.

Insurance companies usually provide an estimate and increase their valuations annually in line with inflation. It’s important to tell them if you’ve extended or improved your home so they can take this into account.

We would however advise you to check the insured value yourself every few years, just to make sure you have adequate cover. There are two ways of doing this – the most accurate way is to hire a chartered surveyor to carry out a professional assessment, or the less costly option is to use the ABI (Association of British Insurers) BCIS (Building Cost Information Service) Residential Rebuilding Costs calculator at

You’ll need to register, measure the gross external floor area of your home, and enter that as well as a few other details into the calculator. Once you have the result, you can compare it with your level of cover and ask your insurer to make any necessary adjustments. It might mean you pay a slightly higher premium, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind that there wouldn’t be a shortfall should you need to make a claim.

To find out the market value of your home, contact your local estate agent. We’d be happy to provide you with a market valuation free of charge and without obligation – just give us a call on 01392 204800.

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