Well, it isn’t a society, but Ansvar has highlighted the underinsurance risk on these historic buildings;
The traditional Village Hall is rapidly vanishing from the UK countryside. As many villages become commuter towns due to excessive housing development, or are consumed by expanding towns and suburbs nearby, the new arrivals don’t feel the same sense of community or attachment to something which has been around since the 19th century in many cases. But now, Ansvar, the expert insurers for the charity and not-for-profit sectors, are urging centre committees to verify the adequacy of their existing protective coverage to guarantee the protection of these venues for future use.
There are approximately 13,000 such centres across England, Scotland and Wales, that host thousands of events and celebrations every year. With some of these halls and centres having been built before World War I or to commemorate it, many have been vital community spaces for over 100 years.
Adam Tier, Head of Underwriting at Ansvar, emphasises the importance:
“Village and community halls are no longer limited to being mere event venues; they can host yoga classes and farmers’ markets, or provide space for personal trainers, art workshops and post offices.”
But extra compliance admin, Net Zero targets and modern building regulation means many Village Halls carry ever-rising rebuild costs. Wooden framed halls are also a serious fire risk, compared to many modern brick built community centres. Due to recent inflationary pressures and the rapid increase in the cost of materials, a significant number of village halls and community centres will now be underinsured.
Adam Tier added:
“Being underinsured can have devastating consequences in the event of a large loss or significant damage to these buildings, where policyholders are forced to find the shortfall to reinstate the property. These delays in getting back up and running, or in severe cases back open at all, can leave a big hole in the local community. Therefore, it is imperative that a buildings valuation is regularly updated and contents and other items are frequently inventoried.