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Buildings Cover – Useful Information


Under-insurance is a major issue for Scout Groups. If your building is under-insured, you may not get the full amount needed to repair or replace it, when you make a claim. This may leave you to meet the shortfall.

Example: In general terms, if the rebuild value of your Scout building is £100,000 and you only insure it for £50,000, then an insurance company may only pay 50% of any claim you make.

It is essential that the sum insured for the building should represent the present day rebuilding cost. This should include boundary walls, gates and fences associated with the building.

This should be confirmed by a valuer, surveyor, or builder.

This is not necessarily the price paid for the building or the precieved current market value of the property. You should make appropriate allowances for additional costs such as demolition, removing the debris, asbestos removal, professional fees, VAT, and rent.

Although the 1989 Finance Act states that new constructions and total rebuilds of domestic buildings or buildings used for relevant charitable purpose will remain zero rated, partial rebuilds will, however, continue to remain subject to standard VAT rating. It is possible that in extreme circumstances the repair of a building could equal the cost of a total rebuild, and could also be subject to VAT..

Starting with the right value is essential.

If you need help with your valuation we can provide free of charge guidance on sums insured.

We are partnered with IAS Chartered Loss Adjusters to provide an indication of rebuilding cost free of charge for anyone taking out the Scout Property & Equipment policy with us.

Please contact us for details.

Asbestos within the construction of the building

It is widely recognised that asbestos fibres suspended in the air can cause serious illness if inhaled. Should your building be unfortunate enough to suffer a fire it could result in asbestos exploding and scattering fragments over a large area.

In previous cases of this kind Local Authorities have forced Groups to employ specialist contractors to remove the debris and in some cases to remove the contaminated topsoil from the entire site.

This can be a very costly exercise. We would therefore suggest that you approach your Local Authority for advice and guidelines. If it seems likely that you will incur additional expenses to comply with Local Authority requirements in the event of the building being damaged, it would be advisable to contact a local demolition firm for an estimate for such work to be carried out. Having obtained an estimate you should then include that sum in your building insurance.

If you wish to discuss this further please feel free to contact Unity on 0845 0945 703.

Hiring out your buildings

Many Groups will be tempted to hire out their buildings as a source of fundraising. In principle and practice this may be a good idea as it can yield significant financial returns as well as improving security. An occupied building is less prone to vandalism.

Under our Scout Property and Equipment policy you will still be covered for property, contents and equipment damage if you allow others to use your building.

Your potential liability as property owners is covered under The Scout Association's Public Liability Policy. However, you should make potential users aware that they too have responsibilities.

Any equipment brought onto your premises by, say, a playgroup, would remain their responsibility. If such equipment were faulty and subsequently caused injury to a Scout, the Scout’s parent could sue the playgroup.

For regular users of your premises, particularly other organisations, it is advisable to have a written formal agreement. This need not be complicated and the Legal Department at Gilwell Park can provide a model form.

Remember, your property damage cover has a small excess. Anyone who obtains permission to use your Scout Group's premises should be prepared to (and be capable of) paying for minor damage caused by their use.


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