Is your church building underinsured?

Image of church

In the event of a catastrophic incident, such as a major fire impacting your church, it is imperative that the sum insured is sufficient to cover the required repairs to avoid underinsurance. Our church buildings insurance team can talk you through the key things you need to be aware of below, as well as covering our partnership with

How can underinsurance affect you?

If you needed to make a claim and were underinsured, your insurer may void the policy completely by refunding any premiums paid.

Another alternative is that your insurer provides you with what is known as a ‘reduced pay-out’. Insurance policies often include an ‘average clause’, this means that your insurer can decrease the liability for a claim by applying a comparable settlement.

An example of Underinsurance

To give an example of underinsurance, if the rebuild value of your church is £1,000,000 but your church insurance policy only covered you for £750,000, you would be underinsured. This would mean that if you needed to make a claim for damages worth £20,000, due to being underinsured, your insurer may only pay out £15,000 (75%), leaving you to pay the remaining £5,000 (25%) that you weren’t insured for.

The purpose of the average clause is to ensure that the property owner shares the risk of loss with the insurer and to encourage the property owner to insure the property for its full replacement cost.

5 things to consider when calculating your church buildings sum insured

  1. Materials: The cost of materials is one of the most significant factors in rebuild cost assessment. Churches may have unique materials, such as stained-glass windows and intricate woodwork, which can be costly to restore or replace.
  2. Labour: The cost of labour is another critical factor in rebuild cost assessment. Churches often require skilled labour to restore or recreate unique designs and features.
  3. Historical Significance: Churches may have historical significance that requires special attention during the restoration process. The rebuild cost assessment should consider any additional costs associated with preserving the church’s historical significance.
  4. Location: The location of the church may also impact the rebuild cost assessment. Churches located in urban areas may face higher labour and material costs than churches located in rural areas.
  5. Accessibility: Accessibility to the church may also affect the rebuild cost assessment. Churches located in remote or challenging-to-reach areas may face higher labour and material costs.

How do I know if my church building is underinsured?

As part of our aim to offer you the most accurate and stress-free insurance experience, we have a partnership with, through which we can offer a desktop valuation for just £169* for your church property if its value is under £3,500,000.

For more information, please call us on 01206 760 780 or email us at

*Acceptance criteria applies

Do some churches require a site visit?

Yes, we would recommend church properties valued over £3,500,000, or Grade I, Grade II*, Category A and Grade A listed properties, to have a site visit in place of a desktop valuation. Please contact us directly and we can assist you with arranging an in-person visit to value your property.

About WRS
We’ve been helping churches of all sizes find the best church buildings insurance for their needs for over 40 years. Whether your buildings are old or modern, our experienced church insurance team will give you the peace of mind you need. We also specialise in charity insurance.