Insurance for village halls

Insure your village hall

Please see below an article submitted by Ed Huston from Insure your village hall, if you have any questions about the article please feel free to contact Ed on the following:

This article covers all aspects of insuring your village hall and is a useful document and guide to consider when your management committee need to discuss any renewal of village hall insurance, just click on the link below:

Insure your village hall article – click here.

Setting sums insured on village hall insurance policies

The following article has been kindly provided by Norris & Fisher please click here to view their website.

Norris and fisher logo 

Setting the sums to be insured on a Village Hall insurance policy is one of the most important tasks to be undertaken by a hall committee. It is essential that buildings and contents are not under-insured or there could be a problem in the event of a claim.

The reason for this is that insurance policies usually contain an “Average Condition”. This means that any claim payment will be reduced by the proportion that the property is under-insured.

Let us consider an example where the true replacement value of the contents of a Hall is £30,000, but the sum insured is only £20,000. In other words, it could be considered that only 2/3rds of the contents are being covered. If there were to be a kitchen fire damaging goods worth £6,000, insurers would only pay 2/3rds of this amount – i.e. £4,000. They do this to reflect the fact that the policyholder is not contributing the correct premium to the fund from which claims are paid.

The situation is compounded where it is a large buildings claim. The sum insured on the buildings should be based upon the rebuilding value for the existing type of construction. It is not sufficient to say that the property would be rebuilt using modern materials and cheaper methods because the damage may only be partial and Average would apply if the sum insured were too low – reducing the settlement figure.

Setting this rebuilding value is very difficult. The only accurate way is to get the opinion of a surveyor or, as a cheaper but perhaps less accurate option, a local builder. Once the figure is set then insurers are likely to apply index-linking to the figure, so keeping it up-to-date.

Some insurance brokers offer a service whereby they survey the Hall and help you set the correct rebuilding value. This is often provided free of charge.

As a general rule-of-thumb figure, a rate of £1,750 per square metre will give you an indication as to whether your sum insured is somewhere near the right figure. This assumes that the construction is modern brick and tile but this calculation can only provide a rough figure – you will still need to speak to a surveyor or a builder!

Setting the contents sum insured is a much more straightforward job. You simply have to add up the replacement value of everything in the Hall! This should include stage curtains, tables, chairs and equipment in the kitchen other than fixtures. Don’t forget to add in the value of groundkeeping equipment – although tractor mowers may need to be separately covered and you should notify your insurer or broker of such items. You cannot decide which items to insure and which to leave uninsured otherwise you could fall victim to the application of Average, as explained above.

It is usually possible to obtain cover for equipment which belongs to hirers. However, you must provide a separate value for such contents and tell insurers of their existence. If the hirer has their own insurance – as a play group, for example, inevitably will – then it is more appropriate for those contents to be covered by the hirer’s policy.

If you have contents which are used away from the Hall – a marquee for example – you must notify your broker or insurer as the cover will not normally apply automatically.

The important message is to tell your insurer or broker about anything out of the ordinary. They will be able to advise you accordingly.

If you have any specific queries regarding insurance, you can address them to Martyn Ingram at Norris & Fisher –

Under-insurance. Is it time to get a valuation for your hall?

This week I attended the national ACRE conference for Village Halls Advisors.  This event brings together all the advisors from across the country to share knowledge and best practice, as well as hearing speakers from various organisation to increase our understanding and knowledge to support community buildings in our areas.

One of our speakers at the conference covered valuation of community buildings and the risk involved in under-insurance of your facilities.  I have attached here two documents which may be of interest to trustees.

Desktop Valuation FAQ

Desktop Valuation – ACRE

For further information of this service you can also take a look on the Norris and Fisher website.  For our members we also provide a comprehensive information sheet on insurance matters, to access a copy either login to the members area on our main website or drop me a line and I can email you a copy.

Broadband in community facilities

Broadband VH

We are currently conducting a survey across the village hall and community buildings network to better understand how broadband is being rolled out and to hear your views and any concerns.

Please could we ask for your help answering a handful of questions regarding broadband in your village hall/community building? There’s a maximum of 5 questions to be answered so hopefully this will take no more than a minute or two of your time.

The answers you give will feed into a piece of work that Cambridgeshire ACRE is undertaking with Connecting Cambridgeshire (the body responsible for the roll-out of superfast broadband in the County) looking at broadband provision in the County’s network of community facilities.

If you could complete the survey by Friday 26 May 2017, I’d be very grateful for your feedback.

Click here to access the survey, it should only take a couple of minutes of your time to complete and we appreciate your help and support in taking part.

Hallmark celebration at our Coffee Morning

What an excellent day yesterday turned out to be – the sun was shining and it looks as though Spring is truly here!  Our coffee morning event this month took us to Needingworth Village Hall on this gloriously sunny morning.  Needingworth seems to have plenty of community facilities available to residents including some excellent outdoor space around the hall.  The trustees warmly welcomed us with coffee and biscuits, and as usual our meeting started with a short talk by the hosts and a tour of their facility.

This event also enabled us to celebrate the Hallmark 1 accreditation for Mandeville Hall in Kimbolton.  The trustees have worked incredibly hard to ensure all their policies and procedures are truly embedded in their every day running of the hall.  Mandeville Hall achieved 100% pass rate, an exceptional achievement. Our congratulations to the management committee for all their hard work and dedication.  We look forward to them progressing onto Hallmark 2 & 3 in the coming months.

Kirsten Bennett, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire ACRE said: “I would like to congratulate the trustees and volunteers at Mandeville Hall on their recent success with Hallmark 1. This accreditation is confirmation of the hard work and dedication of the management committee and supporters of the village hall. I wish them every success as they progress through the next two levels of the scheme.”

Robert Oliver Chairman of the trustees said: “Our management committee are delighted at achieving the Hallmark 1 accreditation. We believe that the Hallmark scheme helps not only to improve the management of community buildings but also to engender a shared pride amongst the local community in their village hall. We thank Cambridgeshire ACRE for this accreditation which acknowledges all the hard work of our trustees and volunteers over many years. We have already commenced our preparations for the next level and hope to be in a position to apply for Hallmark 2 this summer.”

Close up outside

For more details on Hallmark accreditation please click on the tab above or email us directly.  We can’t wait to be handing more accreditation certificates out to halls in Cambridgeshire!

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

ACRE is urging Government to pledge £3 million in the Budget to refund the VAT paid by village halls on improvement work such as modern kitchen and toilet facilities and new meeting rooms.

The cost of VAT on improvements hampers fundraising to improve these vital community buildings   ACRE Chairman, David Emerson CBE, has written to the Chancellor on behalf of ACRE’s Village and Community Halls Network to ask for VAT refunds for village halls and other similar charitable community buildings such as church halls, community centres and scout huts, all of which provide essential facilities for a wide range of community groups such as pre-schools, youth clubs, WIs, lunch clubs for the elderly and sports groups.

Mr Emerson says “A closely targeted VAT refund scheme would assist volunteers running charitable village halls and similar community buildings to update and adapt older buildings to better serve their communities in the light of changes in society, such as an ageing population and increased pre-school hours.

A VAT refund scheme would achieve immediate social and economic benefits without having to wait for a review of VAT rates post Brexit. It would demonstrate that the Government intends Brexit to achieve benefits right to the grassroots of communities throughout the UK”

Small village hall charities are not VAT registered so they cannot reclaim the 20% VAT on building work to update older halls, which means that a £200,000 refurbishment project incurs an extra £40,000 in non-reclaimable VAT. This tax on voluntary effort is widely felt to be unfair. Charitable community buildings underpin community life, particularly in rural areas where alternative facilities such as pubs, shops and schools have closed.

VAT refund schemes now operate for search and rescue services, hospices and historic churches which pave the way for a modest refund scheme for village hall.