Developments that involve an increase in the height or mass of a property may be at risk of infringing the Right to Light enjoyed by surrounding properties. This can lead to expensive claims against new developments.
However, Right to Light Indemnity Insurance is available for situations just like these. Whether you intend to proactively negotiate with affected parties about your development or adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach, we can tailor a policy that gives you the financial protection you need.
What is Right to Light Insurance?
Right to Light is an easement granted to property owners (freehold and leasehold) so that they have the right to adequate natural light on their property. This helps to ensure that a property's access to daylight is not compromised by new developments, constructions or renovations in neighbouring areas.
A Right to Light refers to a particular amount of light in a room or space. Using the 50:50 rule, a Right to Light injury occurs if the light within a room is reduced to less than 50% of the original amount.
If a neighbouring project causes someone to lose this much light, the property owner can make a claim against the developer.
Right to Light or Rights of Light can be documented in the Title document to the properties. However, if there isn’t a specific document, it is generally the case that any building over 20 years old may have a Right to Light.
Right to Light Insurance therefore provides protection against the financial consequences of a third party asserting a claim for loss of light. This includes legal/professional fees, the cost of any settlement entered into and catastrophic losses following an injunction.
What are the benefits of Right to Light Insurance?
The benefits of Right to Light Insurance are:
- Risk mitigation: Right to Light Insurance provides developers with financial protection should there be a claim or dispute. This can support you when it comes to legal fees, court costs, compensation, or orders to redevelop or demolish a property.
- Flexibility: Right to Light Insurance policies can be tailored to the specific needs of each development project. This means that cover can be adapted to your project's scale, location and potential impact on neighbouring properties.
- Peace of mind: You can build with confidence, knowing that your projects are financially protected against unexpected legal challenges and potential financial setbacks.
- Investment protection: This insurance helps to protect your investment by minimising the financial risk of claims.
What does Right to Light Insurance cover?
Right to Light Insurance provides protection against injunctions. These can be either prohibitory injunctions (where the developer is prevented from building) or mandatory (where the developer is asked to remove any construction).
Right to Light Insurance also covers the cost of any compensation, which is sometimes granted following an injunction against the developer.
Why choose us for Right to Light Insurance?
As an established independent insurance broker, we have access to leading Right to Light insurers and provide a quick service when it comes to arranging quotes.
What information do I need to provide for a Right to Light Insurance quote?
The key document we need is the Right to Light surveyors report.
This contains the data analysis known as the ‘Equivalent First Zone’ assessment, which the insurer uses for its rating.
In addition to the Right to Light surveyors report, we need:
- Planning Officers Report as well as the Planning Permission
- Official Title Register and Plan
- Gross Development Value
- Full objection(s) correspondence raised at Planning
- Details of any Party Wall agreement(s)
How long will it take to get a quote?
It usually takes a week to get an Indication of Terms from an insurer. This will include a list of subjectivities for additional information.
If you wish to go ahead to Formal Terms, then we must receive your subjectivity information. This will enable our insurers to issue their draft policy document.
How much does Right to Light Insurance cost?
If your development is within a residential area, premiums can start from £7,500.
However, the premium is largely determined by how many third parties are involved and which ones may suffer light reduction once your development is complete.
A Right to Light surveyors report detailing the Equivalent First Zone analysis will help insurers when they draft the terms of the policy.
Do I have to have Right to Light Insurance?
Having Right to Light Insurance is not essential. However, due to increasing legal costs, we would certainly recommend it.
It is in your interests to tackle Right to Light matters early. Ideally, it should be addressed at the site selection stage. If it is established that a neighbouring property is likely to enjoy a Right to Light, it may affect the height of your construction.
Get a Right to Light Insurance quote now
Download a form now for your Right to Light Insurance quote.
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