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Chancel Repair: Indemnity Insurance Policy

A chancel indemnity insurance policy is insurance taken out by the homeowner, or a prospective property buyer, to protect them financially should the homeowner become responsible to pay chancel repair liability.

Chancel Repair Liability

Chancel repair liability is an old law when churches were the heart of villages and towns. Years ago, residents in villages would pay contributions to the church to maintain it. Even though the liability isn't in place anymore across England and Wales about 5,200 churches can still impose chancel repair liability on certain homes. You don't necessarily have to live right next to a church to be liable. If the home is on rectorial land then the owner of the home on that land is still liable to pay.

Checking Chancel Liability

You should check property deeds and land registry records to find out if your home may be subject to chancel repair liability. If you're buying a home, check with the current owners.

Chancel Liability Indemnity Policy

You can take out a chancel liability indemnity policy to protect yourself financially if you need to make chancel repair contributions. You should not have already made any chancel repair contributions before taking out the policy as this normally makes the insurance invalid.

If you're selling a house it might but up to you to seek a chancel indemnity policy. If you don't want to take out the insurance, inform the buyer you don't want to pay. It will be their decision to buy the house if they want and pay the insurance, or check if the home is subject to chancel repair liability.

A chancel liabilty indemnity policy will cover the financial cost of paying chancel repairs if your house is on land liable for chancel repair contributions. Chancel indemnity insurance is especially important if you are buying a home and only costs £60 to £150 as a one-off fee; if the previous owners weren't aware of the chancel liability order you, as the new owner, will still be liable. The chancel indemnity insurance policy will protect you in the event a chancel repair order is issued but you may want to check the land registry before taking out a policy.

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