THE owner of a west Dorset pub that burned down last year is urging property owners to ensure they are correctly insured after being left with a hefty bill to rebuild his family home.

Mike Long, owner of the Clockhouse Inn, Chideock, still needs to find £150,000 to complete the reconstruction of his pub, which was destroyed in a fire on Easter Monday last year.

Following Mr Long's "traumatic experience", many other property-owners in Chideock have also found they are under-insured.

He said: “There are lots of opinions around Bridport and the surrounding areas as to how the under-insurance came about and I would like to highlight how we ended up in this position in the hope that others do not fall into the same position.

“I strongly believe that we have not done too much wrong and indeed, every single person that I have explained our situation to cannot believe what I am telling them.

“In Chideock alone, at least 17 different properties have been revalued since our fire. Every single one of these properties were in fact under-insured, and the combined total of under insurance now exceeds £6.3m.”

Mr Long is warning others that although the rebuild cost of The Clockhouse was lower than the amount the building was insured for, he only received 38 per cent of the cover.

He added: “We had in place insurance to the value of £554,869 and our rebuild cost came in at £521,000. Does this mean I am under insured? Apparently so.

“In the case of The Clockhouse, our insurers valued our property, after our fire, at a staggering £1.3m.

“As we had cover for £554,869 and it should, in their opinion, have been £1,339,000, we were only 38 per cent insured.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Mike Long outside The Clockhouse Inn

"This means the sum being offered by our insurers was £210,000 – a shortfall of £311,000 against the sum needed to rebuild.”

Mr Long has managed to increase the cover after contacting Bridport surveyors Findlay and Butler.

“After a long battle with our insurers, they agreed with our survey against their own, meaning we are now 57 per cent insured instead of 38 per cent and therefore we are now receiving from them a sum in the region of £300,000,” added Mr Long.

“My advice is to get your building valued – not a sales value but a full reinstatement valuation.

“I think people will be very surprised at what they should in fact be insured for. I certainly was, as was a lot of Chideock.”

Mr Long is advising people to avoid having to go through the "heart-breaking" experience of listing everything lost.

“Having to sit down after a traumatic event such as the one we have experienced, and try to list every single thing you have lost is not only heartbreaking but also eye opening.

“I truly hope that people never have to suffer such an event as we have. By taking a little time to list what you own and value it, and by getting a professional to do a full rebuild valuation if the unthinkable should ever happen you should not have the added stress of alleged under-insurance.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

The damage to The Clockhouse Inn

Mr Long has also thanked members of the community for their support and he hopes to re-open the Clockhouse Inn by the summer.
“We currently have reduced the shortfall to around £150,000 and there is lots going on to reduce this figure further," he said. “May I also take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind words and support, without which I would not have made it through this ordeal.”