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COVID-19 Update: Please note that we are all working remotely and our hours remain unchanged at 8.30a- 5p CT. As always, taking care of our clients remains our top priority. Our phone number is 312-645-1200 and email remains the fastest way to reach us although all calls will be returned by the end of day should you leave a message because no one is available to answer. For more information and resources, see our Latest Insights.

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Notre Dame Fire

April 22, 2019

Many people have asked us if Notre Dame was insured for the tragic fire last week.  Our insurance instinct told us it probably was not.  Everything we have learned after the fire about this historically and emotionally important cathedral pointed to the likelihood that it was not insured – building with considerable deferred maintenance, reluctance to install any fire protection measures which might change the historic character and wood beam roof supports. Insurance underwriters must price buildings with high likelihood of loss at rates that are sometimes so high that the premiums are unaffordable, or they simply decline to insure at all.   Insurance Business America and the Associated Press reports that the French government owns the building and does not insure any of them.  The article also points to the high cost of rebuilding to historical standards.  The carriers we place Chartwell clients with have considerable experience in rebuilding older homes and know from experience why replacement cost per square foot is so costly for homes that might not have the bells and whistles of new homes but whose reconstruction cost may be higher than the market value.  Click here to read more.

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