July 18, 2019

Notre-Dame fire raises questions on insurance

The world saw the renowned Notre-Dame, an 800-year-old historical monument go down in flames recently. Rebuilding this architectural work will cost billions of dollars. Interestingly, the Notre-Dame has not been insured. Notre Dame and all of its pre-1905 artworks are the property of the French state and not insured. The French government is responsible for costs like restoration and rebuilding because it has the financial resources to do so — and because taking out private insurance on something as valuable as a national monument would be difficult and expensive, according to an APreport.

While French authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire at Notre Dame, attention has focused on an EUR6 million (USD6.75 million) renovation project that was underway when the blaze broke out. The building contractors would have been required to have insurance, but the payouts from that would be “a drop in the ocean” compared with the cost of restoring the cathedral, according to insurance experts.

Rebuilding a centuries-old landmark is difficult and expensive because the goal is to preserve the original character of the building, not just replace it.

 

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