Modern houses are easy to replace but house designs from decades ago are unlikely to be used. What can be done?
While not addressing this directly, State set out the boundaries for their clients. It is likely the boundaries will be similar with other insurance companies. The following is from the FAQ section headed Questions about your repair/rebuild.
"Your policy contract with us covers you to reinstate your home, like for like, with today’s building materials and obviously we would not replace materials that are prohibited today such as asbestos. Where there is no material impact in terms of cost and code compliance, we will work with you to accommodate changes you would like to make.
Please note, however, that any extra costs associated with these changes will be your responsibility e.g. design, architecture and engineering costs etc."
Anything out of the ordinary is going to cost more, and your insurer wants you to pay the additional cost. Out of the ordinary is likely to be anything that does not use building materials and designs that are commonly used now. Specially designed and/or environmentally friendly housing will, potentially, fall outside what an insurance company will be prepared to pay for.
State say if you have any questions to contact your claims case manager "who will be happy to assist you". As the amount that can be spent on your house will depend on your policy, which in turn will affect your hopes and plans, make them happy, give them a call. If you are unhappy with what you are told, agree to nothing and give one of us a call.
Copies of the latest State house policies (Comprehensive and Essentials) can be found here.