With so many structural warranty companies to choose from, it can be difficult to find the right one. Q Assure Build Ltd’s Clare M Thomas provides insight
The availability of structural warranties has increased significantly in the past few years, with developers becoming increasingly aware of alternatives to the NHBC.
With so many companies to choose from, it can be difficult to know what to look for in a warranty partner.
Insurer: The most important aspect to consider is the strength of the insurer underwriting the warranty. The better the rating, the more surety policyholders have and the better it reflects on a developer’s brand.
Policy Coverage: It is important to consider whether the maximum sum insured is based on the rebuild, sales or construction value so that the property is adequately insured and the policyholder is not disadvantaged. Also, is the policy wording fair to consumers and how does the policy apply an excess or minimum claim value?
Existing Buildings: When refurbishing or converting existing buildings, consider whether the policy includes cover for the existing structure since many warranties cover new works only.
Developer Liability: It is important to understand what the warranty requires of developers and how long the requirements last (will developers be expected to rectify issues in year 8 for example?).
Inspection Regime: A key consideration should be how many inspections the warranty provider will undertake and what feedback will be provided. Many developers will welcome regular visits and the additional support they offer.
Technical Review: Consider how early in the process technical proposals are reviewed and if the warranty provider will provide technical support. Early review is hugely beneficial to avoid unexpected late requirements. It is also important to understand how the warranty provider implements any technical standards – are they guidance, leaving room for discussion, or are they requirements with no deviation?
Technical Capability: It is also useful to consider the technical expertise of the provider – can they support construction teams and help navigate through issues without simply requiring textbook solutions?
Approved Code: A crucial aspect for developers selling properties to consumers is whether the warranty is part of a CTSI Approved Consumer Code. This benefits the sales process, offering additional protection to consumers and offers independent and speedy low-cost dispute resolution services, and is also required by many mortgage lenders.
The Q Policy provides quality A-rated insurance from Lloyd’s of London. Our knowledgeable, experienced surveyors undertake a minimum of 8 inspections per plot, applying our technical standards with pragmatism and practicality. Q is also part of the CSTI Approved Consumer Code for New Homes.
We work with clients & developers to get it right first time – we’re on the same quality journey and work with companies who want to build quality properties.
Clare M Thomas
Q Assure Build Ltd
Please note: this is a commercial profile