The Federation of Master Builders

8 smart ways to choose your Structural Insurance provider

Published date: 12 October 2017

As the Structural Warranty market sees a number of new entrants, do you really know what you should be looking for in a warranty provider? FMB Insurance is on hand to help you find the best cover.

Gone are the days where there was only one provider of Structural Warranties. There are now several warranties on the market which can leave anyone baffled as to which building warranty is right for them. Here are some handy tips to help you choose cover that’s right for your development:-

  1. Strength of the insurer: As most structural warranty firms provide insurance policies underwritten by insurers rather than underwriting the policy themselves, it’s vital to ensure that the insurer you choose will be around for the duration of the policy. The financial rating of the insurer underwriting the policy will indicate how secure the business is. However, in today’s unpredictable economy the strength of the insurer underwriting the warranty should not be overlooked. By choosing an ‘A’ rated insurer you are better protected as they have the ability to meet financial commitments in uncertain and trying times.
  1. Policy coverage: No one wants to make a claim and then told they are not covered. To guarantee the property is adequately insured and your buyers are not left disadvantaged, it’s important to check whether the maximum sum insured is based on the rebuild, sales or construction value. Also, if you plan on refurbishing or converting existing buildings you will need a policy which includes cover for the existing structure, since many warranties cover new works only. It’s also important to understand what the warranty requires of developers and how long the requirements last, for example, are developers expected to rectify issues in year 6.
  1. Technical support: Whilst you are buying an insurance product, it is important to take into account that the warranty provider you will be working alongside for the duration of the build. With this in mind, it’s important to understand how they operate on site, for example, do they employ their own surveyors and do they have clear technical standards.
  1. Technical Capability: It is also useful to consider the technical expertise of the provider. Are they able to support your construction firm and help you navigate through issues without simply requiring textbook solutions?
  1. Inspection Regime:If you like many developers’ welcome regular visits and additional support, it will be important to find out how many inspections the warranty provider will undertake and what feedback will be provided.
  1. Customer Service: Similarly to technical support the customer service provided by your provider will affect your day to day experience including the issuing of your certificates at the end of the build. It’s worth finding out if you will you have a dedicated point of contact.
  1. Client protection: A crucial aspect for developers selling properties to consumers is whether the warranty is part of a CTSI Approved Consumer Code, as it’s a requirement many mortgage lenders check. By choosing an insurer who is a Registered Code user provides a number of benefits, from helping you protect your customer deposits to both you and your client having access to speedy low-cost dispute resolution services.
  1. Value: Although margins can be tight, price is only one factor in determining the value for money. Before you make a decision based solely on price, consider all the other factors and make sure you’re happy with the answers provided to the above questions.

FMB Insurance provides quality ‘A’ rated insurance from Lloyd’s of London. Our 10-year policy provides cover for existing structures and for an extensive selection of developments. With a minimum of four visits per plot, our highly experienced and pragmatic team of surveyors spend time working with you to get it right first time. As a Registered Code user of the Consumer Code for New Homes, our policy provides the ultimate protection for future buyers.

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