The Federation of Master Builders

Winter is Coming

Published date: 22 October 2018

Here at FMB Insurance we are now well into our busiest time of year for structural defects claims – what we like to call “Water Ingress Season”. This occurs every year from October until March where, during this period, we see an increase of 50% in the number of claims we investigate!

Throughout this time over 60% of claims relate to leaks, with our Top 4 types as follows during this season;

  • Flat roof leaks (33.5% of all claims)
  • Leaking windows and doors (12.5% of all claims)
  • Leaks from defective lead flashings and apron to chimney stack (9% of all claims)
  • Leaks caused by deficient valleys and guttering (4.5% of all claims)

Whilst some of these claims are completely down to defects within the works undertaken many times a simple programme of maintenance could have prevented the leak from occurring – or at least keep the roof in good working order for longer! Recommending simple maintenance to your clients can prevent a whole host of problems in the future. Top tips for homeowners are as follows;

  • Regular cleaning of gutters to remove leaves or branches
  • Ensure no debris left on flat roof
  • Regularly check roof tiles and slates and secure any that are loose
  • Complete visual inspections to ensure seals around windows and doors remain adequate and reseal where necessary
  • Check that brickwork is in a good state and repoint any badly weathered areas

To give additional security and peace of mind to clients you should also consider an insurance backed guarantee for any works undertaken. FMB Insurance can provide these to members and their clients to cover works for 2, 6 or 10 years post completion. Cover is provided in the event that the builder ceases to trade and defects are discovered within the insured works.


What happens in the event of a structural defects claim?

For our insurance backed guarantees, when initially notified of a structural defects claim the following steps are taken*

  • Claims form received and reviewed in conjunction with the original documents from when the works were placed on warranty.
  • Determine whether the original builder has ceased to trade (If still trading then liaise with them regarding the defects)
  • Send one of our In House RICS Surveyors to assess the problem and produce a schedule of remedial works
  • Send schedule of remedial works to members based locally to the claim
  • Appoint an FMB member to undertake the works and pay them directly.

*(steps may change dependent on circumstances surrounding complaint and builders trading status)

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