Monthly Archives: March 2022

 

11 
Mar

What’s the difference between a building warranty and home insurance?

home insurance building warranty

Both building warranties and home insurance protect the owner’s bank account against costly repairs, but what’s the difference in their coverage? Do you really need both at the same time?

It’s understandable to want to save money by only buying the best insurance product, but you won’t be covering all the bases if you choose one over the other. Let’s look into what these policies are and why investing in both a building warranty and home insurance offers the best financial protection.

What is a building warranty?

A building warranty, structural warranty, or home warranty is a type of insurance policy taken out on a new build. The developer or builder responsible for the project usually sets up the warranty before construction starts, then transfers the policy to the new owner when they buy the property.

This is also known as latent defects insurance, because it protects the policyholder against latent structural defects. In the several years after the build is completed and settles, problems with the structure might develop, caused by defective design, materials, or workmanship during construction.

The structural warranty should cover the expense of repairs or replacement materials, giving the property owner peace of mind that they won’t be out of pocket for a problem that wasn’t their fault. These warranties can apply to new build homes, commercial properties, self-builds, and more.

What is home insurance?

Whereas the property developer is initially responsible for a building warranty, it’s the responsibility of the buyer to ensure they have personal insurance for their new residence or business insurance for their new premises. Home insurance covers your property against other types of damage to the building and your belongings, which the latent defects warranty doesn’t as a structure-only policy.

This includes events like vandalism and theft, fire and smoke, and weather damage (e.g. flooding from heavy rain or falling trees from high winds). You can purchase separate policies for building insurance (applying to the building itself) or contents insurance (applying to your possessions only), or opt for an inclusive home insurance policy that rolls both types of coverage into one contract.

Home insurance may also cover you for legal expenses in the case of a third-party injury claim on your property. Standard coverage will normally exclude circumstances like extreme natural disasters.

Why do I need a structural warranty if I have home insurance?

As you can see, these insurance types cover different risks, so you’ll be leaving yourself open to more liabilities if you only have one of them and not the other. If you would prefer full protection for damage to the structure, the building as a whole, and everything inside it, then you’ll need both.

If that isn’t reason enough, financial lenders will also expect you to have a structural warranty and home insurance set up before you apply for a mortgage. Since they’ll be paying for part of the property upfront, mortgage providers are unlikely to take the risk on an unprotected investment.

If you’re in need of a structural warranty for any type of building project, why not contact Architects Certificate to get a no-obligation quote? We may not provide home insurance here, but we do offer bespoke building warranties, so call us on 01619 288 804 or email info@architectscertificate.co.uk.

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Published Date: 11th March 2022
Category: ABC+ warranty, building warranty, Home warranty, structural warranty


 

04 
Mar

A complete guide to contractors’ all risk insurance

contractors all risk insurance

Anyone involved in construction, from designing to building, should know the importance of proper site insurance. There are many potential liabilities in this line of work – the bigger the project, the more risks there will be.

Unforeseen incidents on your construction site, from floods and fires to vandalism and theft, can lead to costly repairs or replacement work. This is where contractors’ all risk insurance comes in to cover these costs for you.

As a contractor, you would still be obligated to complete the work, and the customer wouldn’t want to pay twice over – but why should you be out of pocket for an incident that wasn’t your fault?

You deserve the peace of mind that this kind of coverage can give you, so keep reading to learn more about all risk contractors’ insurance policies and how they can help you and your business.

What is contractors’ all risk insurance?

This type of flexible insurance policy provides far more extensive cover than the typical ‘named perils’ format. Also known as CAR insurance for short, or construction insurance, it offers financial support for contractors and construction companies.

While ‘named perils’ insurance only allows you to claim for certain conditions specified in the policy, ‘all risk’ insurance allows you to claim for more casualties that aren’t explicitly excluded. So, even if an incident category isn’t mentioned, the policy could still cover it.

‘All risk’ essentially means that the policy will cover all types of damage to works and equipment, unless the terms expressly omit the particular occurrence. The ability to claim for a range of property damages and third-party injuries can be very useful if something does go wrong.

Contractors’ all risk insurance is more or less an all-in-one policy that encompasses other common types of project insurance, including contract works and public liability cover. You can get separate policies for these, but it’s more efficient and cost-effective to roll them into an all risk policy.

In order for clients to get their own residential or commercial cover for the building in progress, their insurers will expect you (the contractor) to at least have the correct public liability insurance.

Who needs to have contractors’ all risk insurance?

All risk insurance for contractors can generally be taken out by anyone working in any type of construction, from builders and bricklayers to plumbers and plasterers. Any business responsible for construction site works should consider taking out a contractors’ all risk policy.

The contract with the client should set out the obligations of each party, including who is responsible for ensuring each element of the build. It’s usually easier for the contractor to take care of it, but a joint CAR policy is sometimes preferred for larger projects with multiple parties involved.

For example, both the employer and contractor may want to be named in the same policy, with the option of also naming finance providers (e.g. banks or individual investors). All parties then have the right to claim against the insurance policy if damages or injuries affect their stake in the project. 

In such a case, where multiple parties might make a claim under the same policy, all named parties have the additional responsibility of informing the insurer of any incidents that could lead to a claim, even if there are no intentions of making one at the time of notifying the policy provider.

What does contractors’ all risk insurance cover?

The level of cover and length of the policy term can vary from project to project, so you always need to triple-check what’s covered and what isn’t. These contracts tend to include the following policies:

⦿ Contract works insurance

The ‘contract works’ element provides protection for the property while it’s being built, including the construction materials being used and stored onsite. If the structures in progress are damaged or materials stolen, the policy should cover the costs of repairs and replacement materials. However, it won’t cover any pre-existing structures on the site that you might also be renovating or converting.

⦿ Public liability insurance

If a third party is injured or their property is damaged while on your project site, they may make a claim against you. Having public liability cover means you won’t have to worry so much about legal fees and compensation if this does happen. A ‘third party’ could be anyone on the site who isn’t a contractor or employee, like sub-contractors, customers, suppliers, and members of the public.

⦿ Employers’ liability insurance

Even if you aren’t actually employing anyone, employers’ liability cover tends to be a standard contractual requirement. This is because UK employment law makes it mandatory for companies to protect their employees while they’re working for you. If an unfortunate accident happens on your site and your employee suffers illness, injury, or even death as a result, this can cover their compensation.

⦿ Own plant and/or hired-in plant

There is a wide variety of expensive professional equipment in use on a building site at any given time, from scaffolding and Portakabin offices to cranes and excavators. Whether your company directly owns the machinery or you’re temporarily leasing it under a hire agreement, you need to be sure that your insurance can cover repairing or replacing equipment that gets damaged in your custody.

⦿ Tools and personal effects

When it comes to power tools and related hand-operated equipment, many employees prefer to use their own – though some businesses prefer to supply company equipment. In either case, your site insurance should also cover damage or theft of own tools and any other personal belongings onsite. This usually won’t include sub-contractors, who should have their own cover in place for their own tools.

⦿ Optional extensions

Depending on the provider, it’s possible to extend the coverage of builders’ all risk insurance to specifically include further conditions. A common option is non-negligence insurance, which covers you against claims for unexpected damage to neighbouring property resulting from your ongoing works. Legal expenses insurance is also useful should you need to seek expert legal guidance.

What’s excluded from contractors’ all risk insurance?

While CAR insurance has the advantage of covering a spectrum of policies, unfortunately, it can’t actually cover everything. The all risk insurance contract should explicitly state what the policy holder or holders won’t be able to claim for. The following are common all risk insurance exclusions:

  • Professional indemnity insurance – protecting you against mistakes and negligence in advice, design, or physical works
  • D&O insurance – protecting directors and officers against civil, regulatory, or criminal proceedings against managerial decisions and actions
  • Defective workmanship – if you want to protect yourself and the property owner/buyer against this, you’ll need a structural warranty
  • Wear and tear – cosmetic damage or mechanical failure of equipment and materials should be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty
  • Avoidable damages – you cannot claim if you can’t prove that you took necessary precautions to avoid or prevent damages that later occurred
  • Loss of profit – insurers won’t cover any financial losses from taking too long to complete the project or carrying out redesigns or other changes partway through
  • International work – the all risk policy should specify which countries it applies in, but it won’t automatically cover working overseas

Sometimes known as an ‘act of God’ or force majeure (French for ‘greater force’), any damages from an unpredictable and unpreventable event with no realistic human control over the outcome are often excluded from all risks insurance cover. These types of perils could be natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, sudden events like riots or war, or pollution or radiation.

How much does contractors’ all risk insurance cost?

Different insurers will have different methods for assessing risks, and the cost of contractors’ all risk premiums will depend on a range of factors. Here are some common considerations that usually affect the cost:

  • Value of contract works (maximum possible loss in a worst-case scenario)
  • Project type and location (working at height or below ground is higher risk)
  • Level of security (fences, alarms, CCTV cameras and 24-hour personnel reduce risks)
  • Contract length (how long the comprehensive cover is required for)
  • Annual or project-specific insurance (project-specific is better for large-scale works involving multiple parties)

Since this type of insurance covers you against a greater number of possible events, premiums are higher than other less extensive policies. However, you can try to keep your contractors’ all risk insurance costs down by avoiding riskier work in dangerous locations, and completing smaller contracts. You can also opt for the standard cover without paying extra for tailored extensions.

Whatever you’re looking for from contractors’ all risk insurance, we’re sure that we can help you here at Architects Certificate. Not only are we a leading provider of structural warranties with our ABC+ 10 Year Structural Warranty, but we also provide contractors’ all risk insurance quotes.

Call our team on 0161 928 8804 or send an email to info@architectscertificate.co.uk for assistance.

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Published Date: 4th March 2022
Category: Contractors all risk insurance, structural warranty


 

 

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