With any building project, it is important to have the right permissions and certifications in place to ensure safety and indemnity.
A structural warranty ensures that building standards are met, protects the builder against losses resulting from a latent defect, and is key to completing a project.
There are a lot of companies out there, so how do you choose a structural warranty provider?
A reputable provider
Starting with the obvious, perhaps, but it is not always clear where to turn in a saturated market. When choosing, it is good to consider the longevity and experience of a company, as this means they will have been tried and tested.
Most structural warranty providers use an external insurance company to underwrite their policies. This is perfectly normal; but make sure that the third-party underwriter is reputable also. Choosing a warranty provider that is regulated is one way of guaranteeing a good experience: reputable warranty providers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
It is also good practice to read their terms of business in detail before signing up, and read around the underwriter to make sure they are a company you have confidence in.
Good customer service
Receiving a piece of paper (or email) should not be the only service you receive from your warranty provider. You should expect pre-policy support to help you get the right cover in place, and ongoing care for the lifespan of your policy. Every project is different, and it’s important to get the right policy, so look for a warranty provider who can give you technical assistance to make sure you get the right cover. Your provider should be on hand throughout the build with advice and knowledge that fits your situation.
Should the worst happen, and you need to make a claim on your policy, check that there would be someone to guide you through this process. Is there a phone number or ‘real person’ you can speak to, quickly, to help resolve your claim? Here at Homeproof, we assign a dedicated account manager who knows the ins and outs of the project and is available for our customers to speak to.
Not all policies are made equal. It is important to make sure that the cover you are receiving is comprehensive – that it covers a minimum of 10 years and the small print exemptions are reasonable. Look out for hidden costs, such as annual membership fees, which are often hidden in the small print of quotes.
If you are relying on a mortgage to fund your build, the warranty will need to be recognised by UK mortgage lenders in order to secure the funding. Lenders want their investment safe and will approve lending based on quality cover, as well as your financial status. Check that the cover offered by a warranty provider is recognised by mortgage lenders listed in the UK Finance/Council of Mortgage Lenders handbook.