11 May 2023

Peter Richardson on Build-Zone's 20th year in Structural Warranty and Latent Defects Insurance Market

By Build Zone

Build-Zone was established in 2003 as a trading style of Sennocke International Insurance Services as a specialist Structural Warranty provider. April 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the business that was acquired by Aston Lark in 2021.

We spoke with some of the senior management team at Build-Zone to look back over a period in which the business has established a key foothold in the construction insurance market, to understand what makes it so successful and to gain insight on the key changes they have experienced, and those on the horizon.

Here’s Peter Richardson – Managing Director, Build-Zone reflecting on the last 20 years.

Peter Richardson has worked for Sennocke since 2001. An inaugural Director, Peter recently stepped into Paul Kempton’s shoes as Managing Director after he passed away in 2021. Peter is now responsible for setting the strategic objectives for Build-Zone and is hands-on across business development and customer success initiatives.

What has kept you in the structural warranty industry and, more specifically Build-Zone?

Several factors have kept me in the insurance sector. I have a genuine interest in insurance and love being part of an organisation that can constantly challenge the market, explore and react to different scenarios and provide solutions that fit. I guess you could say that at the beginning, we were able to ‘put our money where our mouth was’ and get on and do something rather than follow the market.

“It was great to be able to nurture this way of working whilst we established our leading position against our competitors. I love the thrill of growth and constantly providing solutions that we were able to shape. Naturally, other companies have come into play during our time, trying to model themselves on Build-Zone – they know us, and they know we lead by expertise and deliver the best for our customers time after time.”

Peter Richardson Build-Zone: Significant changes in the structural warranty market over 20 years

The most significant change has been the loss of appetite of insurers to support this sector. 20 years ago, few fully understood it. Build-Zone led the way in finding capacity. A few more insurers came on board and dipped their toes in the water but didn’t necessarily do it the way we do. I believe we’ve been around as long as we have because we do it in a certain way where we value that relationship with our insurer partners.

Build-Zone is well ahead with ‘A’ Rated capacity and leading the way – particularly now towards those larger risks. We’ve seen competitors that followed us into the market, using unrated insurance capacity or even unregulated insurance capacity. These offshore companies are not regulated in the UK, so there’s no consumer protection.

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