Protecting your investment with a structural warranty

Structural Warranty & Site Insurance News - This article will help you to understand how to protect yourself, get the right cover in place for your building project, and the difference between site insurance and structural warranties.

Site insurance and structural warranty are both forms of project insurance and can often be purchased from a single, specialist insurance provider. However, it should be noted that they are completely different products: site insurance will protect against issues arising on-site before and during your build, whereas a structural warranty is there to cover you for any failure in the building structure after it has been completed.

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Protecting your investment with a structural warranty

What is the purpose of a Structural Warranty?

You will need a structural warranty to gain protection against any fundamental structural problems with the building, typically for up to 10 years. Mortgage lenders will insist on a warranty, but even if you are funding your build with cash, it’s still a standard requirement to have one, so any future sales of the property aren’t jeopardised.

Structural Warranty Policy Small Print

Before signing on the dotted line take a look at the provider’s restrictions, which are usually within the small print.

Typical exclusions from a structural warranty include:

  • Anything not considered to be a major damage defect, such as shrinkage cracks to walls and ceilings, or damp from internal environmental conditions.

  • Problems arising through a lack of appropriate maintenance or works commenced/modified after initial occupation.

  • Some external works, for instance, steps and paving.

  • Any contractual disputes you have with builders.

  • Accidental or storm damage, which would be covered by buildings insurance.

If any structural issues or major damage do arise in the first couple of years post-completion, the underwriter will usually refer you back to your builder to remedy the problem. However, if your builder has gone out of business or isn’t being responsive, then the underwriter will step in for qualifying claims. In years 3-10, the policy will automatically provide cover, with no complications relating to the original contractors.

How much does a structural warranty cost?

As a rule of thumb, it’s usually a good idea to budget 1% of your indicative build costs. This will be payable ahead of any work whatsoever occurring on site. A retrospective structural warranty is much harder to get, so any decisions around insurance should be made right at the beginning of your project.

Build-Zone offers A-rated Insurer-backed structural warranties for New Homes, Commercial, Mixed-Use, Build to Rent, Social Housing, Self-Build, and Custom Build schemes together with their leading technical services company, Build-Zone Survey Services Ltd.

For more information on any of our structural warranty insurance policies, explore our products here:

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