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  • Self Build Insurance from Protek - Site Insurance & Structural Warranty - On Line Quote
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  • Self Build Insurance from Protek - Site Insurance & Structural Warranty - On Line Quote

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What Makes A Self Build Structural Warranty Unique?

Not sure whether you need a self build structural warranty for your project? 

A 10-year structural warranty offers vital protection against defects and problems in new build homes. But did you know that not all of these insurance products are designed the same way? Instead, they reflect the development route being followed and the needs of the first and subsequent homeowners. Self builders are both the builder and the homeowner. In the structural warranty world, this what makes a self build structural warranty unique.

How does a standard new home warranty work?

Most people are familiar with the concept of buying a new home from a developer or builder.  Because they will be benefiting from a 10-year new home warranty as part of this. In this type of transaction, the builder will be registered with the warranty provider. They then gift the first purchaser a 10-year structural warranty with the property. Under this scenario, the builder will be bound to investigate and remediate defects arising in the home during the first two years.

It’s a bit like a manufacturer’s warranty really. Importantly, during this defect period, the warranty company provides additional insurance cover to protect the homeowner in the event the developer fails to meet their obligations. That same insurance then continues in years three to 10 to provide direct cover to the homeowner for defects that may arise. To protect the resilience of this type of product, the warranty supplier must put onerous legal and financial securities in place that will ensure the builder meets their obligations. This creates a recourse opportunity, so that the warranty provider can recoup its costs if it has to step in during the defects period.

How does a specific self build structural warranty differ and what makes a self build structural warranty unique?

Self builders need to avoid structural warranties with a defect period. A high percentage of structural warranty claims occur in the first two years. Clearly as you’re directly commissioning the build, a standard new home warranty would make you responsible for issues in that timeframe. If you’re building your own dream home, you’re almost certainly putting your life savings into the project. So, you’re highly unlikely to have the financial resources in place to rebuild a property which has been the subject of a major defect. Nor are you going to want to be bound by the significant onerous legal instruments outlined above.

This is where the uniqueness of a self build warranty comes in to its own. The policy is designed to give you as builder and first homeowner insurance cover from the date of practical completion. Importantly, it does not have a defects period.  So it provides cover from day one, de-risking the financial implications of a major defect.

Are there any other benefits to using a self build warranty?

Yes! One example is around the community infrastructure level (CIL). This is a charge on new development that can run to the £10,000s. Around 10 years ago, the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) secured a CIL charge exemption from the government. Specifically for genuine owner-occupied self build projects. A self build warranty carries a clause which states that, as the self builder, you must live in the property for at least 12 months before it can be transferred (sold) to a successor in title. It is for this reason that a self build warranty is deemed one of the instruments with which you can demonstrate that your project is CIL exempt. Protek frequently receives frantic calls from self builders who have finished their builds with the benefit of just a PCC certificate (see below), looking to obtain a self build warranty retrospectively to avoid paying CIL charges.

Can I just use a professional consultant’s certificate (PCC)?

Previously known as an architect’s certificate, a six-year PCC is nothing like a structural warranty. It is simply an extension to the consultant’s professional indemnity insurance. So, your ability to claim relies totally on you demonstrating that they were negligent for not picking up a problem during the build which later manifested into a defect. Proving negligence is not easy. It can often result in costly legal battles. Unfortunately, bringing unwelcome extra stress if you are experiencing serious problems with your new home.

In contrast, with a self build warranty, whether or not a defect was actually picked up during the works is irrelevant. Once the cover is issued, you are able to make a claim if you are experiencing problems with the build.  This is incredibly important when you consider the implications of selling your home further down the line. A self build warranty provides cover for successors in title. So, if you sell the property, the warranty is automatically transferred to the new owners. This means they can also claim on the policy and not pursue you as the builder.

 

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Manage your structural warranty online

Protek Structural Warranty Online Portal

Manage your structural warranty journey online

This fantastic new feature, which has been built specifically for our structural warranty customers, became fully operational on the 1st May 2023 . It allows customers to view and manage their structural warranty online, in real time.

Following each inspection, the inspection report and development tracker will be viewable online. The tracker will highlight any issues arising which may require additional information.  You will then be able to upload the requested evidence, documents or commissioning certificates directly to your tracker. This will make it easy for you to see what is required and very simple for the auditor to close out any items arising. 

The status of any information you have submitted will then be viewable in real time. You will be able to track the progress of your policy from purchase right through to completion of the project.

Log in now

Protek will continue to email copies of your reports and development tracker as normal. However, we will be encouraging our customers to make the most of the new feature. Going forward we ask that customers submit any requested evidence by uploading the files via their online portal going forward.

If you have any questions about this new function, or you experience any problems when using it, please contact our Customer Service Team on 0333 456 0404.

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Join us for a masterclass on how to manage risk during your self build

How to manage your risk during a self build project

Simon Middleton, Protek’s Managing Director will be hosting a Masterclass Session on how to manage risk during your self build project at the National Homebuilding Show in Birmingham later this month. During this insightful session he will be sharing many of the unforeseen issues that regularly occur on self build, renovation and conversion project. Seeing the real live claims that occur on sites like yours, will help you understand the risks that can affect you during your project.

Friday 24th March 12:30pm Master Class Theatre

Understanding where the issues lie is essential to help you take the necessary action to protect yourself. Sadly left without protection, these problems have the potential to put enormous pressure on you and your project financially. This is why lenders insist on you having the correct cover in place.

We will explain the insurance and risk management product solutions that are available to you. We will go through the detail of how these work in your best interest to help protect you in the event of a loss, damage or injury occurring on your site. 

Homebuilding & Renovating Show Masterclass Session | How to manage your risk on a self build project.

Free Tickets to the National Homebuilding and Renovating Show

If you would like to attend, simply click here which will open the free ticket registration page.  You can attend the session which is held in the Masterclass Theatre on Friday at 12:30PM

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Difference between a Self Build and New Home Warranty?

The difference between a self-build and new home warranty is that a self-build warranty does not have the limitation of a 2 year defect period. A defect period makes the ‘builder’ responsible for defects occurring during the first two years. Clearly if you’re the self builder then you are unlikely to have the resources to rebuild it as the ‘builder’ if there is a major defect in the first two years. This is why a self-build structural warranty policy starts from the date of completion and does not have a defects period. It gives you as the policyholder cover from day one.

This differs massively from a ‘New Home Warranty’ which is designed to be purchased by the builder who is developing homes to sell to a prospective purchaser. A New Home Warranty carries an initial 2 year defect period where the builder is responsible for anything that goes wrong during that initial period. 

Self Builders need to avoid structural warranties that have a defect period

Clearly Self Builders need to avoid this type of new home policy, because they will be classed as the builder. This means that if a defect does manifest itself during the first two years, the self-builder would be have to fix it, because the new home warranty policy would not respond.

On the basis most Structural Warranty claims occur in this initial 2 year period, it’s likely that the self-builder wouldn’t have the financial resources to cover the loss. Self-builders need to be wary of this when choosing a structural warranty provider.

Conversion insurance is essential if you are carrying out a conversion project

Community Infrastructure Levy Exemption (CIL)

One other important difference between a self-build and new home warranty is that a self-build policy is also one of the key elements required to prove exemption under the Community infrastructure Levy (CIL).

UK Authorised Insurer, Financial Services Compensation Scheme

It’s important to choose a warranty backed by an insurer who is authorised to write business in the UK. They also must be backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as this is critical to ensuring you do not fall victim to a failed insurer. 

Warranty provider approved by lenders

Protek is approved by lenders. This means your customers will be in a good position to obtain a mortgage on the home you are selling. Unlike Professional Consultants Certificates (PCC’s) the structural warranty cover Protek provides lasts for the full 10 or 12 years. Importantly, it does not need to be topped up should the PCC become unacceptable for lending purposes or expires.

 

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How to Choose The Right Warranty Provider

Protek’s Simon Middleton highlights how to choose the right warranty provider for your self-build and specifically what differences to look for between providers.

Not every structural warranty provider understands the nuances of the self and custom build market. Unfortunately, this can make choosing the right warranty provider a little tricky, especially if this is your first project.

Self -Build and Custom Build projects require very specific warranty cover

Some warranty providers will treat a self-builder in the same as they would a developer. In this situation, the warranty quotation you receive will make you responsible for any claims in the first two years. That clearly isn’t going to be ideal and offer you little risk mitigation. They often require minimum levels of financial security from you to back up the responsibility being placed on you. To top it all, they can also require you to have several years building experience and  you may get just 18 months to complete the build.

In my twenty-six years of providing warranties in this industry, it is clear that not too many self-builders will fit that model. The reality is that most of this detail will be buried in the depths of a complicated quotation document. So, unless you read it very carefully, none of it would be established until you tried to make a claim, at which point it could be too late.

What to look out for 

A self-build warranty should provide cover on the basis you are building or managing the project, perhaps with little or no experience. Cover needs to start immediately you complete the property. The policy definitely should not have a defect period. This is because you are very unlikely to be in a position financially to rebuild your home out of your own pocket, if there is a major issue in the first two years.

If you are managing the new build, extension, conversion, or renovation of your new home – you need to think carefully about structural warranty and site insurance. Check who the insurer is and whether they are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Importantly make sure you read and understand the implications of the conditions and any subjectivities. This is of paramount importance!

Protek have been providing cover for the self and custom build sectors for years. We understand the issues you face and can provide cover to suit the project you are undertaking. For more information just give us a call. 

Your project covered your way. Call 0333 456 8030

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The Secrets to Self-Build Success

The Secrets To Self-Build Success

We’re proud to be supporting award-winning Frame Technologies for their debut event, ‘The Secrets to Self-Build Success’. This day will cover key information for self-builders on their self-build journey. Our Managing Director Simon Middleton will be joining key figures from across the self-build industry to offer a series of seminars as well as tailored assistance on your self-build project. Book your free tickets today:

Get your tickets

Self-Build Insurance

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Best Self-Build for under £250K

Protek were delighted to be sponsoring the ‘Best Self-Build for under £250K’ award to this years winners KE-Design

The award for their ‘The Barn Field’ design was presented to Craig Marston by Protek’s Managing Director, Simon Middleton at Build It Magazine’s splendid 2021 Build-It Awards . It was an absolutely fabulous evening attended by all those in the industry that work tirelessly everyday to help make peoples dream homes a reality. 

Congratulations KE-Design for winning this closely contested category.

Best Self-Build for under £250k Build it Award 2021 goes to KE-Designke-design: Logo

 

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Best Self-Build Under £250k

Protek are delighted to be sponsoring the Best Self-Build Under £250k category at the prestigious 2021 Build-It Awards this year.

Best Self-Build Under £250k

Simon Middleton – Protek’s Managing Director said:

The Build It Awards have been an important accolade in the self-build industry for many years now. The widespread recognition of excellence in the respective categories can really make a difference to the winners, so we are proud to be associated with it. We wish all this years shortlisted entries the best of luck.

Shortlisted Entrants for the Best Self-Build Under £250k 

  • A’Bear & Ball Architects – Milton Road
  • Allister Godfrey Architects – Barn-Style Home, Cumnor
  • CB Homes – Damson House
  • Greenspace Architects – Earth Sheltered House
  • Ke-design – The Barn Field
  • Potton – The Allen-Godbold House
  • Smart Home Technical – Smart Stanley

Find out more about the awards

Previous Winners for Best Timber Frame: Fleming Homes

Best Self-Build under £250k  Best Self-Build under £250k  

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Protecting your project against risk

Protek are exhibiting at the Northern Homebuilding & Renovating Show from the 5th to the 7th November 2021. We are hosting a Masterclass on Protecting your project against risk at 13:00 on Sunday the 7th and we’d love to see you there. We will be covering risk management and insurance for all project types, including self-build, renovation and extensions. 

Please visit our website for free tickets to the event. 

 

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SELF BUILD INSURANCE & STRUCTURAL WARRANTY

Contact Us

Protek Group Limited,
First Floor, Marlbridge House,
Enterprise Way, Edenbridge,
Kent,
TN8 6HF.

Tel: 0333 456 8030

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Protek Group Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Steve Wassell Insurance Management Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Protek Group Limited FCA Reg. No. 805468. Steve Wassell Insurance Management Limited FCA Reg. No. 231905

Protek Group Ltd registered office: First Floor, Marlbridge House, Enterprise Way, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 6HF. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number 09616620.

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Should you have cause to complain, and you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you may be able to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which can be contacted as follows: The Financial Ombudsman Service Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR | Tel: 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9 123 | www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk