Could Brexit affect Structural Warranties in the UK & Eire?

Brexit & Structural Warranties: Build-Zone has become a major force in the provision of Structural Warranties having started in 2003. Build-Zone were one of the first providers to achieve Designated Warranty Provider status by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Strucural Warranty Self-Build

Build-Zone uses an in-house Technical Services Company – Build Zone Survey Services Ltd (BZSS), which operates separately under different management and can provide or arrange Building Control and other Technical Inspections using rigorously checked and audited construction professionals and “Approved Inspectors”, all of whom have to agree to specific Consultancy Agreements.

So what about BREXIT? Are there other things that you need to consider?

So far as Passported Insurers operating and accepting risks in the UK are concerned – Brexit will not make much difference, certainly initially, for example those Insurers based in places such as Gibraltar wanting to do business in the UK.

However, with regards to covering risks based within the EU then they will have to qualify and be compliant with Solvency II.

What is ‘Solvency II’ and what does it mean for Policyholders?

New rules which came into force in 2016 hopefully ensure a uniform and enhanced level of policyholder protection across the EU.

The new framework – like the current rules – applies to the majority of EU Insurers and Reinsurers.

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Build-Zone Issue warning about Unrated Insurers

On the eve of MIPIM UK Build-Zone, one of leading providers of Structural Warranties, issues a stark warning about using Unrated Insurers.

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Their latest Brochure is being launched at MIPIM UK tomorrow and highlights the issues that face the Insurance market – on which the Construction Industry and Lenders rely upon to protect themselves, third parties and Clients.

Yet again another Insurer, GABLE, has gone into administration which demonstrates that it is even more important when taking out a 10 year policy in particular that you only accept an Insurer that has achieved at least an ‘A’ rating from one of the recognised Rating Agencies – such as AM Best, Standard and Poor’s or Fitch.

The CML also needs to be more proactive in this respect – by recommending to their Members that they should only accept ‘A’-rated Insurers bearing in mind most of them insist that Borrowers have a Structural Warranty in the first place.

Unrated Insurers should not be accepted – just ask the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) who got caught not once but twice.

Remember Quinn’s, Lemmar, Balvar, Setanta, ERIC, Millburn, Enterprise?

………. and now GABLE.

It is not all about Price!

Come and see us at MIPIM UK from the 19th till the 21st of October on stand G11/13.

 

New housing quality for all to agree on

After decades of practice, developers are still looking for consistency in delivering quality new housing. Bob Stembridge, Structural Warranty Consultant at Build-Zone, asks what can be done to the benefit of buyers and developers alike…

New housing quality for all to agree on

The recent All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Inquiry into the Quality of New Housing in England has highlighted the shortcomings in the new homes being delivered across England (and quite possibly in the whole of the UK but their remit did not go that far). What is significant is that in 2004, the Barker Review highlighted the issues with selling homes which were either incomplete or did not have an effective aftercare service.  The industry has since improved but not by as much as would have been hoped. As the report states, build quality reacts according to the level of activity in the market – less activity and the greater the quality of output but the opposite also applied, which was exactly the reason for the Barker Review.

Quite often reports into housing quality compare the final product to buying a motor car.  While the construction and delivery methods may differ, the buyer’s expectations are in many respects similar. They expect the product to be fit for purpose at the time of taking ownership and for years afterwards.  However, buying a new home just increases the stakes when things do not go to plan. Then the costs and extra effort needed to put things right can be astronomical. Thus an effective system that acts to prevent delays and misunderstandings can only benefit all parties.

As a warranty provider, our role is to audit the developer’s work during construction of the new home and to provide a line of recourse for the owner up to 10-years after completion. Also, other stakeholders such as the lenders depend on our independence and the insurer’s financial strength to stand behind our 10-year warranty. Thus we have a vested interest to ensure the developer produces a product fit for purpose, and the homeowner has the knowledge to look after it.

The APPG have made ten recommendations which they hope will mean more homeowners are happy with the buying and owning process. Some are already in place and need tweaking while others will require a break from current ‘conventions’.  Here’s a brief overview of some of those recommendations:

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Build-Zone New Home Warranty has received CTSI Stage One

Following Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Stage One approval of the Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders, the Build-Zone New Home Warranty has been confirmed as acceptable for lending Purposes by Lloyds Banking Group and its various lending brands.

CTSI

CTSI Stage One approval means that our Code has been recognised as having the potential to enhance the Consumer’s experience during the purchase of a new home from a builder/developer registered under the Code and the after sale customer care service.

As part of the approval process the Code Sponsor Sennocke International Insurance Services Ltd will be demonstrating to the Consumer Codes Approval Board that the code is working and of benefit to Consumers, and following that all our members will be able to proudly display the approved code logo. Full approval is likely to be in March 2017.

Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said:

“Although Sennocke is yet to be fully approved, Stage One approval demonstrates the firm is committed to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction.  Consumers and mortgage lenders alike need confidence surrounding the housing market and this code aims to deliver exactly that.

We will continue to work closely with Sennocke towards the next and final stage of the approval process.”

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25 years success for Sennocke International Insurance

25 years success for Sennocke International Insurance marked by expansion and relocation to larger premises

 SBZ

Following the continued success and growth of Sennocke International Insurance Services’ market leading brands; Self-build-Zone, Build-Zone and Build-Zone Survey Services Ltd, the company has invested in larger premises to accommodate their rapidly growing workforce and plans for the future.

As of 26th October, Sennocke International Insurance will be located at new offices in the heart of Sevenoaks.  The move to larger premises coincides with the company’s 25th Anniversary year and will allow each of the brands to continue to progress in line with the booming self-build market.

Managing Director, Paul Kempton, said:

“With our ambitious growth plans on track and the teams from Self-build Zone, Build-Zone and Build Zone Survey Services growing rapidly, we felt that this was perfect timing to invest in larger premises. Since inception, the operating brands under the Sennocke umbrella have gone from strength to strength.”

He went on to say:

“In our 25th Anniversary Year this is a major step forward for us, bringing the teams from our two offices together will combine the talents of our existing and dedicated staff re-affirming our commitment as the leading broker in the Self-build, Custom Build and Developer Markets”.

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