Insurance is something which is absolutely essential when it comes to building your own house, in particular self build insurance. There are at least two aspects of self build insurance that have to be considered. There is structural insurance, which is required before any mortgage lender will look at your application, and generally covers a period of 10 years or more. There is also building insurance, this is required to protect you from fire or theft during the building process, many a home builder has been through the painful process of having a costly new kitchen installed, only to have it removed overnight by thieves.
Self build insurance is one of these mega-important aspects of building your own home which is easily overlooked in the excitement involved in the building process. There are a number of factors to consider in choosing an insurance policy of this type. Here are a few things to consider.
Structural insurance: This as the title suggests, is an insurance policy that will guarantee any lender or purchaser that the building is structurally sound, or at least if it is not then they will be insured against for instance faulty workmanship or ground movement. On successful application this will usually result in a 10 year warranty from a company such as self build zone (Google them). Be warned that it is usually quite expensive and the more paperwork you can produce in the form of pics etc will help with your cost estimate. However if you consider that your house is effectively worthless without a warranty then it is cheap in the long run.
An NHBC registered builder on the other hand does circumnavigate this problem somewhat as they will guarantee your house for you. For that reason alone it is worth considering a builder who has this qualification; at least in the United Kingdom.
Engineer’s certificate. Yet another way to procure this warranty is through a registered engineer. Be sure that the various stages of the selfbuild are signed off during the building process by your engineer. This will give you the choice of using their insurance (at a cost) or reducing the cost of your insurance through another insurance company.
Buildings insurance. This can be included as a part of the overall new build insurance, or it can be separate. Either way it must be in place to protect you from any losses that may be incurred through fire or theft during the building process. It is a tragic fact that many new build enthusiasts have been reduced to tears on discovering that they’re burnt down dream home has not been properly insured, or that the plumber has flooded out the place overnight leading to massive renewal costs. Much easier to be able to sleep at night and have the new building project well insured against this kind of loss.
Likewise it will most likely lead to tears if you find your new kitchen has been stolen while you were away seeing to something else,. Don’t exacerbate this by finding out that you are not insured!
Summary: Insurance is never the most glamorous aspect of building your new home I know. However without a self build insurance policy in place you are treading on thin ice indeed.
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