New build home insurance policies at risk after the collapse of insurance firm Alpha

carrier Alpha. And yet many housebuilders and


developers, including self-builders, who require the 10-year structural defects insurance are still unaware that they have been left without cover. Alpha, who was a supplier of the insurance new homes require to protect against structural defects, was declared insolvent in Denmark in May meaning policyholders cover came to an immediate end. Policyholders are just receiving the news

that their homes are no longer insured and at this stage no plans have been announced by those who issue policies under Alpha as to how customers can be protected going forward. David Sumner, Sales Director of Advantage

Home Construction Insurance (AHCI), has warned that many new build properties built will have been left without the protection of these warranties. Following the collapse of Alpha, Advantage has been inundated with calls from house- builders and developers in need of retrospective structural defects insurance. He also explained the importance of housebuilders and developers choosing a property sector specialist insurance carrier to ensure the security of policies. He said: “Much has been reported of the

knock-on effect of Alpha going bust, car insurance policies and the impact on London black cab drivers. “However, what hasn’t been highlighted is the impact this will have on thousands of new homes - including those homes already built or still under construction. “This is a catastrophic blow for all of those whose properties were protected from any potential structural issues by the now defunct Alpha. “What is becoming worryingly apparent is the

fact that as most policies are purchased via brokers many housebuilders and developers, and as a result many policy holders, are now unaware that their policies are void. “Information is beginning to slowly filter through, but unfortunately many policyholders

will have to take out fresh retrospective insur- ance, which is an unwelcome and unexpected blow, but is something we can source quickly. “We need urgent action to ensure that those

who are affected are informed and what steps are now going to be taken to protect these now uninsured homes.” Alpha, an unrated Danish insurer, said

all policyholders will be contacted by the firm’s liquidators to offer guidance on what to do next. Alpha is the latest in a string of companies

that have announced they have gone bust or reducing their size in a bid to stay afloat in challenging markets. The Danish FSA has announced that UK policyholders need to find and pay for alterna- tive cover as soon as possible. While the UK FCA has said Alpha insurance

policyholders should immediately contact their insurance broker or firm who sold them their policy in the first instance to seek new insurance cover. David added: “At Advantage all of our

insurers are property sector experienced carriers to ensure we offer the best protection for our customers. We are also able to provide the retrospective cover required. “As experienced property developers

ourselves we know it is critical to provide the

highest standard of building warranties to give customers the peace of mind that any structural faults or defects are covered. “Unfortunately, the quality of cover provided

differs widely in the industry and often homeowners have no idea who their policies are placed with or the ratings of the carrier. “I would urge anybody that is building new

homes to do their research and ensure they use specific sector-experienced carriers as an absolute minimum.”

NEXT STEPS: If you are unsure whether you have been affected by the Alpha collapse or would like further advice on structural defects insurance for new build homes, then please call the Advantage team.

ABOUT ADVANTAGE: Advantage provides structural defects insurance – operating nationally with offices in Warrington, London, Horsham and Birmingham - offering development-related insurances and a service designed to give customers peace of mind. Policies are underwritten by industry-leading

insurers with access to AA-rated insurers, giving customers reassurance when it comes to choosing the right insurance. Projects cover both commercial and residential properties and range from individual one-off houses to developments with a build cost over £50m. With more than 40 years of industry

experience, Advantage are equipped to deal with the challenges faced on and off-site and are proactive in their approach to move projects forward with a fast turnaround.

0845 900 3969 WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK

HOUSANDS of new build homes have been left without vital structural defects insurance after the collapse of insurance

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