The landscape of the UK’s 10-year new build warranty market has seen significant changes in recent years. Some warranty providers have exited the market, leaving developers with limited choices, while others have faced challenges in securing new capacity facilities.
J3 Director, Johnny Leadsom explores the essential factors developers should consider when selecting the most appropriate new build warranty provider, taking into account recent developments in the market.
New Build 10 Year Warranty Providers:
- National House-Building Council (NHBC): The NHBC is the UK’s largest provider of new home warranties. According to its website, around 80% of newly-built homes have a 10-year NHBC warranty. It is also the UK’s largest single approved inspector for building regulations. The NHBC is a not-for-profit company which reinvests its profits into research and other activities to raise the standard of new homes.
- Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC): Because LABC Warranty works in partnership with Local Authority Building Control it is probably the best known provider of building control and warranties throughout England and Wales. Underwritten by well–known names AXA and Aviva, they also have a wealth of additional accreditations like RIBA and HBF. LABC is also a founding member of the consumer code for homebuilders, has its own awards ceremonies, and is a partner in the new homes review, giving homebuilders an independent rating for customer satisfaction.
- Premier Guarantee: Premier Guarantee has been in the market for over 20 years & has its own team of risk management surveyors who will help their clients with building controls and warranty standards. Premier Guarantee offers a range of cover types tailored to suit different schemes and users from new homes to build–to–rent projects to social and affordable developments for rent. There are covers for commercial and high-value products (£25M+).
- BuildZone: Build-Zone offers a wide range of structural warranty products and latent defects insurance for various projects and developments across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, including residential, commercial, mixed-use, permitted developments, and regeneration schemes. They maintain high standards, work directly with insurer partners, and are TSI-approved, giving customers confidence in the acceptance of their warranties by most UK lenders. Build-Zone Survey Services Ltd (BZSS), their in-house technical resource company, ensures technical audits and building control via approved inspectors, facilitating cost savings and efficient issue resolution for customers’ projects.
- ICW: ICW (International Construction Warranties) is a leading provider of construction warranties in the UK, certified by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. ICW’s structural warranties, accepted by 97% of mortgage lenders, cover projects with values up to £50 million and include two key periods: the initial warranty period of two years handled by the builder or developer and the subsequent coverage for structural defects in the building for three to ten years, with the company covering remedial works if costs exceed the minimum stated value.
- Protek: Protek is another well-established structural warranty insurance provider, recognized by lenders, making it easier for developers to sell new homes. They specialise in offering comprehensive 10 or 12-year structural warranty insurance underwritten by ‘A’ rated insurers, with a flexible approach tailored to different development models. Registration with Protek is free and easy, making it a reliable choice for structural warranty needs.
- Thomas Miller Specialty Construction: Thomas Miller Specialty Construction (TMSC), founded in 2021, offers a leading latent defect insurance product tailored for commercial developers undertaking new build mixed-use projects in the UK, with added advantages for individual unit buyers. Backed by Aviva insurance and drawing on the expertise of the Thomas Miller Group, TMSC provides comprehensive coverage. Additionally, their in-house risk solutions subsidiary offers technical audits and complementary consultancy services. This specialised product is accessible exclusively to developers for projects exceeding £10 million in contract value and is distributed solely through their broker network.
Top 3 top considerations when comparing and selecting warranty providers for new build properties:
As new capacity becomes harder to secure, many providers have limited their indemnity per structure to £25 million. Developers should ensure that the reinstatement cost and the policy’s indemnity limit are aligned, as underinsuring can be a costly mistake.