New build house insurance can seem difficult to find. That is because a lot of home insurance comparison sites and online quote journeys may not have up-to-date postcode information.
You might also be wondering if you need home insurance for a newly built property and what your insurer needs to know.
Thanks to schemes like Help to Buy Government loans on new properties, more people are buying new homes than ever. Some 217,350 were built in the 2016/2017 financial year, which is 74% up on four years ago.
Firstly, make sure your builder is registered with the National House-Building Council (NHBC) because damage due to bad workmanship often isn’t covered under a home insurance policy.
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New Build House Warranty vs Insurance
New build houses should come with a 10-year warranty to guard against any problems caused by the builders. It’s just like a manufacturer’s warranty on an appliance in case of defects.
But that is not a replacement for home insurance. House insurance can cover lots of things that can go wrong with a property that are not related to the original builders.
New Build House Warranty
There are three main providers of new home warranties – the National House-Building Council (NHBC), Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC) and Premier Guarantee. These operate under the Consumer Code for Home Builders.
The NHBC warranty is the most common, covering 80% of the new build market.
The NHBC Buildmark Certificate is a 10-year warranty for new homes. If there are any faults found in the first two years of the property that are caused by the builders then they have to rectify them.
That also includes cover for your costs of alternative accomodation while major issues are fixed.
After that two years there is another eight years of warranty on structural problems resulting from the build that could be the roof, floors and walls.
The buildmark also covers you in case the builder goes bankrupt after you have exchanged contracts.
Do I Need Buildings Insurance On a New Build Home?
Generally it is a very good idea to have buildings insurance as well as the new build home warranty.
None of the warranties compare with features of house insurance cover like malicious damage during a break in, fire damage or weather damage.
It is also very likely that your mortage lender will require buildings insurance to protect their interest in the property.
When to Get Buildings Insurance When Buying a New Build House
You should arrange for new build house insurance cover to start when you exchange contracts, ensuring there is no period when the property is uninsured.
As soon as you have exchanged contracts you are liable for the property and there’s no going back.
Again, your mortage lender may well specify this as a requirement for your mortage.
New Build House Insurance – No Postcode?
It’s the perfect storm. You’ve been through all the horrors, excitement and stress of buying a new home. Maybe you put your name down at the show home while your’s was still being built? Or maybe you found your dream home just as the cement was drying?
Thankfully you’ve saved a lot of the issues of having an onward chain. The housebuilder wasn’t going to pull out on you at the last minute. The house is all yours as its first owner, with clean modern fittings and a new neighbourhood to explore.
But there’s a problem.
But when you go to get a home insurance quote you find you get declined because of your postcode.
Hopefully you have taken the wise step of getting home insurance for the day of exchange. That means you will be covered the moment the property becomes your responsibility.
How Postcode Risk Ratings Work
You’re probably well aware that your postcode has a big impact on your home insurance premium. Your postcode reveals a huge wealth of data like crime rates, flood risk, rebuild costs and more. Insurers use huge lists of postcodes in order to map data in this way to get a better picture of the risk of insuring your home.
If your house is newly built then the chances are your postcode is new as well. You’ve probably encountered this issue elsewhere with post and other online forms with a postcode dropdown that insists your wonderful new home doesn’t exist.
Some insurers might not have the capacity to consider a new postcode when you’re looking for a quote. However, there will always be smaller companies willing to go the extra mile to help you out.
That is where Emerald Life comes in. We insure a wide variety of special situations and new build house insurance is relatively straight forward for us. If our online quote tells you to call us then we aim to pick up quickly and get an underwriter’s view on your postcode. This is all very simple but does require a personal approach of a few phone calls to get you the right cover but it is a service we are proud to offer.
Out of Date Postcodes
Many people are suprised when their postcode comes out as a refer or decline in a home insurance quote. Some insurers don’t update their postcode tables regularly.
That is one reason why the same house insurance cover may be cheaper with a different insurer because of the postcode table used.
So if you’re living in an up and coming area an insurer might still be looking at the crime rates from 30 years ago and either offer you a high premium or decline you outright.
Keep this in mind when looking for new build house insurance and as ever make sure to shop around to find the best home insurance deal for you.