New build home insurance

Last updated: January 2024 | 3 min read

Navigating new build home insurance can be a unique challenge. In this guide, we'll show you how it fits under the wider umbrella of home emergency cover, differentiating it from standard options like best home insurance. We also clarify what specifics to consider when pondering what home insurance do I need for your new build, ensuring you feel confident and secure about protecting your modern home.

Why is new build home insurance different?

Unique aspects of new build properties

New build properties in the UK present a distinct scenario in home insurance. These homes, fresh from construction, often include modern materials and building techniques. This modernity influences both the risk profile and insurance requirements.

Buildings insurance for new build homes, therefore, adjusts its focus. It covers potential issues like structural defects that might not be as prevalent in older constructions. Moreover, as these properties are new, they typically face fewer immediate risks related to wear and tear, which can affect premium calculations.

For you, the new homeowner, this means a slightly different approach to insuring your property. It's not just about the bricks and mortar; it's also about understanding the unique aspects of your new home. This understanding ensures your insurance policy is tailored to protect against risks specific to new constructions.

Risks and considerations specific to new builds

New build homes in the UK, while modern and potentially less prone to certain types of damage, still carry unique risks. Key among these is the potential for poor workmanship or construction issues that might not become apparent until you've settled in.

This is where the home warranty, often provided by bodies like the National House Building Council (NHBC), plays a crucial role. Such warranties typically cover major defects in new build homes, offering a layer of protection for the first few years.

However, it's essential to differentiate between what your home warranty covers and what falls under buildings insurance. While your warranty might address structural issues, buildings insurance covers a wider range of scenarios like fire or storm damage. Understanding this distinction helps you ensure that all aspects of your new property are protected.

For instance, if a storm causes damage to the roof of your new build, it's the buildings insurance that you'll rely on, not just your warranty. This underscores the importance of having comprehensive cover in place, ensuring peace of mind as you enjoy your new home.

Essentials of new build home insurance

Understanding buildings insurance

Structural damage and rebuild cost

Buildings insurance for new build homes provides coverage for structural issues, including walls, roofs, and foundations. It's essential to assess the rebuild cost accurately, not just the market value of the property. Insurance providers use this figure to determine premiums and coverage limits.

This cost often differs from the purchase price, reflecting the expense of rebuilding the home from scratch. For new builds, details like modern construction materials and design standards can affect these calculations. Remember, this insurance does not cover contents, but solely the physical structure of the home.

Key features of contents insurance

Protecting personal possessions

Contents insurance is a separate, yet equally vital, aspect of home insurance for new builds. It covers personal items within the home, such as furniture, electronics, and clothing, against risks like theft, fire, and accidental damage.

Buyers of new build homes often purchase new furnishings and appliances, making comprehensive contents cover important. When selecting a policy, it's crucial to accurately value your possessions and consider whether to insure them at new for old prices.

This ensures that damaged or stolen items are replaced with new ones, rather than receiving the depreciated value.

Combined home and car insurance options

Combining home and car insurance can offer convenience and potential cost savings. Many insurers provide discounts for holding multiple policies with them. A combined policy simplifies managing insurance needs, as it involves one provider, one renewal date, and one set of paperwork.

However, it's important to ensure that the combined policy adequately covers both the home and car. Comparing separate and combined policies helps in making an informed decision.

The key is to balance the convenience of a combined policy with the need for comprehensive, tailored coverage for both assets.

How to acquire home insurance for a new build

Navigating postcode challenges

Postcode recognition often becomes a stumbling block when insuring a new build home. Most new builds may not yet appear on the Royal Mail's postcode database, an issue that potentially complicates obtaining home insurance.

House builders usually register the new address with Royal Mail, but delays can occur. Homeowners should proactively check if their new build's postcode is recognized and, if not, contact the builder or directly approach Royal Mail.

Registering a new postcode with Royal Mail

To ensure a new build property's postcode is recognized, homeowners may need to directly engage with Royal Mail. This process involves submitting a request for the inclusion of the new postcode.

It's crucial to complete this step before seeking insurance, as insurers rely on the postcode system to assess the property's risk factors, like location and potential hazards. Once registered, obtaining insurance becomes more straightforward.

Insurance policy considerations at exchange of contracts

When buying a new build, the exchange of contracts marks a key point for insurance considerations. From this moment, the buyer assumes responsibility for the property. It's advisable to arrange home insurance to coincide with the contract exchange.

This ensures the new build home is protected against unforeseen events like fire or damage caused during the remaining construction.

Timing and process explained

The ideal timing for arranging home insurance is before or on the day of exchanging contracts. Buyers should inform the insurer that the property is a new build and provide details like the expected completion date.

Some insurers offer policies specifically designed for new builds, which consider unique aspects like the NHBC Buildmark warranty. Clear communication with the insurer about the property's specifics is essential for adequate coverage.

Understanding new build warranties

What does the NHBC warranty cover?

The NHBC warranty, commonly known as Buildmark, is a form of guarantee for new homes. It covers a wide range of defects that might occur within the first ten years after construction. Typically, the cover divides into two key phases.

The first two years post-construction, the builder is responsible for rectifying most defects. From years three to ten, the warranty covers major structural problems and certain aspects of the building envelope, such as the roof and walls.

Buildmark and beyond: NHBC guarantee explained

The NHBC's Buildmark warranty is more than just a standard cover. It starts from the exchange of contracts, offering an extra layer of security to buyers even before moving in. This aspect is particularly significant as it safeguards your investment during the crucial final stages of the build.

The warranty includes specific protections, such as deposit insurance, which ensures your deposit is secure if the builder faces financial difficulties.

Claiming on your new build warranty

When it comes to claiming on your new build warranty, the process is straightforward but requires adherence to certain steps. Initially, you must notify the builder of any defects within the first two years.

It's crucial to report these issues in a timely manner, as delayed reporting can complicate the claim process.

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