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If you work in the building and construction industry, you will have heard the term latent defects insurance. In summary, it is a form of insurance taken out on new property builds that covers any structural defects for 10 years after building is complete. Latent defects cover is required by UK Finance for all new build residential properties. Yet what exactly is a latent defect, why is insurance necessary and who needs this insurance? Here we will try to answer some of the most common questions about having a latent defects insurance policy and why it is important.
A latent defect is a previously undetected fault that is discovered after construction is complete. For it to be classified as a latent defect, the fault needs to be undetectable by standard observation and inspection procedures made during the construction period. In contrast, faults detected during inspections or observations are known as patent defects. The term latent defect can apply to any constructed object, from personal possessions such as home appliances and power tools to homes and commercial properties. For properties, latent defects can arise in areas such as the structural frame, cladding, foundations and roofing. In cases where a latent defect is found and causes damages or injury, the affected party may be able to make a claim even if the defect was previously undetectable. That is why it is important to have a latent defect warranty in place.
Latent defects insurance UK, also known as inherent defects insurance, structural warranty or decennial insurance, is designed to cover the costs of rebuilding or repair work where major damages have occurred as a result of latent defects. Major damages can range from conditions that require urgent remedial action to the partial or complete destruction of property. It was introduced in the UK as a response to government legislation enacted in the wake of poor building practices in the 1930s. Since then it has become either a statutory requirement or a prerequisite in many countries around the world. Today, latent defects policies can cover a wide range of properties, including new residential and commercial buildings, renovated or converted buildings, student accommodations, hotels, listed buildings and more.
If you are a home owner, it is important that you have cover for latent defects in place to protect you in the event of any unforeseen issues. The policy provides cover for any defects identified up to 10 years from the issue of the building control completion certificate. Insurance for latent defects is designed to offer the following benefits:
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