GUIDING YOU ONE QUESTION AT A TIME.

WHETHER YOUR BUILD IS BIG OR SMALL, YOUR FIRST OR YOUR HUNDREDTH, WE CAN HELP YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS WITH AS MUCH OR AS LITTLE GUIDANCE AS YOU NEED.

What is a Structural Defect?

A “structural defect” is a fault in the design or construction of the load-bearing portions or waterproofing of the property. Examples of the load-bearing portions include:

  • Foundations
  • External and internal load-bearing walls
  • Floors
  • Roof structures

Examples of the waterproofing of the property include:

  • Exterior wall face
  • Windows
  • External doors
  • Roof covering

What is covered by a Structural Insurance policy? What isn’t?

Generally, latent defects insurance covers major faults in the design or construction of a house, such as subsidence, drain problems or damp penetration. Some snagging defects are excluded, seeour Policy Document for full details.

How is Structural Insurance different from Building and Content Insurance?

Structural insurance pays for the cost to rectify structural defects. It does not provide cover for general wear and tear, condensation or normal shrinkage. Nor is it the same as building site insurance which covers the risks from the building process itself such as accidents, fire damage or theft during construction

Is site insurance the same as a 10-year Structural Insurance?

Site insurance and a 10-year Structural Insurance are entirely different forms of insurance. Site insurance protects you during the build process and a 10-year Structural Insurance starts from the date the build is completed.

Do I need Structural Insurance cover for conversions, renovations or extensions?

It is very important that you obtain Structural Insurance for any conversions, renovations or extenions to an existing residential property as most lenders will require it before lending on a property less than 10-years old.

Do you cover new builds, conversions, renovations and extensions?

Yes, we can facilitate Structural Insurance for almost any type of residential property including mixed residential/commercial buildings, prefab constructions, timber framed houses, alternative building materials such as barn conversions, new residential dwellings, extensions and renovations. This cover is available retrospectively for partially completed residential properties or completed properties due to insolvency.

What is the difference between a patent defect and a latent defect?

There are two instances where there could be a defect in one of the structural elements in the property:

A patent defect – one that can be discovered on inspection and visible with ordinary vigilance, and therefore should be highlighted before purchase, such as a broken window or a flooded basement.

 A latent defect – a hidden or concealed defect that would not be discovered during the course of a reasonable inspection before purchase.

What is the limit of the insurance policy?

Please refer to the limits of indemnity section on the applicable policy

How long does the policy last for?

The cover period of our Structural Insurance policy is a 10-year policy effective from the completion date of the property.

How much does a Structural Insurance policy cost?

A 10-year Structural Insurance policy differs from other insurance policies in that there is only a one-off premium payment, by the builder/developer who takes out the insurance policy at the beginning stage of construction.

However, the policy does not come into effect until completion of the property and lasts for 10 years from that date.

A Structural Insurance policy is also unusual in that normally it is not the person(s) who pays the premium – normally the builder/developer – that benefits from a Structural Insurance policy but instead the homeowner. In reality, the beneficiary of the policy is the property, not the homeowner since the policy stays with the property for the duration of the cover – 10 years – and transfers automatically to the new owner.

What if I move house?

The insurance policy will stay with the property for the cover period, whether the property changes hands or not. At the end of the 10 years, the policy will expire.

What if I want to sell my self-build home and did not take out a Structural Insurance policy during construction?

In order to sell your property to someone who needs to take out a mortgage to purchase, you will need to obtain a retrospective Structural Insurance policy which is required by most UK and ROI mortgage providers.

Will my mortgage lender accept CRL Structural Insurance?

CRL products are approved by the majority of UK and ROI mortgage lenders as listed on our website and in the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ (CML) handbook at www.cml.org.uk.

What documents are required to obtain a retrospective Structural Insurance policy?

The following documents are only required following the acceptance of our Structural Insurance quote:

  • Plans and technical details of the project including structural engineers details
  • Copy of the planning approval document including any conditions that may apply
  • Copy of the building regulations completion certificate
  • Any guarantees in place i.e. damp proofing or basement tanking
  • Additional information may be required depending on the nature of your build

How do I obtain a 10 year warranty?

We use a very simple 7 step application process:

  1. Initial enquiry and registration
  2. Underwriting
  3. Written Combined Quote issued
  4. Payment of Inspection, audit and premium
  5. Surveys
  6. Sign off where applicable
  7. Policy issued

How long will it take to get a warranty?

For New Housing:
The properties are monitored throughout the build process and the warranty cover is issued on completion of the construction.
For Completed Housing:
Policy is issued after final sign off of the property and the issuance of a Final Completion Certificate and a Building Control Certificate.

We aim for a 48-hour turn around on quotes.

Isn’t a Structural Insurance policy covered by regular Building Inspections?

No. There are two systems of inspection which operate side by side but are concerned with different areas. Building Control inspections ensure the construction meets Building Regulations regarding health and safety while Structural Insurance site inspections ensure the construction meets required standards of construction and workmanship.

A property can pass Building Control inspections but not Structural Insurance inspections and would therefore not be covered.

In any case, if things go wrong with the property, you cannot make a claim directly against your building inspector.

Is a Structural Insurance policy a legal requirement?

It is not compulsory to have a Structural Insurance policy but most mortgage lenders require one and you may have trouble trying to sell on a residential property less than 10 years old without a Structural Insurance policy in place to new buyers. A Structural Insurance policy is a valuable sales feature and gives potential buyers the peace of mind that the property has been built by a builder/developer that meets our technical standards of construction and quality of workmanship and that the property has passed our rigorous key stage Site Inspections during construction.

Some people choose to obtain an Architect’s Certificate instead of a Structural Insurance policy but an Architect’s Certificate only certifies that the work has been properly designed and carried out correctly. But if there is a defect, the builder would have to sue the architect and prove negligence which is an expensive and lengthy process. Evidence of a structural defect is proof enough to claim and be covered by a Structural Insurance policy.

Furthermore, an Architect’s Certificate (or Professional Consultants Certificate [PCC]) is only valid for 6 years, compared to a Structural Insurance which provides defects liability cover for up to 10 years from the completion of construction.

What if I want to sell my self-build property with no Structural Insurance in place?

Mortgage lenders in the UK and ROI stipulate that a Structural Insurance policy must be in place in order to approve financing on any residential property. This gives most mortgage lenders peace of mind that the loan equity – the property – is structurally sound.

If you do not have a structural insurance policy on your property then you can obtain a retrospective policy for the remainder of the 10 year period since completion.

What lenders recognise us?

We are approved by most major lenders in the UK and Ireland. In some instances we may be approved by a parent bank, and this issue can be easily dealt with. Here you can find a sample list of the mortgage lenders that recognise CRL structural defects insurance.

Why do I need to register?

CRL maintains a Members Register which is a requirement of all builders purchasing a structural defects insurance policy through us. Maintaining valid membership is a requirement throughout the build programme, and is renewable annually.

CRL also offers a number of members’ incentives throughout the year in order to provide additional services to our customers.

Can CRL arrange cover for mixed use developments?

Yes. Here you will find a full list of CRL’s services.

Can CRL arrange cover for completed properties?

Yes we can arrange cover for properties at any stage of development from partially complete to complete. Here you will find a full list of CRL’s services.

Is there a defects liability period?

There is a 2-year builder liability period with C-R-L.com’s structural insurance policies.

Are CRL's policies based on contract value?

There are a number of factors that contribute to the pricing around structural insurance quote, which include the reinstatement value of the property. Our rates are some of the most competitive you will find on the market and are bespoke to each individual contract.

When is my insurance certificate issued?

Your C-R-L.com insurance certificate will be issued upon satisfactory completion of the build and final sign off of the property by one of CRL’s approved surveyors.

How long will it take to get a quote for my Structural Insurance policy?

Our efficient team will aim to have your quote to you typically within 48 hours of your initial enquiry.

After I have accepted a quote from CRL how long will it take to get a surveyor to my site?

We will arrange a surveyor to be with you at your earliest possible convenience.

What are the advantages of becoming a CRL member?

The benefits of becoming a CRL member include heavily discounted offers on insurance across multiple builds, accreditation from your suppliers and clients in the submission of tenders for new business, and much, much more.