What is a new-build property?
A new-build home is a home that has been either newly built or renovated to a significant degree within the last two years without having been lived in or sold.
Is there specialist home insurance for a new-build property?
If your new-build property was built by a company registered with the NHBC, it should come with an NHBC buildmark certificate. This offers a certain level of protection for you and your new-build property.
The national house-building council (NHBC) currently protects 80% of newly built or converted homes in the UK – around 1.5 million, according to the national house-building council, accurate as of August 2020
What does the NHBC buildmark warranty certificate cover?
The NHBC buildmark certificate is a 10-year warranty that provides cover for your new-build property in the following way:
- For the first two years, the builder(s) of your property will fix any issues that result from the work they did – for example, windows and doors not opening or closing properly
- For the remaining eight years it works as an insurance policy on which you can claim, covering physical damage resulting from work carried out by the builder(s) – but not wear and tear
- You’ll also be covered if you lose your deposit as a result of your builder(s) becoming bankrupt or insolvent – up to either 10% of the purchase price or £100,000, whichever amount is greater
When will the warranty cover start for my new-build property?
The buildmark certificate provides cover from the point at which you exchange contracts on the property, and continues for 10 years.
Do I need home insurance if I have NHBC cover?
If you’re paying off a mortgage it’s likely your provider will require you to have buildings insurance in place as a condition of the loan, while if you own the property outright it isn’t a legal requirement.
However it’s important to remember the NHBC buildmark certificate doesn’t offer the exact same cover as in insurance policy – in other words, it’s not a replacement.
It won’t cover you for damage arising from:
- Wear and tear
- Flooding, storms or extreme weather
- Fire and smoke
- Burglaries and vandalism
- Accidental damage
- Loss of possessions away from home
- Building works not connected to the original build or carried out by a different builder
So taking out your own home insurance policy for your buildings and contents is still an important step in ensuring your home and belongings are protected.
What if my new-build property doesn’t have a buildmark certificate?
If your new-build property doesn’t have a buildmark certificate it makes it even more important to take out a home insurance policy that covers your building and contents.
You should also ask the builder why they aren’t part of the scheme if possible before you buy the home. It may be because they’re a small business and they can’t afford to pay the fees involved, but you should ideally aim to find a property with a certificate.
Am I still covered if I move into a new-build property that’s a few years old?
The buildmark certificate applies to the property, so it can be transferred from owner to owner throughout the term of the warranty – so up to 10 years.
This means any new owners of the property throughout the 10 years will benefit from the cover.
How does the buildmark certificate apply to newly converted homes?
If you’re purchasing a property that’s been newly converted you may be eligible for a buildmark certificate, however it may come with certain exclusions – you should become familiar with any policy documents and certificates so you know exactly how the cover applies.
What will new-build home insurance cover me for?
When you take out a home insurance policy for your new-build property the cover you’ll get depends on the type of policy you pick as well as the provider itself.
Home insurance is generally split into:
- Buildings cover, for the bricks and mortar of the property, as well as permanent fixtures in the home
- Contents cover, for your belongings such as appliances, gadgets, furniture and possessions
You’ll have the option of taking out separate buildings and contents policies from different providers or combining them both into a single home insurance policy from one provider.
What are the benefits of buying a new-build home?
A new-build property offers a number of benefits over purchasing an older building, including:
- Condition: Being newly built or converted it’s likely to be in better shape than an old property, which should hopefully mean you’ll pay less in repair and maintenance
- Energy efficiency: A new-build home is also more likely to be built with energy efficiency in mind, which can help you pay less on your energy bill
- Freedom of choice: You may have more freedom to choose your preferred flooring, tilework and lighting as well as other fixtures and fittings
- No property chains: You won’t be waiting on anyone to buy a new property before they can sell theirs to you – known as a property chain. You should therefore be able to avoid some of the delays involved in the normal process of buying a home
Are there any drawbacks to buying a new-build property?
If you are considering a new-build property, bear in mind the benefits listed above but also consider the following potential drawbacks:
- New builds are often pricier than older buildings
- Construction work for your new-build may get held up if it’s off plan – i.e. if it’s yet to be built
- There may also be fees involved in securing a plot of land for your home, and if you decide against the purchase you may not be able to get this money back
Compare home insurance quotes
Whether you’re insuring a new-build or an old property, comparing home insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket makes finding cover quick and easy. Just tell us a little about yourself, your home and the kind of cover you need, and we’ll search the market for a list of policies that meet your requirements.
You’ll be able to compare quotes by the overall monthly and annual cost, the cover you’ll get including any extra policy features, and the excess you’ll need to pay to make a claim. Once you find the deal you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.