You’ve found a new-build home to buy and can’t wait to move in. It’s been freshly decorated, everything is in pristine condition and you’re excited to be the first person to live there. But as it’s brand new, you may be unsure as to whether or not you need home insurance for your new build. It should come with a warranty so what’s the difference between that and new build home insurance?
The warranty for your new-build home
Most new builds have a 10-year warranty, which is usually provided by the National House Building Council (NHBC). Known as a Buildmark warranty, this provides cover against defects in the structure of the property.
Within the first 2 years, all defects found with the construction of your home in Bexley are covered. They must be dealt with regardless of whether they are minor issues or major problems. Issues with the fixtures and fittings are included in this cover. For example, if there are loose tiles in the bathroom, the windows leak on rainy days or there’s a problem with the guttering, they must be rectified by the builder.
For the following 8 years, structural issues that occur as a result of the build are covered. These include problems with the floors, ceilings, staircases, walls and roof. The NHBC Buildmark warranty takes effect from the exchange of contracts. This is beneficial because if the builder goes bankrupt while your property is being built, the warranty covers you.
The need for home insurance on a new build
New-build properties are built to high standards and have to comply with strict building regulations. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to encounter any problems other than a few snagging issues when you move in, such as doors that stick when they’re opened and closed. It’s important to check that a warranty is included, though, as this provides essential cover for defects caused by poor workmanship. What you’re not covered for under the warranty are unexpected incidents, such as flooding, fire or theft. This is when new build home insurance is needed and then you can rest assured that your home is fully protected.
What does home insurance for new builds cover?
New builds are placed into a more specialised insurance category than older properties. There are two aspects to new build home insurance — buildings and contents insurance. These can be taken out as individual policies but it’s usually more cost-effective to combine them.
This covers the structure of your property in Bexleyheath and its fixtures, such as the fitted kitchen and bathroom suite. The costs of repairing your property if it’s damaged are covered as well as the costs of rebuilding it from the ground up if it’s destroyed. The cause of the damage can include:
- Burst or frozen pipes
- Fallen trees
- Vehicle collisions
As well as covering damage to your home, some insurers also include cover for structures outside your home, such as the driveway, a garage, a greenhouse and a patio. When using a new build mortgage to finance your purchase, the lender will expect you to arrange buildings insurance before you exchange contracts.
This covers your belongings in the event they’re stolen, lost or damaged by flooding, fire, subsidence or another unexpected incident. All possessions that can physically be removed from the property fall under contents insurance. For example, the furniture and soft furnishings, appliances and gadgets, kitchenware and freezer contents, floor coverings, sports equipment, toys, ornaments, garden tools and furniture as well as jewellery and other valuables. So while having contents insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it’s well worth considering to ensure that you’re not left seriously out of pocket should something unexpected happen.
New build home insurance add-ons
As well as arranging buildings and contents insurance, you may prefer to pay extra to take advantage of some add-ons. The availability differs between insurers but you can generally include:
- Accidental damage cover. This covers the costs if you accidentally spill something on a carpet or break a window, for example.
- Personal possessions cover. This covers the personal items you take with you when leaving your home in Pimlico, such as your phone, handbag, laptop, watch and jewellery.
- Legal expenses cover. The legal services and costs relating to property disputes are covered as well as issues outside of your home, such as employment issues.
- Home emergency cover. This provides you with emergency assistance. Emergency call-out and repair costs are covered as well as the cost of overnight accommodation if needed.
Protect your new home with new build home insurance
Getting home insurance on a new build is easy when you speak with one of our mortgage and protection brokers. Based throughout Kent, London and Edinburgh, they can help you decide on the right level of cover needed. They can advise you on how to work out the correct value for your cover and ensure that you’re fully aware of the policy inclusions and exclusions. Just give us a call on 01322 907 000 to arrange the best new build home insurance cover that’s tailored to meet your needs.