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Retrospective Structural Insurance Guide: What Is It?

If you want to sell a property that has been built in the last 10 years but lacks a structural warranty, you’re in a difficult situation because no buyer will be able to obtain a mortgage.

Lenders will not provide the necessary financing without retrospective structural insurance that protects the buyer from liability for pre-existing structural problems.

What is Retrospective Structural Insurance

Retrospective structural insurance is specifically designed to enable vendors in your position to sell your property as efficiently as possible. These warranties require a full structural survey to be done before the policy is issued, in order to identify existing problems so that they can be corrected or excluded entirely from the policy.

This type of warranty is completely transferrable to the new owners of the property and any subsequent ones during the 10-year period, as the certificate is attached to the home and not its owner.

The primary features of retrospective structural insurance is as follows:

  • - Available coverage for the balance of 10 years from the date of the Building Regulations approval
  • - Covers the cost of partial or complete rebuilding in the event of a defect or structural problem
  • - Includes the fees of certain professionals such as architects and engineers
  • - Recognised by lenders
  • - Complies with requirements set out by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)

What it covers

In general, coverage for these policies is quite limited. Retrospective structural insurance is primarily concerned with serious faults in the construction or design of your home, such as rain infiltration, drain issues, or subsidence. Minor, annoying problems such as creaking floors are normally excluded. Some items, like damage to roof tiles and double-glazing erosion, are optional where coverage is concerned, so read the fine print to determine the actual extent of any coverage you take out. Bear in mind that the wider the cover you opt for, the more expensive the policy will be.

Specialists in Construction Insurance

Obtaining retrospective structural insurance

The process of applying for and receiving retrospective building defects insurance can be broken down into six simple steps:

  1. Contact a number of building warranties providers such as CRL , and request completed housing quotes from each of them
  2. Review all of the market quotations provided and make a decision
  3. Pay applicable survey fees and deposit premium
  4. The survey is undertaken after the surveyor has completed a full plan / specification check
  5. Existing defects are noted and either corrected or excluded from cover
  6. The policy is issued

Who could benefit from retrospective structural insurance

Many properties are built without structural defect insurance in place, usually by self-builders with enough financial resources to forgo the need for a mortgage in order to build the property.

strucutral insurance and mortgage lending

If you do not take out a warranty during construction but decide later on that coverage is needed, certain warranty providers can offer coverage for whatever is left of the 10-year period since the property was completed, enabling potential buyers to successfully apply for a mortgage in the event that you decide to sell. Feel free to contact our helpful team for more information or an questions you have on Retrospective Insurance.


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