New homes aren't tried and tested, so when you move in and start using things you'll possibly find a few problems here and there. But you don't have to worry about these if your builder was covered by NHBC Buildmark Certificate.
What is NHBC Buildmark Certificate?
NHBC stands for National House-Building Council and the Buildmark Certificate is a 10-year warranty for new homes. Builders don't always have to register with NHBC – in fact 20% don't. This new build insurance cover ensures that any problems arising in the first two years get rectified by the builder. Leaking showers, stiff windows, bad tiling– most things really, as long as it's not caused by wear and tear or intentionally broken by you. It also won't cover natural shrinkage (as the property settles) or condensation. The next three to ten years are often covered for certain structural problems caused by the build including roof, floor, staircases, windows and doors. NHBC Buildmark also gives you protection if you've exchanged contracts and the builder goes bankrupt before they finish your property.
What if the property isn't covered?
If your new home isn't covered by this new build home insurance, it's a good idea to ask the builder why they've decided not to register with the NHBC. It's certainly worth deciding whether you want to buy a home from a builder that isn't a member. Their reasons may be legitimate, though. Perhaps they're a small builder and can't afford the NHBC fees.
If you still want to go ahead, it might be a good idea to take out your own new build house insurance or negotiate with the builder for them to pay for it. There are companies who offer ten year policies similar to the NHBC.
The cover may protect you from the cost of repairs. Your mortgage company is also likely to require a new build insurance as a condition of the mortgage.
Home insurance is not the same
NHBC or other new build insurance is not the same as home insurance. It won't cover you for flooding, subsidence, fire, theft or accidental damage, for example. There are two types of home insurance and for a lot of homeowners, it’s worth having both.
- Buildings Insurance – it’s usually a requirement of your mortgage to have this. If you don't have a mortgage you don't have to take it out, but if you own your own home you could risk repair bills if you have a suffer from storm or flood damage for example, so buildings insurance could be worth having to ensure you’re covered.
- Contents insurance – this is not a requirement, but is important to many of us. Losing valuable possessions in a fire or theft can be not only heart breaking but very expensive, if you haven't got insurance cover to pay for replacements.
Making sure that your new build home home is covered by new build house insurance and home insurance (both buildings and contents) means that you can get on and enjoy living in your lovely new home. It takes away the worry that you'll be faced with big bills if something unforeseen happens. Now all you've got to worry about is how you’ll get rid of the filthy dog paw prints that have just appeared on your new cream carpet.