Building Control sign-off needs insurers to sign up!

Together we are Forbes

Article

15 August, 2019

The building control industry have received increased scrutiny as a direct result of the increasing focus on public protection after the tragic incident at Grenfell Tower… the impact is becoming more prevalent as Approved Inspectors' insurance policies are up for renewal…

There are 95 Approved Inspector companies in the UK. These are private companies who inspect construction work to certify whether it is in line with requirements of Building Regulations. There are only two authorised insurance brokers providing indemnity insurance for them but with the increased scrutiny, insurance scheme underwriters are being reluctant to underwrite the insurance.

If Approved Inspectors are unable to renew their indemnity insurance and are unable to have new cover agreed by the other provider, this could result in the Approved Inspectors being unable to continue their work on construction sites (due to non-compliance with Construction Industry Council (CIC) requirements), which would cause delay for developments.

Is it worth checking out your Approved Inspector's insurance cover beforehand to ensure there is not potential for them to have issue part-way through the works?

There is a procedure set by the CIC where the Approved Inspectors are no longer covered by insurance:

  • A cancellation notice should be published and the local authority informed.
  • The local authorities building control can then step in and take over on the affected sites.

Do local authorities have enough resource to facilitate the demand as the number of Approved Inspectors reduce?

If a cancellation notice is not published and the local authority are not notified that the Approved Inspector is no longer compliant or in operation, there is a potential risk that;

  • The construction site could continue without building control and could potentially be non-compliant.
  • The development could grind to a halt causing delays for an unknown period of time until insurance is available of the local authority steps-in.

Both of the above could impact upon not only the development and your reputation but potentially grant funding availability too…

We understand insurers are in conversations with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to submit a full and detailed proposal for changes in the insurance criteria to provide a practical solution to the problem - watch this space!

For more information contact Emma-Louise Fox in our Housing & Regeneration department via email or phone on 01257 24828. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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