Frequently Asked Questions
The list below should hopefully cover any remaining questions you may have. If this is not the case please get in touch on 01603 218288 and speak to a member of our team who would be happy to help.
- Why do I need a One Guarantee Warranty?
One Guarantee’s structural warranties provides cover for the cost of rectifying or repairing structural damage caused by a fault in the design, construction or materials of a new build, conversion or completed build project. Rectification costs can either include part or full reinstatement value of the property for a period of up to 12 years.
Not only does having a One Guarantee structural warranty make a building far more attractive to sell, it also satisfies the majority of mortgage providers who insist that a recognised housing warranty is in place before providing a mortgage. For homeowners, our warranties provide peace of mind that their investment is sufficiently protected.
- How do I Request a Quotation?
Obtaining a quotation from One Guarantee is refreshingly straightforward.
You can either use our ‘Quick Quote’ facility to gain an indication of your quote; this may be useful for budgeting and finance purposes. Alternatively, you can fill out and return our detailed proposal form and plot schedule for a formal quotation. We aim to turn an indicative quotation around in 24 hours and a full quotation in 48 hours subject to the information provided.
- How Long do One Guarantee Warranties Last?
Structural warranties are long-term insurance contracts that typically last 10 years. This is unlike most standard forms of insurance which need to be renewed each year.
One Guarantee provides warranties for both commercial and residential property for a standard period of 12 years. The only exception is completed warranties which can be offered for a maximum of 10 years. Our warranties can be transferred an unlimited number of times during the policy period.
- How effective is an Architects Certificate or Professional Consultants Certificate?
The cover provided under an Architects or Professional Consultants Certificate is only the consultant's confirmation that on visual inspection the work seems to have been built to a satisfactory standard and generally compliant with drawings approved under the building regulations. It is not a warranty about the sufficiency of the design or that the building is free from defects.
Liability lasts for six years under an Architects Certificate compared to the 12-year security offered by the majority of One Guarantee products. Furthermore, there is no liability for construction defects which could not have been noted by the consultant on visual inspection. While Professional Consultants Certificates are generally accepted by mortgage providers, structural warranties are preferred and accepted by all and do not require any proof of negligence.
- What are the differences between a Collateral Warranty and Structural Warranty?
Collateral Warranties require proof of negligence of the liable third party this can be a costly, lengthy and tricky thing to prove. With a structural warranty, no such requirements are necessary. Put simply, if the defect is covered, the policy will respond.
Collateral Warranties also require Professional Indemnity insurance to be in place and remain for the period of the warranty, whereas structural warranties don’t. Furthermore, Collateral Warranties will not respond in the scenario that the responsible party goes into either forced or voluntary insolvency and so any rectification costs will need to be met by the owner. Such insolvency matters are not an issue with a Structural Warranty.
Finally, Collateral Warranties will restrict the owner’s ability to assign the warranty. The warranty will need to expressly provide for assignment and this is not always the case. Structural warranties are fully assignable for an unlimited number of times throughout the lifetime of the warranty.
- What will my quotation be based upon?
Primarily One Guarantee will base your quotation on 3 main criteria:
1. The size and complexity of a development - our warranties range from single self-build units to large residential housing estates or mixed-developments. The size and number of developments will ultimately affect your premium.
2. Your credit rating and financial security - One Guarantee will undertake a number of credit checks to determine whether we will need any additional financial protection from you.
3. Your experience – firstly we will ask for any previous developer ratings given by other warranty providers as well as any claims history. It is also important that you have sufficient experience in the type of project that you are undertaking. This will ultimately affect your premium.
- I am happy with my quotation; how do I now get my warranty in place?
We aim to make the warranty process as stress-free and straightforward as possible. Once we have issued formal terms and you are happy with the binding quotation, we require both the developer and builder (if different) to register with One Guarantee. Provided you pass our registration checks and provide all the necessary information we need from you, we can issue an Initial Certificate of Intention. This Certificate is issued by the Insurer signifying its agreement to the provision of the insurance cover for the New Development as set out in our Policy, subject to receipt of a Certificate of Approval and a Final Certificate (if required) for each Unit, and satisfaction of all Policy conditions.
- Do you provide any other type of insurance?
Yes we do! One Guarantee can provide you with a range of insurance products that work alongside your structural warranty. We offer cover for Mechanical and Electrical Inherent Defects Insurance, as well as a number of Legal Indemnity policies such as rights of light and absence of easement. In addition, we can facilitate insurance for Buildings, Property Owners, Contractors All Risks, Business Interruption Cover and other commercial insurances. If you would like to know more about our other insurance offerings, please get in touch.
- What is a Defect?
A failure to comply with a functional requirement in our Technical Manual in respect of the construction of the new development. Failure to follow the performance standards and/or guidance supporting the functional requirements does not itself amount to a Defect, as it may be possible to achieve the recommended performance in other ways. For any contract insured under our Policy relating to the conversion, refurbishment or renovation of a new development the definition of Defect shall only be deemed to include any of the works constructed or installed by the Builder and/or Developer.
- Where can I find information on Current UK Building Regulations?
Information on how to adhere to current UK building regulations can be found by following the link here: Approved Documents
- Why is the Financial Strength of an Insurer Important?
All Warranties from One Guarantee are underwritten by a AA-rated Insurer, accredited by Standard and Poor’s. With a long-term insurance contract such as a Latent Defects Policy, you need to be confident that the insurers ability to service claims will stand the test of time and that the insurer in question will be able to meet their liabilities should they arise.
- What is the Consumer Code for New Homes and why is it needed?
The Consumer Code for New Homes, approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, has been established to ensure that best practice is followed, and higher standards set, in respect of the marketing, selling and purchasing of New Homes and to set expected standards for after sales customer care service.
The Code provides a clear consumer complaints process supported by an independent Dispute Resolution Scheme for consumer complaints that arise and are made in writing to the Developer within two years of the date of the Completion of the New Home purchase. The Code also benefits second and subsequent Buyers of the New Home but only in respect of after sales matters reported within two years of the date of the Completion of the New Home purchase.
- Can you offer cover retrospectively for properties that are completed?
One Guarantee are able to offer retrospective cover under our Completed Housing scheme. Owners of newly constructed, extended or refurbished property do not always receive long-term security against the risks of inherent structural defects. For a property built without a structural warranty, it will be very difficult for any future buyer to subsequently obtain a mortgage. One Guarantee provides you with an extensive Completed Housing Warranty to address this issue and thus make the selling process easier.
- What is the difference between a Contract Under ‘Hand’ and a Contract Under ‘Seal’?
A contract under ‘hand’ (also known as a simple contract) may sound similar to a contract under ‘seal’ (a contract executed as a deed), but there are two main differences to recognise. The first, concerns their limitation periods, whereby any action under a simple contract cannot be brought after 6 years from when the action accrued. On the other hand, a contract under seal has a limitation period of 12 years. Furthermore, a contact under seal does not need to be supported by ‘valuable consideration’ whereas a contact under hand does.
- What is a structural warranty?
A structural warranty has a number of different names including; building warranty, building guarantee, structural indemnity policy or latent defects insurance. It is a ‘first party’ insurance policy designed to protect against a 'latent' or ‘inherent' defect which may not be apparent at the time of practical completion of a build but may in fact come to light several years later. Our specialist policies provide cover against latent defects typically for a period of 10 or 12 years.
- What does a building warranty cover?
A building warranty (generally taken out by a developer/builder) provides cover for the cost of rectifying or repairing structural damage caused by a fault in the design, construction or materials of a new build, conversion or completed build project. Rectification costs can either include part or full reinstatement value of the property. Our policies may also include cover for deposit protection, contaminated land, and building control. For more information on what our policies insure against, please speak to a member of our team on 01603 218288.
- When is a building guarantee needed?
Building guarantees are generally taken out by the developer or housebuilder in order to sell newly built homes on the open market. Building guarantee’s may also be a requirement of a purchase agreement whereby the buyer insists adequate cover is in place to protect their investment. Having the benefit of a building guarantee will also make a property more attractive to sell. One Guarantee are able to provide cover offer retrospective cover under our Completed Housing Scheme.
- Which structural warranty is right for me?
We offer a range of structural warranties designed to compliment most development types for a period of up to 12 years following practical completion:
New Home Warranty: Our new homes scheme is aimed specifically at housebuilders and developers looking to construct residential housing units to sell on the open market. Our new homes policy will protect future buyers of newly built homes from inherent structural defects for either 10 or 12 years.
Completed Home Warranty: Owners of newly constructed, extended or refurbished houses do not always receive long-term security against the risks of latent defects. One Guarantee has formulated an extensive Completed Housing Warranty to address this.
Commercial Warranty: One Guarantee's Commercial Warranty initiative works in partnership with commercial builders and developers who are involved with non-residential construction projects. Our commercial warranties cover buildings such as schools, care homes, industrial units, offices, hotels and sports facilities. Machinery Inherent Defects Insurance is also available.
Self-Build Warranty: One Guarantee's self-build warranties offer cover for individuals looking to construct their dream home to then live in. Cover is offered as an alternative to Architects Certificates or Professional Consultant Certificates which only offer cover for a period of 6 years. Please note we are only able to provide cover where an independent contractor has been appointed to build on behalf of the individual.
Conversion Warranty: One Guarantee can provide warranties for conversion and renovation projects such as transforming commercial offices into residential apartments. This cover will work alongside One Guarantee's comprehensive New Home Warranties meaning that cover can be provided for the full 12 years.
Social Housing Warranty: One Guarantee's Social Housing Warranties are tailored specifically for registered Social Landlords, Housing Associations and builders that are working on social developments either for part ownership or rental purposes.
Mixed-Development Warranty: One Guarantee's Mixed Development Warranties offer in-depth cover for developers looking to construct a variety of buildings for both residential and non-residential use. Our hybrid scheme caters for this increasingly popular sector of the market, combining the best elements of cover from our New Homes, Social Housing and Commercial warranties.
- How does a structural warranty differ from home and contents insurance?
It is important to understand that your structural warranty provides very different cover from any home and contents insurance policy you may have. Our warranty protects property owners against certain defects that may occur within the structure of a building following practical completion. Home and contents insurance broadly covers damage to fixtures, fittings and personal belongings such as valuables and furniture. For specific information on what is and isn’t covered, please consult the relevant policy wordings.
- What happens if I sell my home?
All our building warranties are freely assignable throughout the lifetime of the policy. This means that if you do choose to sell your home, your policy will automatically transfer across over to the new owner. It is important you pass your insurance documents on to the new owners of the property.
- Are you able to provide a quick indicative price and how do I do this?
One Guarantee are able to provide an indicative quotation via our Quick Quote facility without the need to fill out our Development Proposal Form. This may be useful for budgeting purposes when planning ahead. We aim to turn an indicative quotation around within 2 working days, depending on the size and complexity of the development. Please note that for a binding quotation, we require a fully completed and signed Development Proposal Form.
- I like my quotation; how do I accept it?
In order to proceed with your warranty, we require each formal quotation to be duly signed under the declaration section of the document. This will then need to be sent to us. We will then aim to issue an invoice in respect of the accepted quotation within 5 working days of receiving the signed declaration. Once we have received payment we will instruct the appointed surveyor to make contact and discuss the technical audit process.
- Do I need to register with One Guarantee?
Registration is required for certain development types including new homes, social housing, conversion (if properties are converted to be sold on the open market), private rental and self-build. Registration must be renewed annually and maintained. We will notify you of this before your renewal is due.
- What does your registration process consist of?
To fully register with One Guarantee, we require a number of documents to be read and signed where applicable. These include:
Membership Application Form: a short form representing the first step of the registration process. We will ask for information regarding company information, financials and company policies in place.
Rules of Registration: this document outlines the rules and procedures that must be adhered to during a developers and builders registration with One Guarantee. This must be signed and returned to One Guarantee.
Depending on the type of development the relevant parties may be required to sign:
Developer Indemnity Agreement: this document must be signed and adhered to by the developer throughout the defects liability period. This document states that the developer must honour their commitments by agreeing to rectify any defects within the first 2 years of the policy.
Builder Indemnity Agreement: this document must be signed and adhered to by the builder throughout the defects liability period. This document states that the builder must honour their commitments by agreeing to rectify any defects within the first 2 years of the policy.
Cross-Company Guarantee: this document must be signed by the parent company of the developer and/or builder signifying their intention to fulfil the contractual obligations of the developer and/or builder should the developer and/or builder be unable to so. This must remain in place during the defects liability.
- Will I be able to cancel my registration?
Registration with One Guarantee must be maintained throughout the two years defects liability period of the policy. After this date, registration may be cancelled. Maintaining registration with One Guarantee can mean access to discounted premiums as well as quicker turnaround times in respect of quotations.
- What is meant by site inspections and why are they required?
Our site inspections represent an integral part of the warranty process. These are physical visits to the site that focus on specified key stages for each plot and ensure the standard of construction meets our own requirements. Key construction stages for apartments, refurbishments/conversions and those developments using non-traditional forms of construction may vary. One Guarantee will arrange a minimum of 5 inspections per housing unit, however both One Guarantee and Insurers reserve the right to increase the number of inspections if required.
- Who will undertake the site inspections?
One Guarantee work with a select panel of Approved Inspectors and Qualified Chartered surveyors whom are both RICS qualified and CIC approved. All companies working with One Guarantee have been chosen based upon their expertise, professionalism and ability to provide nationwide coverage. Our surveyors will engage with you throughout the build process and visit at the necessary key stage inspections.
- What information is required for your inspection process?
Part of the One Guarantee inspection process requires a Design Risk Assessment. We require a full Design Risk Assessment to be undertaken to ensure that the intended work will meet our requirements. A list of design information required in order to complete the audit is as follows:
- Details and specification for proposed above and below ground drainage systems
- Details and specification for any flues and chimneys
- Full structural details, drawings, specification and calculations for all loadbearing elements
- A copy of a site investigation report
- Full architectural design details, drawings and specification for the project
The surveyor will carry out a design assessment based on the information received. If further information is required or the information provided is not complete, the surveyor will request this from the nominated contact.
- Do you require an initial site assessment?
For properties that have started and do not benefit from a structural warranty, One Guarantee may require an initial site assessment to assess the works to date. Should all parties wish to proceed, One Guarantee will issue binding terms, and continue to inspect works throughout the duration of the build.
- What is a Completed Property Survey?
A Completed Property Survey is a one off survey that looks at a number of elements of a completed structure to determine its suitability and compliance with our technical standards. This is a requirement of any property that has reached practical completion. In order for One Guarantee to offer cover, the Completed Property Survey must be determined satisfactory by the appointed surveyor.
- What are your key stage inspections?
Inspections are focused on specified key stages for each plot. Below are the 5 key inspection stages One Guarantee will require forming part of the Technical Audit process:
- Inspection 1: Foundations / Site Preparation
- Inspection 2: DPM / Oversite
- Inspection 3: Superstructure
- Inspection 4: Pre-Plaster and Roof Structure
- Inspection 5: Final Inspection/Sign off (see section “How to achieve a satisfactory Final Inspection”)
Although the requests for inspection may relate to a particular plot, our Surveyors will also take the opportunity to inspect any other relevant areas of the site.
- Are more inspections required for larger or more complex builds?
For apartment blocks and commercial developments, a greater number of site inspections will be required. The number of site inspections will depend on the size and complexity of the development and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. One Guarantee and Insurers reserve the right to charge for additional inspections if required.
- What standards of construction am I expected to work to?
One Guarantee expect that developments are constructed in accordance with our Technical Manual and current UK Building Regulations. If information required ensuring compliance with standards is not provided or if Defects are identified on site or works are not completed, One Guarantee may withhold the Certificate of Insurance for the Unit or New Development in question until such time as any issues are resolved. One Guarantee’s Technical Manual ensures that any New Development will follow industry good practice and will also ensure that the work complies with the latest UK Building Regulations.
- Will I be updated following each site inspection?
Following each site inspection, the nominated site surveyor will issue an inspection report detailing including their observations, comments and photographs. Each site inspection report will be circulated to all parties concerned. Site inspection reports may contain ‘advisories’ and/or ‘remediations’ which will need to be addressed prior to the issuance of the Certificate Approval.
- At what point will I receive my Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance will only be provided once a Final Certificate has been issued in respect of the building control, and a Certificate of Approval had been issued in respect of the technical audits. All remaining formal quotation subjectivities must also be satisfied.
- What final certification needs to be submitted following Practical Completion?
In most cases, we will require the following documentation and information:
- Building Control and Completion Certificate
- Electrical Installation Certificate
- Gas Installation Certificate
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Air Leakage Certificate / Report
- Sound Insulation Testing Certificate / Report (if applicable)
- Boiler Commissioning Certificate (if applicable)
- Other formal approval certificates (e.g. specialist systems)
- Warranty Information & Certificates (e.g. Tanking Guarantee’s)
- Guarantee information and certificates (e.g. Timber Treatment, flat roof coverings etc)
- Specification Information (e.g. doors, windows)
- Other (these will be clearly stated)
- How do I make a claim?
We hope that you will never have to make a claim, but in the unfortunate circumstances that you do, please contact us on 01603 218238.