What kind of damage does Latent Defects Insurance protect against?
Defects can arise in almost any area of construction – which is why blame is so difficult to establish. They could occur in either the design or construction phase of the project, and they could be attributed to an individual subcontractor or various different subcontractors.
Examples of Latent Defects Claims
House nearly collapses due to unsound foundations
The owner of a house noticed cracks in the walls that seemed to get worse over time. The problem was checked by his insurer, proving that faults in the construction of the foundation had led to differential settlement, putting the house at risk of collapse.
Result: Fortunately, the owner of the house held Latent Defects Insurance, meaning that his insurer paid out the large sum needed to correct the problem.
Failure to seal foundation wall leads to basement flooding
The constructor of a block of flats failed to ensure that a foundation wall was insulated to make it impermeable. Over time, rainwater seeped through the adjacent soil into the wall, weakening it to the extent that it cracked. During a particularly wet spring, the basement of the building flooded, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to residents’ vehicles.
Result: If the owner had had Latent Defects Insurance in place, she could have claimed the expense directly from her insurer, rather than chasing the contractor through the courts – a lengthy and frustrating experience.
Wall collapsed due to failed piling
The foundation timber of a granny flat was inadequately treated by the constructor. This led to an unacceptable degree of settlement, which over time weakened the structure of the building and eventually caused a wall to collapse.
Result: The property owner had Latent Defects Insurance in place, and was able to claim for the cost of the damage from her insurer, solving the problem much more quickly than if she had sued the constructor.