Skycrapers: A rise in complexity - POST online


  • Date: 18/06/2014
Skycrapers: A rise in complexity - POST online

POST online 17/06/14 - By Brian Kilroy, Business Development Manager at BLP Insurance. High-rise living is not a new concept, but compared with some of the architectural monstrosities thrown up in the 1970s, it has come a long way and is now a truer reflection of the changing lifestyles of many people in the UK’s largest cities.

From a technical perspective, skyscrapers showcase cutting edge design and materials while epitomising energy and space efficiency. Times are certainly changing for high-rise living, but the question is whether the insurance industry is keeping up and providing policies that are fit for purpose.

Traditional defects cover – or the new home warranty, as it is more commonly known – was established back in the 1930s to address poor building practices and indemnify buyers against the failure of the builder to remedy defects in new properties. Standards were drawn up and a register of builders created to provide homebuyers with confidence when purchasing their new home. This model still exists today and continues to be offered by many new suppliers in today’s market.

The standard three-bedroom brick-built house remains the staple product of the UK’s property market and the traditional warranty model serves this sector well. As part of this model, warranty suppliers publish technical manuals, which outline best building practice for the average property. Financial limits in these policies are set for average houses on average size developments and cover the defects you would expect in these types of buildings.

However, if you move the focus away from more traditional construction sites in the home counties to the landscape the UK’s cities present, it is a very different proposition. High-rise, mixed-use apartment blocks encompassing all tenure types are being developed at an ever-increasing rate – and the traditional warranty is struggling to keep pace.

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