"MC Plan and Site Services Ltd is fully insured. Griffiths and Armour provide our Professional Indemnity Insurance. Despite recent concerns and rumours across the insurance and construction markets." says Mark Cook from MC Plan and Site Services Ltd.
The last 12 months have seen a significant deterioration of the UK Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance market with a large number of insurers withdrawing and others seeking to reduce the amount of business they write. The knock-on effect of this is premiums increasing, significantly for some professions – including Approved Inspectors - and policy coverage being reduced.
"One factor commonly held as a major reason is the Grenfell tragedy of 2017 as both this and the costs in making mid and high-rise buildings around the UK less vulnerable to fire will cost the insurance industry significant sums. However, the reality is that this is only a small part of the equation" says Gary Boome, Director of BM Property Insurance.
"Lloyds of London undertook a review of the insurance market in 2018 and this showed PI insurance generally to be the second worst performing area; added to Grenfell, a number of extremely large global PI losses and natural catastrophes detrimentally affecting underlying reinsurance markets." he added.
National House Building Council (NHBC) - who only underwrite NHBC instructions, so this cover is not available to other AIs.
• Howdens, who earlier this year confirmed their underwriter was pulling out of the market, leaving them unable to offer these policies.
• Griffiths and Armour are now the ONLY insurers, but Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) told them in the spring that they would not be taking on any new risk, ie. any clients coming across from Howdens. They won’t insure anything more onerous than the Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors (ACAI) standard form of appointment, nor will they cover anything with cladding over 18 metres high as this is considered too high risk.
Mindful of the problems other firms were facing, MC Plan and Site Services Ltd started their renewal process four months before renewal.
Mark Cook, MD of MC Plan and Site Services Ltd said: "Over the past few months, with the scaremongering that’s been going on, we have had to answer numerous questions from our client base and through general enquiries. Questions that would not have been asked normally, which I can only attribute to the rumours and untruths that are being circulated in our industry.
"In truth, as an independent AI company we have far more hoops to jump through than other public sector building control service providers. Not only are we audited by the Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register (CICAIR) to ensure compliance with both the Building Regulations and the Approved Inspectors regulations, we are also legally required to obtain both Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance. In terms of knowledge, experience and training are concerned, I have not only received - but also have delivered - far more training to my own staff since leaving the public sector building control service than during the 15 years that I was working in that sector. All my assistants are either on or been on High National Certificate Construction Management courses or studying on NVQ level 6 courses in construction management. Having to be fully insured to practice the building control service as opposed to the public sector building control service providers, not carrying any insurance and therefore not being culpable for negligence, I find it difficult in the blame culture that we live, why anyone would want to engage in an organisation that provides no protection to either the developer or the householder potentially when things on occasions may go wrong."
"It’s been a challenging time for us in the office, with all the extra work created to get our insurance cover passed, but we are delighted with the outcome and are truly grateful to our insurers for having as much confidence is us as we do! Now, let’s get on with the business in hand" Mark added.
MC Plan & Site Services Ltd is a fully insured, award winning Independent Corporate Approved Inspector, licensed and regulated by the Construction Industry Council ("CIC") to carry out building control throughout England and Wales.
MC Plan and Site Services Ltd would like to publicly apologise for the use of LABC logo's, and any direct reference made to the LABC organisation in our previous newsletter.
We would also like to retract the claim made that the LABC members had been demanding works back from Approved Inspectors and acknowledge that they have been in negotiations with the CICAIR and MHGLC.