Professional liability and construction insurance – Is the situation improving?

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According to construction management board (CLC) the answer is definitely no.

Its second annual IP insurance survey found:

  • Almost a quarter of construction companies have lost jobs due to inadequate PI insurance, due to high insurance premiums.
  • One in five said they paid more than 5% of their turnover for their annual bonus, and one in 20 paid more than 10%.
  • Almost a quarter of respondents said they were still unable to buy the coverage they wanted or needed.
  • 40% of companies had a worse experience buying insurance this year than in 2021.
  • One in 10 construction companies report having a surplus greater than or equal to 20% of their turnover, compared to 4% of respondents in 2021.
  • More than a third of respondents had been denied insurance by three or more insurers, which, while significant, was an improvement from last year’s total of 44%.
  • 24% of respondents lost their jobs, mainly due to restrictions on the level of their siding or fire safety cover.

This remains a disappointing position for the construction industry.

This year sees the start of the introduction of the Building Safety Act (BSA) which the CLC describes as a truly important moment for the industry.

However, this opportunity to improve the image of the industry vis-à-vis the risk perceived by PI insurers is obviously not converted. This was highlighted when DWF launched a series of construction industry roundtables to discuss the building safety bill. Read our report >

Comments from the insurer roundtable were that the construction and current BSA is simply too complicated, requiring too much down time to understand.

And who can disagree?

The BSA legislation, five years after Grenfell:

  • It’s going to cost the industry £3 billion.
  • Applies only to a narrow definition of high-risk buildings.
  • Introduces a new building security regulator that is untested in terms of skills, resources and funding.
  • Introduces retrospective extended liabilities for existing 30-year buildings.
  • According to the RIBA, is not doing enough to address the “fractured” nature of the construction industry.

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