“I’ve been told I should take out Non –Negligent Party Wall Cover, what exactly is this and do I need it?” Amy Shields takes on this week’s insurance question
Non-Negligent Party Wall Cover
Non-Negligent Party Wall cover provides cover for the client (property owner) during the instance when there is damage to a third party property as a result of renovations works – and no one person/professional can be found to be at fault.
“I was doing work on my property that involved a basement dig out. I had one party wall consideration with my neighbour on the right. Towards the end of the works, my neighbour discovered a large crack in their living room. Upon further investigation, it became apparent that the property was suffering from cracking and movement as a result of the works. The neighbour approached me to pay the damages to their property. After checking that nothing was done incorrectly, it was established that no one working on the project was negligent, including the architect, surveyor or contractor”
In this circumstance, it would still fall on the property owner to pay for the third party property damage to be remedied. In the case of subsidence, this can be particularly expensive. This policy provides additional protection when doing works on your property and there are party wall considerations in place. Whilst this provides cover for all types of property damage, we would especially recommend it when there are basement works underway and digging, piling or driving are involved as there is an increased risk (such as vibrations). If the problem is found to be the fault of the architect for example, then it would be up to them to pay for the damages to the third party property.
Period of cover
Non-Negligent Party Wall Cover provides cover for the duration of the work and a 12 month period post completion (and longer maintenance period are available if required) as this is when most potential claims will come to light, if the damage was not immediate.
Additionally, the policy provides cover for the actual building undergoing work as well as the works itself. This is an important feature to have in place, especially if the property undergoing works is made up of several flats.
Non-Negligent Party Wall cover and Renovations Insurance
This policy can be bought as an extra cover to the renovations insurance policy (or as a stand alone cover) when there are party wall considerations in place to provide extra protection. Often it can also form part of the party wall agreements that are put in place. Whilst it does tend to be slightly more expensive than a standard insurance cover, it will provide protection under circumstances that are deemed as very high risk for a standard insurer. We would always suggest speaking with an insurance broker to see if this cover is required for your renovations.
Contact Amy Shields, Insurance Tailors for more information