Although a home improvement is one of the safest forms of financial investment, there is one pitfall that is often overlooked:
Did you realise that although a contractor’s business guarantee can cover faulty workmanship and materials, it is only valid if the contractor is still trading or able and willing to honour his guarantee if not.
Every year, thousands of businesses close due to bankruptcy, liquidation or even death of the proprietor. A HomePro Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG) will protect your financial investment by matching the terms of your contractor’s original guarantee should they have ceased to trade*. So, if they are no longer in a position to honour a claim – your project may still be protected.
The IBG can protect your project from deposit to completion and beyond possibly even when the work is in progress. HomePro can even help you to find a new, approved contractor to commence or recommence the project, if your original contractor fails to complete.*
Remember - many homeowners assume that they will be covered by their home insurance policy but sadly this is rarely the case as contents and building insurance generally don't cover materials or workmanship from home improvements.
The IBG can also be transferred to any new owner of your property**, which is a great asset if you decide to sell your home.
Businesses that can offer an IBG as part of their service can be identified on the FairTrades Find A Tradesman directory by the HomePro Insurance logo displayed at the top right of the business listing or be sure to ask your contractor before accepting their quote.
Choose an award winning HomePro IBG for your peace of mind.
Please note that this website is designed to provide you with general information only and does not attempt to give you financial advice on any particular aspect of home improvement or insurance related products. If you have any doubt about your specific finance or insurance needs consult a financial advisor.
1. What's Covered
The level of cover provided by the IBG will depend on the type of policy you are offered – you should refer to your policy document – but the following can be covered:
If the contractor ceases to trade* following the receipt of the Deposit and before work has started, the policy will enable you to recover the deposit to a maximum of £10,000 or 25% of the contract value, whichever is the lesser, or the Insurer will arrange for the works to be completed, with you paying no more than the agreed contract value.
Work In Progress Protection
If the contractor ceases to trade* while the work is being undertaken, the policy will enable you to recover the deposit to a maximum of 25% of the contract value*, or the Insurer will arrange for the works to be completed with you paying no more than the agreed contract value.
If the contractor ceases to trade* during the guarantee period, and you have reason to make a claim against the guarantee for faulty workmanship or materials, the policy will provide for an approved contractor to remedy the work. The cost of the work will be covered under the IBG policy.
2. IBG Cover Period
The period of cover provided by the IBG is different depending on the level of cover that you have. The following provides a guide to cover periods - but always check your policy document to be sure:
Deposit and Work in Progress Cover
Deposit cover lasts for 90, or 120 days where work in progress cover is included, from receipt by the contractor. Always ensure you have a written receipt of the payment on headed paper or order form. Deposit protection will cease when work begins or after 90/120 days - whichever is the sooner.
The warranty period can be anything up to 10 years on most home improvements. The policy you have will back the guarantee provided by the contractor - therefore if the contractors guarantee is 5 years - the IBG cover period will also be 5 years, subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance.
3. Exclusions and Limitations explained
As with most insurance policies there are some items that cannot be insured and some limitations that must be made on some items that are insured.
Exclusions and Limitations of the policy are outlined below (for a full list of Exclusions and Limitations please refer to your policy documentation):
The amount of the excess as shown on your Certificate / Cover note or any defect that would not have been recoverable under the Contractor’s own written guarantee.
The policy provides cover where the contractor has ceased to trade* due to insolvency, which means, for a Limited Company; Receivership, Administration, or Liquidation and for sole-traders and Partnerships the Bankruptcy of the proprietor(s). For Deposit Protection, no more than 25% of the contract value to a maximum of £10,000, or the actual deposit paid, whichever is the lesser.
4. Policy Complaints Procedure
Any enquiries or complaints you may have regarding this insurance should be addressed to HomePro Insurance, Suite 40b, Port of Liverpool Building, Liverpool L3 1BY, or phone 0800 131 0123. Please quote the Certificate or Reference number so that the enquiry can be dealt with quickly.
In the unlikely event that the matter is unresolved once the above have been contacted,
you can then approach: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR, telephone 0800 023 4567.
5. Who Are The Underwriters?
The underwriters of the HomePro IBG (shown on your certificate) are either Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Limited or Guarantee Protection Insurance Limited.
Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Limited
Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Limited is registered in Gibraltar under company number 87598 and has a registered office at Level 3, Ocean Village Business Centre, 23, Ocean Village Promenade, Gibraltar and is licensed and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission under the Financial Services (Insurance Companies) Act 1987 of Gibraltar.
Red Sands is a member of the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Association of British Insurers.
Guarantee Protection Insurance Limited
Guarantee Protection Insurance Limited is registered in England as a Limited Company, with the registration number of 03326800, and the registered address of 14 Castle Street, Liverpool L2 0NE.
Guarantee Protection Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
We will not allow all contractors that operate in the home improvement industry to be associated with our IBGs and here is why:
Only vetted contractors can apply
All contractors that offer HomePro IBGs have been extensively checked by us to ensure they have good financial and legal ratings, and excellent references from previous customers. If HomePro hasn’t carried out these checks then we are unable to issue an IBG on the contractors work.
You should always double check by calling HomePro on 0800 131 0123 and one of our Service Advisors will be able to let you know.
Hopefully your home improvement project will go to plan and there will never be any need for a claim.
In the event that you feel that you do need to make a claim, review the following checklist first so that our experienced claims team can handle your claim as quickly as possible:
Claim on Deposit
You must have paid an amount of money to a contractor within the last 90 days, who has now ceased to trade* without physically commencing work on site.
You must also be in possession of a valid Certificate of Deposit Cover from HomePro Insurance and a written receipt from your contractor for the amount paid as a deposit.
Claim on Guarantee
Your contractor must have completed the work and you must have activated your IBG by confirming that the work was completed satisfactorily. There must be a defect that occurred due to faulty materials or workmanship by the contractor, and the contractor has ceased to trade* prior to the defect arising .
Changes to Double Glazing IBG's In June 2014 mean all applicable IBGs will also provide the homeowner with protection against breaches of the applicable Buildings Regulations.
The defects must be within the period and terms of the contractors written guarantee, a copy of which you must have. It is important to note that the contractor must have ceased to trade in accordance with the terms and conditions of the policy and you must also be in possession of a valid Certificate of Warranty Insurance from HomePro Insurance.
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