Brokers warned of pre-completion damage risk

Under the Standard conditions of sale usually state that should anything happen to a property between exchange and completion; the buyer could be responsible for the cost of any damage.

Whilst most insurers have some means of providing this cover, for the most part brokers need to actually take specific action to trigger this cover, as most insurers do not give this automatically and will only provide cover if asked.

However, as Berkeley Alexander warns, many brokers are unaware of the potential gap in cover and in the dark as to the action they need to take, and this could unwittingly place both themselves and their clients at risk.

Geoff Hall, managing director of Berkeley Alexander, said: “We discovered that insurance providers are not always making it un-missably clear to brokers that they need to take specific action to trigger this additional layer of cover.”

With this in mind Berkeley Alexander has now redesigned its system to clearly assist brokers in taking the right course of action to provide new homebuyers with adequate cover between exchange and completion of purchase.

Hall said: “Our new question set delivers a far higher level of transparency, it clearly sets out the right course of action brokers need to take and the system accordingly provides quotes from insurers that will cover for up to 30 days between exchange and completion with longer periods available upon request.

“Our research showed this was a glaring gap and we felt we needed to take the lead in addressing it. Our aim is always to help brokers do their job better and provide the highest and most comprehensive levels of cover possible for their clients.

“Our system is fair, clear and transparent, and that is after all the bedrock of treating customers fairly. I would urge all advisers to take proactive action to cover their clients during this exchange to completion period and don’t just assume the insurer will provide cover.”