Insurers back UK Building Safety Bill

Insurers have welcomed the government’s Building Safety Bill and believe it will provide underwriters with greater confidence to develop new products for construction professionals.

The International Underwriting Association says that coverage for the construction sector will be boosted by the proposed new safety laws – announced in Parliament earlier this month – but warns that the core aims of the legislation must be properly implemented, resourced and enforced, adding that focussing only on high-rise residential buildings over 18m in height would be a missed opportunity.

Michael Attwell, chair of IUA’s construction professional lines working group, said: “The bill is good news for the construction sector and its professional liability insurers. But limiting its scope only to high-rise buildings passes up the chance for a new, more balanced approach to fire safety. This is an ideal opportunity for the regulation of all buildings to be based on their underlying risk.”

Attwell described the bill as an important first step in improving the long-term outlook for the construction sector, but said that the short-term market conditions for insurers remain extremely challenging: “It is vital a new regulatory framework is established to drive a culture change that prioritises quality construction and safety over cost-cutting. The IUA remains committed to working collaboratively with the government and industry stakeholders to ensure better risk management, which will in turn enable insurers to offer a competitive range of construction professional indemnity products.”

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