The fall-out from Brexit and Carillion may be grabbing the headlines, but what else will 2018 mean for builders? Stay ahead of the game with our guide to the opportunities and threats you may face in the coming year. And discover our top tips on covering financial risk by getting a better deal on your building industry and tradesman insurance.
Good news for house builders
Firstly, let’s start with some good news. The market forecast for the house building industry is confident, with share prices for listed house builders up 43%. If you’re a house builder and 2018 is looking rosy, make sure you’ve got the right public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance, and sub-contractors insurance to keep things positive.
Now the bad news. Insolvencies in the construction industry were up 8% to 2,633 last year. Analysts predict more for 2018 with trend made worse by the continued fall-out from the collapse of Carillion. More bad news is that payment times are also extending. The number of days that construction firms are waiting on average for payment has risen from 52 five years ago to 69, according to research from small business finance company Funding Options.
You can cut your personal exposure to debts by taking out directors and officer’s liability insurance if you run a limited company.
Brexit is proving an unsteadying factor for the industry. And one of the most pressing issues for the construction industry is the numbers of skilled tradespeople. There’s already a shortage, and if workers choose to leave the UK following Brexit, it could become a crisis. The knock-on effects of a smaller pool of workers could be projects being delayed and not completed on time. And builders will be forced to pay more for labour support, which could have a significant impact on the bottom line.
Brexit day is scheduled for March 2019. Whilst ministers are already busily working on agreeing the deal, we should know more about our position by the autumn. But it won’t be until the years following our departure from the EU that we can really assess the scale of change and how it will affect British builders.
Don’t forget that wherever your workforce is from, you need employer’s liability insurance otherwise you’ll be fined £2,500 a day.
Post-Grenfell changes on the horizon
Following on from last year’s tragic Grenfell disaster, 2018 will see the release of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. Likely to be published this spring, all builders will need to familiarise themselves with the findings to see if working practices will need to change.
Anyone involved in the building industry is already likely to have experienced changes to insurance as a result of the tragedy. When calculating premiums for businesses in the building sector, underwriters are now probing further into business scope to identify potential areas of risk. All construction businesses are likely to be asked more questions such as:
- Do you undertake new-build or refurbishment cladding or façade work for commercial or residential high-rise blocks?
- Are materials used by your business either fire-resistant or non-combustible?
- Can you confirm that all materials comply with building regulations?
- Are all materials installed according to the manufacturer’s recommended use of the product?
Now, insurers are also recommending that their clients review past work that has been carried out to ensure policies are adequate. Businesses need to be clear if they have been involved with any jobs involving problem materials as this will impact on future renewals. A failure to identify and disclose potential risks could leave future insurance claims invalidated.
Changes to wiring legislation
If electrical wiring comes under your business remit, you’ll be waiting to see what changes to regulations are announced in July. Co-published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the British Standards Institution (BSI), it is anticipated that this update will be wide-ranging. You’ll have just a few months to ensure that any new electrical installations comply as it will take effect from 1st January 2019.
Tool theft on the rise
Another key concern for builders in 2018 is the increase of tool theft. Figures suggest it rose by 30% last year.
Get ahead of the problem:
- Don’t leave tools in your van overnight
- When out on a job, try to park your van in a busy street or where there is CCTV
- Mark your tools clearly to dissuade thieves and make recovery simpler
- Take out tools insurance so you can replace them quickly if they are stolen
Beat the rising costs of insurance
Insurance is designed to take away the financial risks of doing business. You never know what the future holds in store and it gives you peace of mind that your home and family will be financially secure even if the worst does happen. But of course, this peace of mind costs. Luckily there are lots of things you can do to try to make sure your insurance cover is affordable without cutting corners.
Cheap builders or construction industry insurance
Beware of insurance cover that seems very cheap – it might not give you the level of cover that you need. Instead, talk to our experts at Park Insurance. We have 30 years experience helping builders and the construction industry to secure robust insurance. Tell us about your business and we will find you a cost-effective policy that you can be confident in. There are many ways that we can help you to get your insurance for the best price, including:
- Tailor-making your policy. No two builders are the same. So why would you buy an off-the-shelf insurance policy? We’ll create a bespoke policy to match your specific needs. That way, you get the level of cover that you do need without paying for anything that you don’t
- Shopping around. Different insurance companies calculate risk in different ways. That means that two different companies can offer the same level of cover but at very different prices. By shopping around on your behalf, we can compare prices to offer you the most competitive rates out there
- Finally, we offer extra help if you do need to make a claim. You’ll have a dedicated claims handler who will take away all the hassle, sort out the claim and get you the money you need. That leaves you free to concentrate on your work
Call us now on 0117 9556835 or get in touch.